So what are interview questions really all about?

“What interview questions will they ask?”

That’s usually the first thought from anyone trying to prepare for an interview.

Next comes the attempt to swot up, and rehearse what they think these questions will be. It’s a painful process. You don’t have to do it like that. When you understand how questions work, you will find it much simpler to prepare. And much more effective.

So how do Interview questions work?

The interview process is all about screening. Cutting the numbers down to that one candidate. They have your resume, so they know about you. But of course people don’t hire resumes. They hire people.

Ultimately, there is one question the interview is designed to answer: “Are you the right person for the job?”

To decide, they make judgements about you on 3 things – the core questions.

• Are you capable of doing the job?

Are you technically capable and experienced enough for the challenges of the position?

• Are you able to fit the organisation?

Are you the type of personality who will fit into the team and company culture?

• Are you willing to do the job?

Will you be motivated and perform at your best if given the opportunity?

Questions are designed with great care to assess the competencies for the job and how you measure up. This allows the interviewer to be satisfied they cover the relevant points and measure candidates against the same yardstick.

Interview questions will cover areas from your work history and relevant experience to team working, motivation and ambitions. Now is it really possible for a person to learn so much about you in such a short period of time? Of course not, so they make assumptions about you based on what you say, and how you present yourself. It’s up to you to make sure they make the right assumptions. They are not trying to catch you out

Remember, once you have made it to the interview the employer has marked you out as a candidate who can do the job. Recruitment costs time and money and a lot of responsibility rests on the interviewer’s shoulders.

What the interviewer wants more than anything is to find someone who not only has the skills but fits the organization and has the right personality traits to perform the role. Their life will be a whole lot easier if you can show you are that problem solver, the right candidate. However it may appear, the interviewer is on your side. You want the same thing!

Interview questions are the employer’s tool but think what they can do for you. Each question offers an opportunity for you to present yourself as the right candidate. With the right preparation and understanding you can be ready for anything. If you're looking for a tool to help you, The Ultimate Guide to Interview Answers is just that.

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