Just because you are a teen does not mean that you will be spared when it comes to interviews. This is why reviewing interview tips before attending any interview for a job consideration is crucial. Preparing for a job interview can be frustrating especially if you do not know what to expect. To ease any tensions, adequate preparations are necessary. Part of this is to go through some of the most commonly asked questions and check out answers candidates often give. This way, you can come up with your personalized responses that work for your situation.
As a fresh graduate in Ghana, life can be difficult if you do not know how to handle interview questions. Inasmuch as you may be qualified for a position academically, you need to prove yourself at the interview table for you to be considered. The fact that you have barely any experience to back up your training means that you need to work extra hard to prove that indeed you deserve the position that is available. These commonly asked interview questions and possible answers will be useful as you prepare. However, before we get to the questions, it is good to know a few things that could give you a head start with the interview.
General interview tips for young people
As a fresh graduate, there are things you ought to know as you prepare for the interview. Apart from the questions to expect and answers to respond with, there are general pointers that can enhance your success. For instance, have you ever asked yourself questions such as, how do I introduce myself in an interview? or have you wondered if your look could influence the decisions of the panel? Check out these suggestions for more insight.
1. Always dress well
You should always remember that the first impression matters. Dress decently and in line with the job you are looking to apply for. The interviewers can dismiss you just because you did not look the part. Do not underdress and neither should you overdress. Find out what would be appropriate for your kind of interview based on the nature of the job.
2. Share personal info moderately
When attending an interview make sure that you only say what needs to be said. This will cover the question, "How do you make a good impression at a job interview?" It is not just about how you dress and groom yourself. That may be the start, but also how you carry yourself throughout the interview is crucial. If possible, stick to professional content and avoid divulging any personal information unless asked to. This may sometimes work against you. Even when asked, make sure to choose your words well in a manner that whatever you say is relevant to the position you are seeking.
3. Do not dwell on what is done
Always have a positive outlook on the interview’s outcome. The last thing you want is to have a low self-esteem just because you keep revising and talking about things you feel you should not have said.
4. Prepare some questions
You will be given a chance to ask the interviewer some questions. Make sure that the questions are insightful. This is one of the easiest ways to confirm your seriousness and interest in the job to the interviewer. Has this question ever crossed your mind as you prepared for the interview? How can I successfully pass an interview? Well, this is one of the simplest and stress-free tricks to use. Come up with intelligent questions that will show you are truly interested in the job.
5. It helps to build a rapport with the interviewer
Do not tense too much when going for an interview. The interviewer is most likely going to be your colleague. Keep an open mind and always start with an icebreaker that will make you less tensed. Take some water that is provided on the table and clear your throat if you have to. Control your breath before answering any question. Your confidence will go a long way.
Understanding teenage job interview questions
The above tips are just to get you started. You need to prepare yourself psychologically when going for an interview. It does not matter if you have attended a hundred other interviews or are just starting out. The pressure to do well is still always very real every time. To tackle this challenge, consider the following tough interview questions and answers that most young people are likely to give.
1. Why would you be looking for a job at your age?
This may sound like a trick question at first but it is not. Be careful how you answer it. While the obvious reason is to make money and sustain a lifestyle, that may not be the best answer in an interview. The potential employer wants to know that you are a person that can have a future with them. Consider saying that you have the necessary skill set and the interest to thrive in the sector. This will show the interviewer that you are more of a long-term person that is interested in growth and that the money comes as a bonus.
2. Why do you choose us? What is your interest in our company?
Of course, every employer wants to know why you feel that they are the best choice for you. This question is an employer’s way of gauging if you have properly researched about them in the industry. Your response should show that you did your research well. Go online and learn about the company’s culture, what the company does and what is actually important to them. With these, you can tackle such a question without straining.
3. How has school prepared you for this field?
This is an excellent question considering that you are just newly graduated. It is an opportunity for you to talk about the skills you have learnt at school. Remember that you are competing with others for the same position. You need to explain why you will stand out if given the chance.
4. Why should you be hired?
This is a question that the employer seeks to use to gauge whether or not you will be worth their time and trouble. Newly hired employees will be taken through a training which will be time and resource consuming. You need to answer this question in such a manner that the employer has no doubt about your interests and future contributions to the organization. If you are a teenager that is interning then you need to express your interest in making contributions to the company’s well being. Make sure you also express your desire to be absorbed into the team once you complete your education.
5. Do you know what it takes to succeed in the position you want?
This question is actually simple. It is not a chance for you to tell them about all your skills. On the contrary, use the information on the job posting to narrow down your answers. You need to focus on the skills that the particular position is looking for. In case you mention extra skills, make sure that they are relevant and useful.
6. Are you able to work well with others?
This is a question that seeks to establish your ability to work as a team member. You need to show the employer using examples, the number of times you have worked with a team successfully. Mention the times you have been in sports if you have. Working on projects that needed a number of people other than yourself is another chance to show that you are a good team player. You can also show your team playing abilities by mentioning that you have volunteered on certain occasions before. Whichever works for you, make sure that you give a true example that can be verified.
7. Tell us what you have accomplished best?
With this question, the employer wants to know about an accomplishment in your life that was very rewarding. Be careful not to brag but point out the areas of accomplishment especially if the skills are related to the job application.
8. What salary do you expect?
When an employer seeks to bring in new personnel, they are aware of the fact that they will need to remunerate him or her. This question is therefore about finding out whether or not your salary expectations are reasonable. In most cases, since you are likely to get in as a junior staff, you will definitely start with entry-level salary. A tip that works for such questions is to stay off specific figures. Use a range that works according to your research. Only quote a specific figure if you are so sure about the amount that is paid for that level.
