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Whether you’ve recently graduated from university, are about to soon or have been in industry for a while but are changing career focus, it’s important to give yourself the best chance of success of landing your dream job.
While one of the first steps is putting together an excellent resume and cover letter for job applications, you also need to think beyond this to the interview process. Many mental health workers, unfortunately, put barriers in their own way by not preparing enough for their meeting with recruiters and employers.
Whether you’ve recently graduated from university, are about to soon or have been in industry for a while but are changing career focus, it’s important to give yourself the best chance of success of landing your dream job.Tweet This
To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, it’s necessary to practice answering common interview questions in advance. Read on for some of the key ones to wrap your head around today.
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What Should We Know About You?
Many interviewers will ask job candidates to talk about themselves a bit, in a “What should we know about you?” way. While this sounds nice and simple, the reality is that many people tend to flounder trying to answer the query because it’s so open-ended.
When it comes to what to respond with here, think about areas such as your skills, experience and background. Practice answering this question in advance, so you can do it succinctly on the day and don’t end up waffling on for too long.
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Keep in mind that you need to sell yourself to the interviewers through your answer, so don’t try to be too humble or answer with just a few words. Instead, use the opportunity to talk about any key points you think will help you stand out from the crowd and make you memorable.
“You would be surprised how many people make simple but fatal mistakes during a interview. If you can’t successfully make it through an interview, you have no chance of getting the job. This is like a “take at home tests”, you can (and should) have whatever materials you need right in front of you – there are no excuses.” – 8 Things That Differentiate You From Other Candidates
It helps to cover things such as what you learned on past jobs and how this would help you in the role you’re going for and your education and training. For example, you might mention that you found your online Master of Social Work admissions process to be illuminating because it required you to write about a pressing social problem and how you think it could be addressed, something which this job will now enable you to tackle.
Alternatively, mention specific computer programs you’ve become adept at; particular personal skills you have which make you qualified for the role; or how you would fit in well with the corporate culture at the organization you want to join. Many people forget about this side of things — but interviewers aren’t just looking for someone who is qualified and experienced but someone who will get along well with the whole team and become a valued member of it.
Why This Job?
Another common interview question you’ll no doubt get asked is “Why this job?” Interviewers want to know why you chose to apply for the role they have available over other types of positions currently available — or at least why you particularly want this job out of all the ones you’re going for.
When people ask about your reasons for applying, they’re usually trying to determine if you actually want the job and are passionate about it, or if you’re applying for any old opportunity that comes up. In your answer, they’re also hoping to get an idea about whether or not you’ll be a good fit for both the role and their team. They want to know, too, whether you’ve bothered to do any research and if you’re actually clear about what the job will entail and therefore whether you will be able to handle it or not.
While it’s fine to talk about why you’re interested in the kind of work the job involves, note that it is particularly helpful if you direct your answer to the specific organization at hand and why it is you want to work there. For example, talk about the focus or mission and how it gels well with your personal beliefs, or mention the organization’s top facilities, the particular methods they use, the current or previous staff members who recommended the firm to you or some other factor that drew you in.
How Do You Think Others Describe You?
Another slightly curly question that may get thrown at you is: “How do you think others describe you?” Interviewers put this query in the mix because it enables them to evaluate more about you and the kind of person you are, as well as how you see yourself and how self-aware you are. They may also be trying to determine how you might contribute to the organization’s overall outlook and level of morale, too.
When you answer this kind of question be honest but also targeted and mention things relevant to the role and to the company. For example, mention that your peers would talk about you as caring, empathetic, flexible, a good communicator, well-organized, considerate, passionate etc.