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Interview Stage

This series is the second part of the interview stage, and will explore in more details, typical questions and their answers for entry-level interviews. The third and concluding part will explore the offer letter issuance and acceptance.

Types of Questions:

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In your responses, try to be effortlessly enthusiastic, whilst striking a balance with a calm exterior.

Always remember that your future employer would want to see that your views align with their company culture, and would be happy seeing that you can add value to their company.

Closed-ended questions are mostly the type of questions where responses are ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Tell me about yourself.

A: Provide a brief information of yourself, which covers your name, your most recent educational qualification & field of study, your religious, or political affiliation and a few of your interests and skills.

Q: How did you learn about the vacancy?

A: Provide a brief explanation as to how this happened. Did you stumble at it? Was it a determined effort to constantly check the company website for any openings or vacancies? Did you see it in the newspaper? Was it by word of mouth? Answer as honestly as possible, and let the employers know you’re desirous of working for the company.

Q: What values will you bring to the organization?

A: Your response should cover your attitude to work, any examples of where you have demonstrated your integrity in recent times, your commitment and dedication to work, and your teamwork attributes.

Q: What are your strengths? Why should we hire you?

A: This response will be slightly similar to the above response, but you will need to share additional details on how your strengths match the requirements of the job. For example, being good at numeracy would be useful in an accounting role, and this could be further buttressed with your educational qualifications in that area.

Q: What are your weaknesses?

A: Even though this response is supposed to be a weakness, you are to build a positivity around it by downplaying the weakness or sharing information on your process of converting the weakness to a strength. For example, someone who is poor in sales, will not need this to work in a legal department. However, he can take online courses to address this weakness, thereby turning it to a strength in future. This response is still acceptable to the employer because their immediate need does not require any selling skills.

Q: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

A: This response should cover your future goals and prospects of growth in the company. You are hopeful that the company encourages job rotation, to enable you master additional skills, which will also benefit the company. Your future employer also wants to ascertain that you are stable, and can thus invest in training you for the good of the company. In addition, having been trained, you will be expected to train others, who will join the company.

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: You discuss your interests, such as reading, writing, travelling, taking on challenges, etc. This will also help your employers have a better understanding of you, and how these interests can be of benefit to the company. For instance, your writing skills could mean you could be a part of the company’s editorial team if they have a company magazine; or your interest in soccer could grant you a place on the company soccer team.

Q: What is your salary expectation?

A: It is expected that you have a fair knowledge of this, so this question provides you with the opportunity to negotiate your salary to a sum that is deemed fair for the job demands, and mutually agreeable to you and your prospective employer.

Questions to ask the Employer

At some point in the interview, the prospect will ask if he has any questions he would like to ask his future employers. The rule of thumb is for the prospect to ask questions as well because this shows the employer the prospect is genuinely interested in the company. In addition, based on the research done by the prospect, it is expected that he will have some questions he was unable to find answers, so this is a perfect opportunity to get his questions answered. Some of these questions include:

  • What is a typical day in the vacant position like?
  • How many people work in the department/unit?
  • Who will I report to?
  • Are there travel opportunities in the role?
  • What is your annual leave policy?
  • What is the typical promotion cycle?

In conclusion, and as it is often said and written, practice makes perfect; therefore, if the prospect has practised several times, he’ll be confident at the interview, and this will reflect in his responses and body language at the interview.

“Recite: In the name of thy Lord who created man from a clot. Recite: And thy Lord is the Most Generous Who taught by the pen, taught man that which he knew not.” (Quran, 96:1-5)

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing (1 Thessalonians 5: 11)

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