In light of the decelerating Malaysian economy, the job market is very competitive for job seekers. They would want to show interviewers that they are the talent the company is looking for. But to do this, they have to get past the deceptively tricky job interview questions.
Here are three of the most common job interview questions that you might be getting wrong. They are commonly asked even if you are a new hire looking for a first job or a veteran looking for more growth opportunities.
- Tell me something about yourself. When asked this question, most job seekers try to recite what is already written on their resume. This is not what interviewers are looking for. Instead, be ready with a short summary of your life and career. Keep your story related to the job you are applying for. If you are applying for engineering jobs, for example, it makes little sense to talk about your experiences in a conservatory you attended.
Interviewers want to see how coherent you can be, so keep everything short and sweet. They are also assessing your confidence levels, so look them in the eye as you speak. They have to see what kind of person you are outside your resume.
- Why did you choose this company? Many start off by reciting the merits of the company, which they have probable researched from the website. But the most important point here is knowing how the company’s culture works. What market does it serve? What do the employees have to say about it? You have to be able to relate to these two points to give a convincing answer.
Also, don’t simply say “I like the salary/benefits” or “I was referred by a friend”. Remember that the company wants to know what they can get from hiring you. You have to show them that you like the way they do things, and you want to contribute to that.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses? This is a classic trap. You have to tell them the truth, but not the complete truth if it hurts your reputation. For example, saying that you tend to lose interest in a job after a few years isn’t going to make you look good. Same goes with admitting you are bad at organization and punctuality. In the same vein, extolling your virtues is also a no-no.
Instead, focus on how you take responsibility for your actions all the time. You could frame your weakness in such a way that you own up to it. For example, instead of saying “I am weak at organization”, you can say that “I tend to rely on my tools/apps to stay organized throughout the day”. This admits your weakness, but frames it in such a way that you are doing something about it.
As for strengths, focus on your abilities that help get the job done. If you are a professional seeking an engineering post, for example, focus on your problem-solving skills and your knack for precision.
Job hunting can be daunting, especially when pitted against many other professionals. But with the right know-how, you can ace any job interview. Simply keep an alert mind, and remember the tips you learned here.