Get off the script!
You heard me right. Get off the script!
Many times when we are called for an interview, it is common for us to search the Internet on how to answer common interview questions such as tell us about yourself; why should we hire you? What are your weaknesses and strength? And all that. Instead of following the typical procedure on how to answer these questions, why don’t you try to get off the script and show them that you are a human and not a robot?
Getting off the script means responding to the interviewers’ questions in ways which were least expected. It also means answering in a way which redirects the question back to the interviewer. Our uncommon intelligently thought answers could make the interviewers critically analyze the questions they had asked. And in this way, we have a chance of being remembered among the large pool of applicants because you did something different from everybody else.
For example when they ask “what are your weaknesses?” Normal applicants may present their actual weakness and make it appear like a weakness. Better applicants will present their weakness and make it appear like a strength which is needed for the said position. Outstanding applicants may deviate from the script and say something like what Liz Ryan, CEO and founder of Human Workplace suggested; “I used to obsess about my weaknesses. I used to think I had a million defects that needed correcting, and I read books and took classes to try to improve on them.
Gradually I learned that it makes no sense for me to work on things that I’m not great at, and it makes no sense for me to think of myself as having weaknesses. These days I focus on getting better at things I’m already good at —graphic design, especially.” See how surprising this answer is?
1. Make the first impression
First impression matters. How we make our first impressions goes a long way to determine how the interviewer or panel of judges are going to perceive who we are. There is never a second time to make the first impression. We make our first impression by how we dress, how we sit (whether we sit straight or lean inwards), whether we can make eye contact and if we are enthusiastic about the job we are applying for. Making eye contact is critical because it shows we are confident and that we have nothing to hide.
We all love to work with people are excited about what they are doing. Anyone can say they are energetic, enthusiastic, hardworking and result oriented and all the other responses along these lines. Don’t tell them, show them by the way you carry yourself around, how you speak and organise your CV is. When you are narrating about your past work experiences, don’t just tell them which company you worked for and what roles you played. Go ahead and highlight your achievements. It brings out how result-oriented you are.
2. Show the interviewers you did your research
Before coming to the interview, it is expected you had done your research about the company you want to join and the role you are applying for. How will you show you did your research to the interviewers? Your findings should appear naturally in the answers you give to the questions they ask. The problem is you are in the dark about the kind of questions they are going to ask. The best way is to make the most out of every opportunity that avails itself. Let them know what you will do once you get the job. That is where the research comes in. Tell them the problem that the company is currently experiencing then show them your approach to solving the problem. They will rarely turn such excellence down.
3. Check your real motives – why do you want the job?
Numerous people are usually caught in the rat race of looking for a job in blue chip companies mainly because of the brand name. It will appear right on their CV. Gone are those days where employers would consider where you worked. Nowadays, they are looking for the value you are going to bring shall they choose to invest in you. It is easy to point out people who are passionate about what they do. They would always go out of their way to make things work. Passion is an attitude. Refrain from applying for a particular job merely because of the significant and essential title. Behind the titles, there are lots of responsibilities. Will you manage? Will you be happy?
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