9. Can you recall a serious problem that you handled recently?
This, in most cases, is a question that seeks to understand your level of resilience and ability to handle pressure not to mention, your problem-solving skills. As an employee, chances are that you will come across a number of issues as you work. You will definitely collide with fellow employees, customers or even the leadership. When answering this questions, use practical examples from where you have been before. You can use a work-related or school-related example. The bottom line, however, is to ensure that your answer shows an ultimate positive resolution.
10. Do you find it difficult to respond to teachers?
At first, if you are not careful, this question will seem off. It is a simple and indirect way of the interviewer finding out how you relate with authority. It is important that you are able to respect leadership in the organization. You need to answer as truthfully as you can. Explain if you had a problem with a teacher before, as long as your outcome will eventually be positive.
READ ALSO: NABCO interview questions and answers
10 best interview questions and answers
Discussed above were different ways you could respond to certain questions. The following are sample questions and actual answers that you should expect whenever you attend an entry-level interview as a fresh graduate. You can consider the answers and model your own responses.
1. Tell me about yourself
This is a question every interviewee gets whenever they attend an interview regardless of their level of experience. Even as you worry about covering questions such as, "How do I greet in an interview?", prepare to be asked about yourself. Avoid being too broad as this would seem vague. Keep off from narrations of your early childhood. The question itself can be confusing since you do not know what to discuss. A tip that works great would be to limit your discussion to talking about work-related issues. Avoid info on your personal life unless it is really necessary, which in most cases, never is. You should practice your answer before. Here is a great answer to consider when asked to talk about yourself.
“Well, I’m currently the accounts executive at PYB, I’m responsible for handling the best performing client. Prior to that, I had been with an agency serving as one of the three different major national healthcare brands. It is true that I really enjoy working with my current company. I would appreciate a chance to dig in much deeper with a specific healthcare company, which explains my excitement about this opportunity with your organization.”
This is just but an example. In the case of a fresh graduate, he or she would answer relevantly but keep it positive all through.
2. How and where did you hear about this position from?
This is also another common question that comes up regularly. Consider this example:
“I found it on [online website/ newspaper/ magazine], and since I’ve been desiring to work for your company for a while now, my excitement came as I saw the available opening.”
3. What do you know about us?
It helps to note that the interviewer knows that you read their mission statement online and have probably crammed it. This question, however, is not about all that. Instead, it seeks to identify whether or not you really love the company.
You should always start your statements with words like, "I believe in…", "I am drawn to your company’s mission because…" A good example would be:
"I believe in making a difference in society. Having learnt about community development in school and watched your impact as a company, I have desired to join your team and make my contributions. I admire that you organize events for the poor and challenged in society. The fact that you work with the youth is something that continues to impress me as well. It would be a great honour to join this noble course."
4. Why would we hire you?
Just like the previous question, the company wants to know if you are truly interested in their vision. You need to show that you are worth investing in. You can answer the question as follows:
"I have always been passionate about making customers happy and putting a smile on the faces of satisfied clients. I believe that your company is doing a great job at this and that I would be an invaluable addition to the team."
5. Can you mention two of your greatest professional strengths?
It is advisable to keep the answer as truthful as possible. Do not lie as the impact will be serious in the future. You can answer as follows:
"I am always happy around people. I believe that leaving open channels of communications can enhance productivity. I love to direct teams and offer insights on how we can achieve success. I believe this is why teams I belong to make me their leader."
6. What would you say is your weakness?
When answering this question, be careful not to seem dejected or appear fair weather. While we are not perfect, you do not want to respond to a potential employer as if you are the worst person on earth. He or she is to looking to find out if there is something that could interfere with the general delivery of services at the company. A good answer would not portray your weakness as a hindrance. A perfect example would be:
"I tend to be very accommodating and focused on completing tasks. I have been told that I overwork since I love an early start and tend to finish very late. I am, however, trying to find a reasonable balance in life."
7. Tell us more about your achievements
This is a question that can determine how fast you are hired. Make a summary of the most impressive achievements and make sure they are time-bound. Here is an example you can model on:
“In the last month, I worked on streamlining the process that saved my team 10 man-hours, thus reducing invoice errors by 25%.”
8. Which direction will your career take in the next five years?
Do not be in a hurry to lie to the employer or swear unending loyalty. He or she understands the reality of job-hopping in search for better opportunities. However, as you answer, you need to show an interest in growth and longevity without necessarily committing to staying with them for 20 years. You can answers as follows:
“Given the chance, I will work diligently, improving myself through skills and study. I want to find myself in a managerial position within the company in 5 years to come.”
9. What other companies are you interviewing with?
This is a question that shows the employer that you are an asset that other companies are waiting to grab if he does not take you. It helps to mention that you are looking at other related companies as well. Here is an example of a perfect response:
“I am also applying for several positions with IT consulting companies where I can get a chance to analyze customer needs then translate them to the development teams that then work on finding solutions to common technical problems.”
10. What work environment works for you?
You need to be specific. You can mention what makes you perform optimally. In some instances, it may be a requirement that you be flexible. A little research would go a long way in answering this question correctly. Here is an example of a good response:
‘I can thrive in basically any environment. However, I best function under quiet and secluded environments where I get to collect my thoughts and transform them into working solutions.’
With the above interview tips, you can be sure that you will tackle any question thrown at you. Learn how to modify the answers to fit the specific question asked. Not all questions will be answered exactly as described above. This article is just to give you an idea of how to handle yourself.
- How to write a proposal in Ghana
- What is curriculum? Definition, importance and writing tips
- How to prepare a CV for students and undergraduates