How to Answer Interview Questions
There will be several different types of questions asked by the employer which are required to be identified in order to understand how to formulate an answer appropriately. The employer is interested to see if you have the knowledge as well as the skills required to come to a solution in order to predict your future behavior/progress on the job.
Answering Knowledge Based Questions
When addressing these types of questions the employer is seeking specific answers as they are assessing to determine if have the capabilities which satisfy the position’s responsibilities. Always answer these questions straight and to the point without steering off topic and or talking too much. If the interviewer wants to hear more they will ask you to elaborate. This is always overlooked but should be remembered as no one likes a heavy talker.
Answering Behavior Interview Questions
When asked tough behavior type questions there is a specific way on how to answer them as the employer is interested in how you come to a solution. Answering this type of question is known as the (STAR) format which stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result.
- When beginning to answer a behavior questions, begin by informing the interviewer about the situation and disclose what basically the problem or confusion was.
- The next piece of information to deliver would be what your task was during that time.
(simpler the better)
- After this, inform the employer about the action you took to solve the situation or utilized to aid in the solution to the situation.
- Finally inform the employer what the results of your actions were which provided a positive outcome of the situation at hand.
Answering in this format for this type of question will ensure you have the right structure while keeping you from repeating yourself.
Key Points When Answering Basic Interview Questions
- Silence is power
Allow yourself 1-4 seconds of time to think of an answer before answering. This will provide you enough time to think how you are going to deliver the answer in proper answer without repeating yourself. This will also display a sense of maturity.
- Walk don’t run
Answer with confidence as well as keep it clear and try not to run through the answer too quickly. Displaying maturity and confidence is exactly what the interviewer is looking for.
- Short and to the point
Try not to allow yourself to ramble on and on. The last thing the interviewer wants is someone who cannot get to the point. Rambling only indirectly displays that you are not sure and or confident in your answer.
- Fit In
Become a chameleon by listening to how the interviewers are talking and acting in order to properly respond with how the conversation is going. The last thing you want is the interviewer excited about a particular question and you answering it in a monotone voice uninterested.
- Open to Change
The last thing you want to do while answering questions is to seem like you are strictly favoring one way of doing things. Always be open to possibilities and keep an open mind to more than one solution to a problem. This will display to the employer that you are open to suggestions and are willing to change and grow with the position as it changes.
- Be Truthful
One of the best things to be is truthful within an interview. Any indication such as misused or mispronounced keywords may give the interviewer good reason to move away from their question sheet and start asking in-depth knowledge questions.
- Right Posture
While answering any type of question, be sure to keep your posture professional, never lean or sway unless used to aid in communicating your answer to the interviewer.
- Know Your Resume
Before participating within your first interview it would be best to brush up on the listed dates and experience form previous positions as it displays confidence.
Answering Rate Yourself Questions
At times some interviewers also tend to ask rating questions to the interviewee to properly gauge where their strengths and weaknesses lay based on the information gathered from the resume. The important thing to remember is to understand your ability within the skill in question and answer accordingly and truthfully.
“Gauging yourself between 1 through 10, at what level would you say you are at with your time management skills”
“I would position myself between 6-7, depending on the amount of unexpected occurrences which may arise during execution of my tasks.”
Pause Before Delivering
After a question has been asked by the interviewer, don’t believe you are expected to splurge out an answer immediately. When an answer is just splurged out after the question is asked, the answer does not always seem to be within the greatest format and may lack the details required to answer it correctly.
The greatest way to tackle a question is to always display that you are capable of thought instead of a “insufficient” reaction. Pause for about 1-4 seconds after the question has been asked to provide yourself time to think of how to deliver the answer correctly and effectively.
Repeating the Question
A lot of the time many individuals repeat the question right after it has been asked while beginning to answer, not knowing how it may be held against them. Repeating the question will display that you are trying to stall, in order to find the answer in your mind. The Best approach would be to be silent and take that 1-4 seconds to think of how you will structure the sentence and content for delivery prior to opening answering.
Practice Interview Technique
There are several techniques people use to practice how to answer interview questions. One of the best methods used today is to actually get asked by people who are willing to help. This will not only build your confidence, but also simulate a real life interview.
- Contact 2-3 individuals who are willing to help by giving you a call in their lunch breaks for about 15-20 min
- List out all of the questions asked within either a first second or third interview for the position that you are interested in then organize them into their respected categories.
- Send each person willing to help you out an email of the questions you would like for them to ask you during the telephone call. If you have 2-3 people willing to call you make sure to have them call you 15 minutes apart so that they all don’t all you at once.
- Finally when each person calls make sure to tell them to ask you the questions in a random order so that your mind does not memorize the ordering. This will teach you to be spontaneous as the question is asked thus providing a real life experience while trying to answer in the appropriate format. Be sure to remember the proper format on how to answer the questions and keep track of time as you answer them.