An Interview Tip from an Undercover Interviewer

6th February 2014

We came across an interesting article from LinkedIn recently, which looked at an undercover interviewer’s top tip to answering questions whilst attending an interview. Below, we have summarised accordingly.

Some of the advice that is given to interviewers can also apply to those that are preparing for job interviews; although the main tip is not to simply “answer” questions, you must add insight and a narrative to your answers in order to impress an interviewer.

It’s important that you draw an interviewer’s attention early in the interview by creating a consistent and intelligible base that you can work from during the interview. Here’s an example:

An individual specialising in photography who has an interest in digital media and sales should prepare for questions such as “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” by planning an answer that involves and expresses their passion for media and photography.

It’s wise that you finish a question with something that will not damage your chances but will interest the interviewer such as stating that you are not specifically trained in the technical side of this role. By utilising an answer such as this that covers both your strengths and inexperience you can create a powerful answer.

However it’s advised that you elaborate further by discussing the strength that you have mentioned previously and giving examples as to when you have used your hobby or skills to your advantage.

Another way of interesting the interviewer and controlling the direction of the interview is to occasionally answer questions with a question of your own without sounding commanding or domineering. An example of this would be if your interviewer asked “Talk to me about your career”; you will have to answer this question but first you could answer with a statement such as “Of course, but before I do so can I discuss with you what I believe to be important to both you and your company?”. This is an appropriate question and would indicate that you have researched both the job position and the company thoroughly.

To ensure that an interview is successful you must understand what it is that the interviewer would like to see or hear; ensure that each of your answers is relevant to both the question and to what the company would deem to be important.

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