Job Interview Survival Guide

Before attending job interviews, you should have an idea of the kind of questions interviewers have ready for you. It’s important to remember that no matter how challenging the question is, there is always an appropriate answer for it.
Shiffa Aziz

You can never be too prepared when it comes to interviews. After all, the sheer number of possible questions you could face are endless. But don’t let that intimidate you into avoiding interviews altogether. Take it as a challenge! No one said entering the workforce would be easy. Here are a list of interview questions which could potentially stop you in your tracks 

Tell me about yourself  

‘What? How can I possibly summarise myself in just a few sentences?’ you ask.  For starters, it’s possible if you know what to say. You need to tell them aspects about yourself which show them that you are the right person for the job. Don’t regurgitate your résumé, instead tell them about your personality, past experiences, and future goals.  Also, refrain from generic statements like ‘I like long walks on the beach…’. Remember, this is your chance to make a good first impression on the interviewer for the job that you’re applying for.  

What is your greatest weakness?  

You might be hesitating to answer this honestly because you don’t want to reveal compromising information about yourself. However, know that the interviewers would appreciate your truthfulness rather than your claims to not possess any weaknesses. After all, no one is flawless. The best way to follow up your answer is by telling them the measures you have taken or are taking to combat your weakness. This is a subtle way of informing interviewers that you are capable of overcoming your weaknesses.  

Where do you see yourself in five years?  

For this question, you need to be familiar with the career path you are on. Is it possible for you to move on to a higher position? Is there any room for career growth? Be ambitious but also realistic. For instance, you can’t expect to be a member of parliament in just five years or less, unless you’re P. Prabakaran or Syed Saddiq. In any case, you have to be confident whilst answering this question, otherwise the interviewer may question your commitment to this job. 

Why should we hire YOU? 

Interviewers are inadvertently asking, ‘Why should we hire you instead of anyone else?’ through this question. The idea here is to distinguish yourself from the competition by selling yourself as the best candidate for the position. Carefully align your strengths to the requirements of the job and narrate them in an engaging manner. A summary of what you should say is – I have the necessary skills you are looking for and I can prove it by telling you how I solved a problem I encountered by using said skills.  

What do you know about our company? 

Mark my words, this is definitely a question you do NOT want to be underprepared for. There is no way you can smooth-talk your way out of this one if you neglected to do your research. Make sure you are wellversed in the company’s history, their business and services, and their products. Avoid controversial topics or negative issues which involve the organisation. Your main source of information would very much likely stem from the company’s main website and social networks. 

How do you handle pressure? 

This question is usually asked by interviewers because they want to gauge how well you react in stressful situations. Like it or not, you will face these kinds of situations in the workplace, be it regarding co-workers, bosses, or in some cases, clients. Describe an experience where you had to deal with pressure, whilst describing the steps you took to counter it. Make sure the outcome of that experience was a positive one, so the interviewer will see that you have a sure-fire way in dealing with such problems.