Preparing for interview questions

As anyone well-versed in the art of interviewing knows, there exists a range of generic questions that will probably be asked, all included to test your problem-solving skills and self-awareness.

Most people anticipate these questions and choose to memorise responses accordingly, however this lends itself to coming across as rehearsed and inauthentic. Anybody can pre-prepare answers, but improvising on the spot proves to be a harder challenge, often catching one off guard and leaving them flustered.

THE POWER OF ASSOCIATION

A more cohesive approach to the interview’s interactive exchange, association is a cognitive process whereby certain language conjures up a series of memories and facts. Interlinking different concepts and ideas is a proven method that makes for a much more fluid approach to interaction, and it’s easier to do than you think.

Much like studying for a test, it involves writing down a list of focus words e.g. “problem solving”.

You then make a cloud of everything relating to that word, from examples of you problem solving in the workplace, to the specific skills which facilitate that.

Reading over these lists repetitively will help you recall these associations when prompted. Responding this way feels more organic, and will help you ease into the interview in a comfortable and conversational way.

DEMEANOUR, DELIVERY, POISE

Practice speaking in front of a mirror. Rather than being an exercise in narcissism, this will actually aid you in identifying certain speech patterns and mannerisms that might pose a problem.

Within the context of an interview, talking too fast is a problem commonly underpinned by nerves, so practice taking deep, measured breaths.

Also rehearse enunciating your words, and projecting your voice.

Once in the interview, don’t be afraid to take time carefully choosing your words and crafting a response; it shows thoughtfulness and consideration.

FLIP THE SCRIPT

The standard trope in interviewing is that the candidate is the passive receiver getting asked the questions.

While this is the case, coming to the interview prepared with a list of questions yourself is a useful way to promote interactive engagement.  Whether regarding the specific role, the genesis of the company, or the direction it’s heading, these queries show that you have conducted your own research and have a keen interest and curiosity.

So get reading. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the key objectives of the job and the key philosophies of the company.  This in turn will help you in formulating your own questions.

Need assistance getting to the interview stage? Click here for help.