Dreading the interview?

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What happens if I cannot answer one of their questions? What will it sound like if I am babbling while answering the question? And then you begin to think that maybe you shouldn’t have sent in your CV...

But there is something you can do about tackling the questions asked most frequently. It must be said that it is very difficult to "script" any interview situation, but if the interview is conducted by skilled professionals, you won't be asked questions to try and catch you out – they will be focused on ascertaining what particular strengths and competencies you bring to the position.

Having said that, however, there are some questions that do seem to be asked more frequently than others:

1. Tell us a little about yourself
Do not give them your life history, rather give them a short summary of your education, your work history and then what you would consider to be your major skills and competencies.

2. Why do you wish to work for this organisation?
Do not tell them they are the biggest, the best, etc. Rather focus on the particular vision of the organisation and how you see yourself being able to add value to that vision. Make sure that you have taken the trouble to research the company. It always looks good if a candidate has taken the trouble to obtain background information.

3. What are your strengths?
Do not tell them you love working with people, computers or whatever. Rather focus on your competencies and skills, without being boastful.

4. What are your weaknesses?
If there is something that you mention, make sure that you also say that you are aware of it and mention the steps that you have taken to correct the particular 'area for improvement'.

5. What do you expect from this organisation?
This can be quite a minefield as many candidates think that they must talk about the vision and mission of the organisation and how they would be able to add value to the goals and objectives of the organisation. This is important, but it might be a good idea to consider an answer that would reflect on the opportunities that you will have in utilising your knowledge, skills and competencies to the benefit of the organisation in meeting the needs and requirements of the customers and clients. You would also be looking to challenges in that the organisation will afford you opportunities to grow and develop in your position and move upwards in the organisation. At the same time, you can and should state that you are looking to be fairly compensated in terms of salary and benefits.

6. How do you deal with conflict, communication, difficult customers?
The list is endless, especially in the environment of a position in the electronics industry. It is always good to mention an example and the result, which can be either successful, or otherwise. In the latter case, you would then mention the learning that has taken place.

7. Do you have any questions?
Here you have an opportunity of asking questions about aspects on which you need more information – the department, your job description, the way forward, etc.

Remember, that it is not just the answering of the questions which is important. Have a copy of the advertisement and your CV available. Make sure that you have a pad and pen (just in case you want to make a note or two while the questions are being posed). Look professional – remember this is an important position for which you have applied. Your dress for the interview should reflect the importance of the position, while also reflecting who you are, your personality and individuality.

Good luck with the interview!

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