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Now it’s the time to smash the job interview and get hired, that plum position is waiting for you.

Get the Job!

Get the Job!

 By Catherine Adenle

After writing countless CVs or Resumes, cover letters, and job applications, you hope that you will interview well, impress the hiring manager of any company to which you have applied, finally smash the job interview and get hired.

Well, now you have just been invited to a job interview. Then, you find yourself asking, ‘I need to smash the job interview but now what?’

It is a fact that many job candidates are nervous about participating in a job interview. What can take care of that nervous feeling is the 3 Ps – Plan, Prepare and Practice.

As there are no second chances when it comes to making that first impression, you better be prepared to smash the job interview and get hired.

First, you may want to read the invitation letter carefully, check the day and time of the interview, the venue and get your research head-on.

Then ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is going to interview me?
  • What kind of interview is it likely to be?
  • Are my expected to do any tests and, if so, what tests will they be?
  • Is there a job specification or outline, and do I have it?

If you do not know the answers to these questions, you should telephone the writer of your invitation letter and politely and ask for clarifications. There is no harm in doing this; it only shows that you are proactive and interested.

To smash the interview, you have to prepare excellent answers to these 5 major questions:

These questions are popular questions, so prepare the answers, and practice them until they roll off the tip of your tongue seamlessly.

Question 1: ‘Tell me something about yourself’.

What the hiring managers are thinking: Convince us; let’s know a bit about you, tell us if you are the ‘one’, set the stage for us by giving us your opening statement.

  • This is a very popular opening to an interview. The invitation to answer this question often comes within seconds of your arrival in the interview room.

Do not be caught unawares like a deer caught in the headlights. Don’t provide a waffling or muffled response.

Remember, this is a great opportunity to set the scene and fully outline your capabilities and attributes.

So, write a two-minute elevator pitch that embodies each of your skills and tie them to the skills needed for the role. Keep your message short and to the point. Do not include unnecessary information that will make the panel more interested in what is happening outside the window of the interview room.

Once you have your elevator speech nailed down, then, practise aloud until it rolls off your tongue!

Question 2: What are your strengths?

What the hiring managers are thinking: We want to know if your skills align with the ones needed for the role. Let us know how you’ve utilised your strengths in the past, don’t just name the strengths. Talk about why those strengths show that you are the right person for the job.

  • ‘What are your strengths?’ This is yet another popular and almost inevitable question. It may come in a variety of ways, but they all mean the same thing.

Using the information you have prepared regarding your skills, the answer to this particular question should be dead easy and obvious.

Give your answers without any hesitation; be sure to list your skills in order of importance for the job. List them one after the other and be sure to provide demonstrative evidence of when you utilised the skills – see STAR.

Question 3: What are your possible areas of improvement?

What the hiring managers are thinking: We know that you are not perfect. Let us know if you are aware of your weaknesses and what you are doing about them. However, they better not be weaknesses that will affect your ability to do a good job in the role that we are interviewing you for.

  • This is your ‘weaknesses’ question. There are both positive and negative aspects to any interview’s tactic. As expected, the first will explore your strengths to see why you are the right person for the job while the second will probe your weakness or areas of improvements to see if you are not a suitable candidate.

The strategy here is to quickly satisfy the recruiter’s doubts, but also to immediately direct the interviewer to a relevant Prime Selling Point (PSP) that should diffuse you perceived weakness.

See 60 Things You Should Never Say During a Job Interview

Question 4: Do you have any questions for us?

What the hiring managers are thinking: Show us that you are interested in the position by asking us few clever questions that shows your interest in our organisation and how you can grow with us.

  • Interviewers will always ask if you have questions for them. Create the right impression by preparing at least two clever questions for them.

Waste no further opportunities to promote your keenness at securing the job. Get a question from your research into the company and its activities, and strongly connect it to your skills.

Your question can concern future training, technical matters, new products or anything to demonstrate your ability and illustrate your skills.

See the Best Questions to Ask in the Interview

Assure us again.

Question 5: Is there anything else that you’d like to know?

What the hiring managers are thinking: Thank us and assure us again that you are the right one.

This is where you give your leaving statement. It is important to prepare the scene for getting off the interview chair.

Visualise gathering your belongings, rising with a smile, a firm handshake with a friendly but business-like parting statement: ‘No, I have nothing else to add except to thank you for your time. I have enjoyed the interview and feel that it is been very useful. It has increased my interest in the job and confirmed my ability to be of value to your company.’ Remember that you are still creating a lasting impression that will get you noticed and remembered.

See 11 Steps to Ace Any Job Interview

Now, with these tips, go and prepare the answers that will allow you to smash the interview and knock their socks off!

See Interview Questions and Answers

With some practice and preparation, job interviews need not be a mystery or a horror. In fact, it can be enjoyable, informative, and even sometimes fun. Remember that every interview that you complete will make you more practised in the art of getting interviewed. By continuing to interview for jobs, you will learn the range of a variety of questions and scenarios that may confront you. Then you will be better prepared to win the job of your dreams!

See this presentation: Get Hired! Ace That Job Interview by Catherine Adenle

View more presentations from Catherine Adenle


Four general tips:

Remember that you have two ears and just one mouth!

  1. Listen carefully with your pair of ears. If asked a direct question give a direct and clear answer to the question
  2. Try not to tell long self-implicating stories
  3. Always show your interest in the company at every opportunity and the reasons why you are the right candidate
  4. Ensure that you ask sensible questions when appropriate and when it’s your turn to do so

See the Top 50 Interview Questions and How to Handle Them

How else can a job seeker smash the job interview and get hired? Let’s hear from you, add your comments below.

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