Tips for new job seekers: Interview preparation part 1

Think about these criteria. What's involved? Why is this a job issue? In this kind of job, what does 'problem solving' mean, in practical terms?
  • Each of the skills, in relation to each of the criteria. How do you communicate when solving a problem, for example? Skills and criteria are inextricably linked, and you have to demonstrate you meet both requirements with each answer.
  • Motivations and logic. Some questions are more about 'why' than 'how', and you're trying to present your career motives clearly to employers. A question like 'Why do you want this job?' needs a good, logical answer. Keep the answers simple and structured, so your logic makes sense.
  • Relevance and practical values in the job are the real issues with all interview questions, on any level. It is quite possible to give an answer which has almost nothing in common with the requirements of the job. That's not where you want to be.

    Important note: If you're not sure what a question means, ask for clarification. Don't try and bluff your way through, because it won't work.

    The problem for interviewees is that the exact meaning of the questions isn't always obvious. You have to respond to what might seem to be a cryptic question with a very clear answer. If the question is something like 'What do you consider success in this field?', use straightforward analogies and examples.

    Basic guideline:

    Simpler is always better. You can extrapolate on a simple answer, but you have to explain a complex one. Interviewers aren't interpreters. The clearer you are, the better you'll do.