Six Interview Answers You Need to Get Hired
March 23, 2010
During the typical job interview, you’ll be asked a lot of questions. But do you really understand what the interviewer needs to know?
“Most students have no idea why a recruiter asks a particular question,” says Brad Karsh, a former recruiting professional for advertising giant Leo Burnett and current president of career consulting firm Job Bound. “They tend to think it’s a competition to outwit the interviewer.”
The reality is that employers have neither the time nor inclination to play games with you, especially when hiring. Your interviewer is not trying to outguess you — he’s trying to assess your answers to six key questions:
Do You Have the Skills to Do the Job?
According to Karsh, the employer must first determine whether you have the necessary hard skills for the position, e.g., the programming knowledge for a database administration job or the writing chops to be a newspaper reporter. “By really probing into what the candidate has done in the past, an interviewer can tap into hard skills.”
But the interviewer is also looking for key soft skills you’ll need to succeed in the job and organization, such as the ability to work well on teams or “the requisite common sense to figure things out with some basic training,” says Terese Corey Blanck, director of student development at internship company Student Experience and a partner in College to Career, a consulting firm.
Do You Fit?
“Every organization’s first thought is about fit and potentially fit in a certain department,” Corey Blanck says. That means the interviewer is trying to pinpoint not only whether you match up well with both the company’s and department’s activities but also whether you’ll complement the talents of your potential coworkers.