Be prepared for open questions

“Tell me about yourself.” It’s the inevitable, killer opening question. But it’s going to come, so be prepared for it. And in many ways it’s a great opportunity to share enough of who you are and to find out, by their reaction to your response, if who you are will really fit into their business.

I would suggest you anticipate this question and are prepared for an answer which flows naturally and ends up justifying why you are perfect for the role. Maybe start with your purpose and what motivates you (could be your family or some other driver in your life), bring in examples of skills and achievements that both have a coherence and stand up as evidence supporting their decision to employ you.

So have a structure or a clear narrative that logically links the essence of you to the job. And try it. And try it again.

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Case study

How personal should I be in an interview? The answer to this one is, not surprisingly, personal! I would start with asking yourself, how much of myself am I comfortable in bringing to work if I did get the job? With this in mind, consider if you do want to talk about your family, your hobbies etc. If you do, make them relevant to the role and talk about them in terms of them enabling you to be a success in the workplace. If you are more private, stick to work related topics. Either way, just make sure the real you comes through.

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An open question can be a friend and a foe. They are used as a device to see how interviewees deal with unstructured questions and to see if they talk themselves into dead ends or around in circles. With a little preparation, you will want to be asked them as you can direct the conversation more and give yourself the best chance of success.

 

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