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Answer the interview like no one else

Updated: Jul 9

How do you answer HR questions so you increase your chances of success without having to invent anything? Our Career Councilor, Aleksandar Stanković, has practical advice for you "from the other side".

Answer to the question simply


Ironically, it is the hardest for the candidates to answer to the simple questions. Everyone thinks about how to answer as interesting and complex as possible, and in the end they get so confused that they don't even know what the question was. Therefore, answer directly, simply, and don't try to blurt out too much. If the person talking to you wants to ask something else, they will.

For example:

Question: Why did you leave this position?

Answer: There were several factors that led me to do this, the most important being my relationship with my superior and then also the long commuting time. There were also some other reasons, but they were not as important.

Stop right there. Now it's up to other person to ask. He chooses what he wants to hear more about.

When you don't want to answer...


Perhaps the answer to a certain question does not go in your favor. So immediately say that the answer is not easy for you, but that you will try to answer. And then be honest. Reveal the cards and wait for your potentially future colleague to react. It is good to state the facts, briefly explain your role and especially what you "took" from the situation. Definitely don't try to cheat, lie, answer by asking a question, or answer something completely different. Very often, the person on the other side has had several hundred or maybe even thousands of interviewees in front of him and can very easily "read" you. You will lose your integrity and thus your chances of getting a job.


You might think it's good to reveal everything about yourself, but that's not the case.

Don't give away too much information


Some candidates make mistakes when they say everything. In the end, while wishing to be honest, they reveal things about themselves they did not want. But somehow they consider it right. All that needs to happen is that the interviewer does not ask them anything and they immediately feel that they have to talk and talk. But you are actually only harming yourself. You can never know exactly what your interviewer wants to know, so don't try to guess his questions in advance.


In practice, it happened to me that the entire interview was conducted by a lady to whom I didn't even have to ask questions. During the conversation, if I would not ask a question but just change my facial expression, she would immediately speak, because she felt she knew exactly what I wanted to hear.


It is a great benefit to understand that questions are asked with a specific intention. Allow the interviewer to realize his intentions.

Sell the job, not yourself


People often try to sell themselves so hard that they brag about how they did this and that and how good they are. But it works better when you focus on the company you're applying to instead of yourself.


For example:


Question: Why did you apply for this position?


Answer #1 - Self-Focused: Because that's exactly what I was doing. I have managed people in this company and we have solved the exact problems you have, I can also work with your system. I think I could apply what I know within your company.


Answer #2 – Company Focused: Because I like what your company does, its reputation and how it presents itself. I can relate to your product and I especially like (XYZ). I can imagine applying my managerial and business skills with you.


The best way to prepare for the different types of interviews you will participate in during your career is through continuous practice. At Valoris.org, we will ensure that your interview answers are unique and suitable.


Avoid sarcasm


Sometimes candidates try to be funny and actually shoot down the personnel officer's question with a sarcastic remark. Some joke to give themselves time to think. Such things are not positive. Conversely, it shows an inability to process information in a positive light or to take things personally, even if it's just a joke. Sarcasm is actually a mild form of violence (because it's always at someone's expense), so avoid it.

Be positive and admit a mistake


Try to make your answers positive. If some situation went wrong, what did you get out of it? What did you learn during that difficult period? What did you realize about an unsatisfactory previous job?


Everything you say should result in a positive outcome - that you've learned something. Every employer will appreciate that. And thanks to this principle, you don't even have to be afraid to admit during an interview that you've ever made a mistake.

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