© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
Knowing how to answer job interview questions effectively can make all the difference between a successful interview which clinches your dream job and a not so successful interview, which clears the path for someone else to get that position. Luckily, knowing how to answer job interview questions does not rely on any secret knowledge or luck. It is something you can prepare for, practice for, and become proficient at before you go into your job interview. The first step to answering job interview questions effectively is to find out ahead of time what kinds of questions you will have to answer. Generally they have to do with your qualifications for the job and your personality and character traits as they relate to your performance.
If you know what the requirements of the job are, then you will be able to predict the questions in advance, and practice how to answer job interview questions. Knowing the requirements of the job takes some research. Specifically, the applicant should find out the formal, or official requirements of the job first. These are the qualifications, experiences and duties that the company has officially designated as being appropriate for the position. The place to find this information is in the job ad or in the job description created by the company. Obtaining these is easy enough. Download them from the company web site or phone someone in the HR department and ask for copies.
Knowing how to answer job interview questions doesn't stop with familiarizing yourself with the official requirements. In each job there are some unofficial requirements as well. These include attributes that lead to success, the characteristics that the company has preferred in the past. The way to find these is through your social network of people who have experience in that company or field. Once you've got a firm grasp of all the requirements, do some thinking to formulate the kind of questions the interviewer would ask to determine if you meet those requirements. Those are the questions that you should concentrate on being able to answer effectively.
One last tip for how to answer job interview questions well is to incorporate examples, stories and illustrations from your work experience. Providing specific examples of when you have successfully applied the experience, attributes and skills required by the job sound far more convincing than general or hypothetical statements about these attributes. Practice turning questions into examples that describe situations and actions you took and the results you achieved. If you have the time and know a reliable interview partner, you may want to run through a practice interview session or two before you go to the real interview. Taping or recording your practice responses and going over them later will give you even greater insights into your strengths and weaknesses when you answer job interview questions.
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