Cracking the Job Interviews – The Last Mile
Every candidate faces at least a couple of these questions either directly or in a round-about way. We have covered two such questions in this column last week.
Whether you are a fresher or someone with significant work-experience, some questions in the interview are common. Every candidate faces at least a couple of these questions either directly or in a round-about way. We have covered two such questions in this column last week. This week, let’s take up two more questions – What are your career goals and Why should we select you?
When we discuss career goals, we discuss them under three different time frames – short term, medium term and long term. Short term goals are typically for the next 2-3 years. Medium term goals extend up to ten years. Long term goals span entire career.
There is no correct or wrong answer to questions like these. However, there are answers which are more correct than others and there are responses which tell the company that you might not be a suitable candidate for the job. A well thought out answer allows candidates to share their vision and leave a very favorable impression on the interviewer. Here are a few points that you should keep in mind when answering such questions.
Firstly, you need to tell the company that you want to take up the job that you are interviewing for. This is not as trivial as it sounds – sometimes, a student might not communicate their intent enough. A company doesn’t want to select candidates who aren’t interested in the role being offered. Secondly, showcasing your understanding of the growth opportunities that are possible when you do well in that role will reiterate to the interviewer your interest in the job and career. Lastly, the goals should be realistic. While it is good to be ambitious, giving a response that is impractical shows a lack of awareness.
In today’s corporate world, the nature of job as well as the skills need to perform is changing very rapidly. A candidate should exhibit a willingness to learn and adapt to emerging needs. This learning might not always be at the expense of the company. So, it is important to highlight an ability to learn things on your own and a desire to continue to do it.
Many entry-level employees might have a plan for higher education. If a company invests a significant amount on training you and you leave the company soon after, it will be a loss for the company. Companies look for candidates who are willing to apply the knowledge and help the company grow. However, most corporates encourage their employees to continuously update the skills themselves while working and sometimes even sponsor your higher education.
When discussing longer term goals, you should look at the larger picture in terms of the impact you would like to have on yourself, the company, your family and even your surroundings.
Why should I select YOU and not others?
When an interviewer questions you on why you should be selected, they would like to know what you are willing to do for the company. A response to this isn’t about why you want the job or why you like the company. The response should communicate why it is beneficial for the company to select someone like you.
The first thing that you need to communicate is your skillset and how can you apply it for company’s growth. Be sure to mention your abilities to update your skills as needed. The second aspect to communicate is your work ethic and your willingness to contribute to the company – as an individual, as a team player and as a leader.
Most candidates mention very similar points to these questions. However, you can differentiate yourself by substantiating these answers with proofs – examples of scenarios where you have done this in the past.
The job of the interviewer is to identify the candidates who are most suitable for the job. It is not enough for you to be good at academics or extra-curricular activities or technical skills. It is important to communicate the relevance of all of these to the job being offered. You need to convince them that you can do the job well and that you will excel in it. Once you can convince the interviewer on this aspect, it is easy to get selected.
At the end of the day – in an interview – it is not about what you say alone – it is also about how you say it. These are questions which are often asked in interviews and given that you can anticipate them in advance – you should think of your answers before you step in to the interview room. A round of preparation can do wonders to your confidence and thereby to your success in the interview.
In the next post in this series, we will explore a few more aspects of the Personal Interview. We wish you all the very best in your upcoming interviews.
This article - authored by Mr Aditya Lanka, was originally published in Telangana Today on 12th March 2018.