People typically try to prepare good answers to common interview questions, thinking about what they will say on a big day, when hiring managers ask them this or that question. And it definitely makes sense to try and prepare a short answer to each question, or at least write down a few crucial areas you will talk about, when they inquire about your education, goals, motivation, strengths, and so on.
However, there is something else you should thing about, at least if you want to make sure that all your efforts to prepare for your interview won’t end up in vain. And that is how to actually answer the questions–not only what you want to say, but the impression you want to make, emotions you want to show, connection you try to make. We will look at these things in this short write-up, and hopefully at the end of it you will know how to make the right impression on the hiring managers, and how to win their heats, so once they are summarizing the day and deciding who will get the job, they will vouch for you.
Answer their questions with enthusiasm in your voice
It is nice talking about your career goals, or the impact you want to have in this or that job. But in order to make sure that such aren’t just empty words, something you prepared for the interviews, but do not really believe into it, interviewers have to hear enthusiasm in your voice.
They should get an impression that you’ve been eagerly anticipating this meeting, that this is a big day for you, because you really and honestly want to get the job with then. Hence you should be (at least somehow) pumped for the opportunity.
Today is the day with capital D, and you are happy to interview for a job with them. That’s the impression you should leave in the room, and enthusiasm in your voice will help you to evoke it.
Simple is the best – keep it simple
Some people try to impress the interviewers with long compounds and various technicalities, showing of their expertise in this or that field. Surely, it is cool to show your knowledge of terminology, but remember that anyone can interview you–an HR generalist, a supervisor, a manager, CEO, or even an external recruiter.
Some of these people may not even understand your professional jargon (or at least they’d need to strain their mental capacities to understand your words). And once they start to mentally strain their capacities, they will feel uncomfortable in the interview with you.
This definitely isn’t a way to go. If the hiring managers do not understand you, they will lose their focus, they won’t feel good with you in an interview, and they will send you home. Without a new employment agreement.
Speak in a simple way. Use short sentences. Talk to the point. Keep their attention. Show them that you have nothing to hide, and that your future colleagues will understand you–even if you apply for a technical position. Sure, if they give you a technical question, or if you are talking to another technician, another expert in your field, you can go on with professional jargon and technical terms. But if you talk to an ordinary Joe from HR, you have to keep it simple if you want to succeed..
Think also about the company, not only about you
Try to think about each question in the following way: How can I answer it to show them the value I can bring to their team, the skills and abilities I can bring onboard? How can I relate to their goals, dreams, and vision with my words?
Each employment contract is a business transaction. They will give you something–a fair pay for your time, the eight (or ten, or twelve) hours you will spend in the office each day, but they also want to get something back. Keep it on your mind when answering any interview question, and especially when talking about your goals and expectations. Sure, you want this or that benefit, you hope to earn a certain sum of money each month. But you also want to achieve something for your employer–helping them to improve their profits, the level of customer satisfaction, and so on…
Honesty and humility will take you a long way in the interviews
The truth has one advantage–you do not have to remember what you said earlier. Although the temptation to lie is strong in the interviews (especially when we talk about a sensitive issue, such as why we left our last job, or what our weaknesses are, or what we think about our former boss), try to avoid talking lies.
Recruiters love honest job candidates. What is more, an experienced interviewer can easily spot a lie. The way you your eyes move, the time it takes you to start answering the question, the way you react to follow-up questions–all of that helps them to see whether you are telling the truth or making things up.
On the top of that, they may purposely repeat the same question in different rounds of interviews. If you say A in the first interview and B in the second one, they will immediately doubt the credibility of your answers, and once they doubt your credibility it is basically an end to your chances in the interview…
Final thoughts, both HOW and WHAT matters
Scientists say that our verbal communication forms just 15% of the message we send over. Eighty five percent remains for nonverbal communication–the way we look, talk, shake hands, gesticulate, and so on. Mastering the interviews starts with mastering your own mind, and showing the right emotions in the interview.
Once you are ready to do that, you should move to the second part of the equation–the interview answers. Because knowing HOW to talk in an interview will do you little good unless you know WHAT you want to say. Remaining silent is not a way to win a new job…
If you generally struggle in the interviews, or experience anxiety, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to basically any question you may face in a job interview (over 100 questions) will help you streamline your preparation for the big day, outclass your competitors, and eventually get the job. Thank you for checking it out, and I wish you best of luck in your interviews!
May also interest you:
- Interview questions for different jobs – Choose your job title from our list (8 main categories and more than 250 job titles), and prepare for the questions you will face in the interview.
- Salary negotiation tips – Learn how to negotiate a better salary in an interview, and get what you deserve.