Don't Tell The Interviewer About Yourself, This Is What He Really Wants To Hear

So some graduates are through with NYSC, which means that we have new entrants into the labour market, hence the need to share this post as the search for jobs begins for them.

A job interview does not have to be tense. In fact, you may find yourself with a very friendly panel, who will go all out to make you feel as comfortable as possible.

However, irrespective of the size and manner of the panel you are faced with, what is required of you is confidence and of course, the appropriate answers to every question you are asked. This part is what’s tricky.

So, in this post, we’d be looking at the simple ways to answer 5 tricky questions you are likely to get in your job interview.

1. Tell Me About Yourself.
This question seems very straightforward. Usually, the first you’d be asked in an interview. However, it is tricky because though it sounds like an invitation to tell your life story, it is not.

When asked the ‘tell me about yourself’ question, what the hiring panel is actually asking you is to tell them about yourself, as it pertains to the position you are applying for.

With this in mind, you should not begin to share generic information about yourself, your family or how many siblings you have. Rather, you could start with your name, academic qualifications, present skills and strengths, previous experiences as well as future professional aspirations. You should also feel free to ask the interviewers for clarifications, just in case there are specific information they’d like to hear about.

Take this for instance:

Question: Tell us a bit about yourself.

Wrong Answer: Hmmn, where do I start? My name is Oluwaseun. I was born in the late 80s and currently married with 6 kids. …

Right Answer: My name is Oluwaseun, a second-year master’s student of marketing communications at the Lagos Business School. Prior to pursing this degree, I worked with the marketing and communications department at Shell, where I developed and honed my skills in copywriting and digital marketing. This experience really piqued my interest in this field and I look forward to an opportunity to learn more and contribute to your marketing communications department…

2. Where do you See Yourself in Five Years?

This question is tricky because you might be tempted to say everything you see yourself doing in five years and completely miss the mark. Like the first question, your answer should be much more professional than personal. What the hiring panel really wants to know is if you are going to stick with them and if you are worth the investment of training.

To answer this question, you could tell them how you think the job will provide you with so many opportunities, such that in 5 years, you'd be in a particular position within the organisation. You can also explain what value you hope to have added as well as how you could also have improved yourself professionally in that time.

Take this for instance:

Question: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Wrong Answer: In five years, I’d be a millionaire, enjoying life. I’d have built a house and would probably be the CEO of this company …

Right answer: In five years, I hope to have acquired a lot of knowledge in marketing communications, as well as contributed immensely to the growth of my department and the company. I’m also looking forward to eventually taking on additional managerial responsibilities and possibly taking the lead on some projects…

3. What is your Greatest Weakness?

Like the first two, this question is also very tricky because you might be tempted to give personal, instead of professional answers.
When asked this question, what interviewers actually want to know is if or not you are consciously aware of the areas you could improve on. Your weakness does not have to be present. It could be something that you’ve already worked on, but say it anyway. I’d advise that you think about this question before the interview, so you don’t give a generic answer or be at a loss of what to say.

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