How to be great at interviews Interviews: These are needed for progression in just about everything.
I can guarantee you that at some point in your life you will need to attend an interview: And you will need to be great at it. All throughout your life, whether you want a job, promotion within a job, admission to a university, or even if on a date (simlar to an interview, but see my date-specific information) then this handy guide, containing typical interview questions and essential technique, will be invaluable to you. So, to start off...
Interviewers will ask you all sorts of things about your skills, qualities, experiences and outlook. Do you have any idea what the difference between a 'skill' and a 'quality' is? No? That's because they're buzzwords with almost no relevance to the job that you are applying for, and are used as a way of trying to form poor, approximate structures of similarity between two or more subjectively different applicants in order to vaguely compare them to each other. It's a laziness on the part of the employer to be able to bureaucratically assign someone with a 'Managing qualification' to interview you for a job that, as a 'manager', he knows nothing about. So, how can you exploit this general laziness? Easy; BY USING YOUR OWN BUZZWORDS! For example (The buzzwords are in bold to show you how important they are, and stress each bold word as you say it for the correct 'interview-speak'): Q.) What skills do you think you possess? A.) Well, I think I am a good communicator, and from this stems my drive to cooperate with others around me and contribute to the team ethic in a pro-active way. I also believe that I am proficient at analysing and assessing issues that bear relevance to the working environment and implementing my solutions in an efficient way. Oh yeah. That's one sexy answer. You'll have noticed that almost every noun, verb, adjective and adverb in there was a buzzword. In fact, looking at the answer without buzzwords we get: A.) Well, I think I am a good BLANK, and from this BLANKS my BLANK to BLANK with others around me and BLANK to the BLANK BLANK in a BLANK-BLANK way. I also believe that I am BLANK at BLANKING and BLANKING BLANKS that BLANK BLANK to the BLANK BLANK and BLANKING my BLANKS in a BLANK way. Exactly. Let's try another question,and see what sort of answer fits this time: Q.) Do you believe yourself to be a team player? A.) Well, I think I am a good communicator, and from this stems my drive to cooperate with others around me and contribute to the team ethic in a pro-active way. I also believe that I am proficient at analysing and assessing issues that bear relevance to the working environment and implementing my solutions in an efficient way. Exactly. Learn a few buzzy sentences (Or, as in this case, ONE buzzy sentence) and simply roll it off when needed. Outcome: The job is yours, with one provisio:
YOU CANNOT ACTUALLY USE THE SAME ANSWER TWICE IN A REAL INTERVIEW! The above illustration shows that it is possible to use the same Buzz-word-full answer to respond to almost any question, but learn a few such sentences, along with a few of the connecting phrases, in order to ace those interviews every time. "I believe that I can achieve an operational workload while not losing sight of my strategic goals." Translation: "I can do little things without forgetting about the big things." - kind of obvious for any one with more than one brain cell, but interviewers like to hear this kind of over-worked way of saying something obvious. And remember, to manager types everything is a "goal" or "targets" or "in sight" or some crap like that. If you haven't mentioned "goals"at least half a dozen times in the interview then you aren't pro-active enough. "I have a wide skill base, which encompasses aspects of both team interaction and individual goal pursuit." Always stress that you are a team player with initiative. Don't say "I'm a mindless drone who does what he's told. Nothing more or less." and, equivalently, don't say "Team work? Fuck that." What the interviewer wants to hear is that you can work in a team and on your own simultaneously- he wants to know that you have personal synergy. Remember to say... "I strive to use synergy as a method for linking personal goal in the tasks I perform, no matter how varied." And try; "My multi-tasking skills are useful in performing tasks in a regimented and effective way." and remember to "Take things on board." Notice that any of the previous statements answers any of the following questions (Give or take a couple of tweaks in some cases, but you can't expect me to spoon-feed you all of the answers that you'll need.): Q.) Why do you think you are well-suited for this job? Q.) Would you say that your person specification compliments the job specification? Q.) What is your main strength? ... etc, etc, etc... ...Ad nauseum. Essentially, they ask you some half-baked question that actually asks very little about YOU and you make some (equally half-baked) answer up before-hand to fend off the question. And (this is he amazing thing) the interviewer will be impressed at your answer. Mad world... Body language: This doesn't have to be very hard. Sit straight, make eye contact and don't look shifty. Apparently
this is easier said than done for some people, who automatically seem to generate a 'I'm-going-tosteal-the-office-stationery-if-you-leave-me-unsupervised' kind of aura. Remember to smile and gently laugh at any small joke the interviewer makes about the weather/ the interview process/ your choice of clothes/ etc. Unless he disses you, in which case administer a 4pps. Naturally During the interview you should: 1.) Nod along with the interviewer's questions. 2.) Use emphatic hand actions in your answers. 3.) Look really serious about your amazingly fake answers to the interviewer's questions. Troubleshooting: If you get stuck on a question then simply use this phrase: "I believe that my answer to this question links back to what I was saying about my Skills/ Qualities/ Experience. As I said..." then simply repeat a segment of a previous answer about teamwork, independent initiative or "my skill base". Trust me, the interviewer won't even notice. He's looking out for buzzwords, not actual intelligent content in your answer. If you are not naturally great then it could be the case that you will manage to screw up and the interviewer will notice that you are simply memorising phrases. If so, tough for you. You should have spoken with more conviction. However, as a last ditch attempt to rescue yourself you can always try this: "I am sorry that you feel that way, but this is my normal mode of speech and register for interviews. I am trying to convey to you an impression of the skills I possess in this way because I believe it to be an appropriate interview manner." (And try to sound slightly offended) If the interviewer disagrees with you this time then you are REALLY screwed. However, he may say "I see." and write something on a bit of paper. What he has written is "Arrogant cock." and you won't get the job. He may say "Ah, right..." and in THAT case you may get the job. But tone down the buzzwords from then on. Don't mention your Personal Synergy, for instance, or your Evaluative qualities, as the interviewer will definitely realise that you're talking crap. However, If the interviewer says "Admirable, admirable." Then you should insert more buzzwords, as that is what he wants to hear. Use compound buzzwords, such as Personal-Evaluation-synergy and Predictive-Forward-Thinking-Initiative-Quality, if you think you can get away with it. Anyway, the main thing to bear in mind is that buzzwords are the key to this sort of thing, and you can probably get jobs that you are dangerously underqualified for off the back of about half a dozen snappy words. And when you do, congratulations. I'll be expecting 10% of your ludicrously high, undeserved salary. Not that I need it, you understand. I deserve it, though.