Having a way of answering hard questions in a job interview is a skill many people would like as part of their interview techniques. This blog is about how you can do just that.
Hard Questions, Easy Interview Answers
Have you ever been faced in an interview situation with that tough, killer question where your mouth goes dry, your mind goes blank and your mouth opens but nothing intelligent comes out? This is something that lots of people face and many more worry about. But it is easy to deal with.
Books of answers or just one right one?
Some people have jumped on this concern and published books of interview questions and answers that you can waste your money on. Imagine now a situation where you get faced with a difficult question and you have to remember, out of hundreds of answers the right one…and then you have to make it fit your experience, situation and the job you are going for. A better idea might be to stay flapping your gums at the interviewer until you come up with your own answer.
What Constitutes a Good Interview Answer?
First let us look at what constitutes a good interview answer then we can look at a simple way of making sure you are prepared for any question that comes up.
Often detail is missing from candidate answers according to the latest research in to job interviews. As such we will aim to illustrate our answers with an example. We will start with a format for answering behavioural and competency based questions called STAR.
STAR Interview Technique
If you use this formula to describe any particular work achievement you have the basis of a good interview answer. Normally you would use this format for questions like “Describe how you dealt with a difficult customer” or “Explain how you manage your team” and any other behavioural or competency type questions.
STAR stand for:
- Situation or Task
- Action you took
- Results you achieved
As an example let’s say you have experience of taking an angry customer and you talked them down and made them happy again. We can use this to illustrate many different types of interview questions. All it relies on is careful selection of the right experiences. Being able to explain this experience as a Situation or Task, Action you took and the Results you took you will be ready to answer many different types of interview question.Now, for all your standard interview questions all you need do is top and tail your example. Here are a few interview questions:
- How would you describe yourself?
- Why do you want to change jobs?
- What are your career aspirations?
- Tell me about your key strengths
Each of these questions can be answered using this example as the illustration.
- I would describe myself as a great communicator, for example…
- I want to change jobs because I prefer working in a customer facing environment for example when I…
- I have career aspirations to work in challenging environments for example when I…
- One of my key strengths is empathy, for example…
The example could be used to illustrate each of these interview questions.
The Real Use of Books of Interview Questions
Running this example through a few interview questions will build you the confidence that it works. If you had half a dozen pre-prepared examples that fit most interview questions, how differently would you be feeling in interview? This is only the beginning.
Interview Techniques – Some Ideas
Here are a few ideas that you might want to think about.
My psychological CV Writing and Interview Skills programme I will show you how to find the company and the interviewer’s hot buttons and values and then feed these back into the preformatted answers that you have already got.
You could also end every answer with a hypnotic benefit statement that will keep the interviewer thinking about you doing a perfect job in the company. In the same way as the examples you could construct these separately and just bring them out as needed.
The direction of a conversation can be changed easily with particular NLP Language Patterns. Preparing these in advance the conversation can be changed to one of your prepared examples and away from any problem areas.
An interview situation is easy to prepare for and you could be completely bullet proof for it using these techniques.
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