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Interview Skills

Interview Skills

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Congratulations! Being offered an interview means that you are a step closer to success. However, in order not to miss this golden opportunity, you got to be well-prepared first.

Different companies might employ different ways to test the candidates; in general, most interviews can be categorized into the following groups:

  • Face to face interview (including one interviewer to one interviewee, a panel of interviewers to one interviewee)
  • Group Discussion
  • In-tray Test

Face To Face Interview

To start with, you should :

  • Familiarize yourself with the background of the applied firm. Do not hesitate to click on the company’s website to find out its business scope and recent development.
  • Prepare a list of questions that are likely to be asked by the interviewer(s) and relate them to the job requirements.
    • - Education Background
    • - Relevant work experiences
    • - Strengths and weaknesses
    • - Reasons for applying the job
    • - Career Goal
  • Prepare a list of questions you would like to ask the interviewer(s). Raising thoughtful questions could demonstrate your enthusiasm about the job offer. Do not ask information that can be easily found out in the web.
  • Wear business attire.
  • Arrive roughly 15 minutes before the interview.
  • Switch off your mobile phone.
  • Bring along a copy of your resume.

During the Interview, you should :

  • Smile and be natural.
  • Greet the interviewer(s) in a polite manner by giving a firm handshake, if it is initiated by the interviewer(s).
  • Wait until you are offered to sit.
  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer(s).
  • Avoid unnecessary and excessive gestures which may reflect your lack of confidence.
  • Qualify points where appropriate, quote examples.
  • Make your points interesting.
  • Ask clever questions at the end. Never ask with closed-end questions for some of the interviewers might only give a yes-or-no answer.

After the interview, you should:

  • Send a thank you note to the interviewer(s), clarify the points that you have not made clear during the interview, finally, reiterate your interest about the job.
  • Evaluate your interview performance. Rethink those difficult questions again.

Questions that might be asked by the interviewers:

  • About yourself
    • - Tell me about yourself
    • - What are your greatest strengths and weakness?
    • - How would you describe yourself?
  • Personality and experiences
    • - What are your greatest achievements in your life?
    • - Do you prefer to be a team member or a team leader?
    • - Could you tell me the experiences that you operate as a team player?
    • - What’s the most difficult problem you ever faced?
    • - What do you learn from your past working experiences?
    • - Are you a self-starter?
    • - Tell me about a time when you had to work closely with someone in a position above (or below) you.
  • Career objectives
    • - Do you plan to further your studies?
    • - Why do you choose your major of study?
    • - What kinds of jobs have you applied so far?
    • - What do you expect to be in five years’ time?
  • Job-related
    • - How much do you know about our company?
    • - Why do you want to work here?
    • - What criteria do you use to choose you employer?
    • - Why should we hire you?

Group Discussions

  • No. of participants varies from 5 to 10.

Skills and qualities that employers look for:

  • Leadership
    • - Lead and direct the discussion.
    • - Raise out ideas that are received and recognized by other participants.
  • Team-working
  • Encourage others to speak
  • Value and respect others’ views even you do not agree with them.
  • Communication
  • Actively listen to others’ point of view.
  • Present ideas in a fluent and clear manner.
  • Able to solve problems when there are conflicts.
  • Initiative
  • Take an active role to bring up ideas.
  • Show enthusiasm in the discussion.
  • Problem-solving
  • Analyze the issues with reasons and logics.
  • Deduce a solution from others’ ideas.
  • Decision-making
  • Gather information collected, and make a sound decision.
  • Make conclusion within a short period of time.

Points to note (Don’ts):

  • Never be too aggressive or arrogant to ignore others.
  • Never interrupt other participants while they have not yet finished.
  • Never attack others beyond reasons.

Formats of Group Discussions:

  • Discussions on Current Affairs
  • Case Studies
  • Role Play
  • Debate

In-tray Test

It is a business simulation exercise of which you have to assume the role of a manager, and handle telephone calls, fax, memos and documents that go into the tray within a short period of time. This is to test the candidate’s ability to organize, prioritize, manage and foresee problems.