May‘s Article

Job Interviews:
The key to your success… or not
A job interview is one of the final steps to select a candidate for a specific type of career. It is during this
phase that the employer can evaluate your abilities, not only the ones related to your professionalism for
a certain job, but also the knowledge and competencies that define who you are. Your answers will either
help you to conquer that dream job that you’ve always wished for...or ruin your chances of getting it.
Job interviews are used worldwide and it is not by chance that the employer makes use of them to select
the perfect candidate for the job. These interviews are very versatile and are the best way to personally
know all the candidates.
During an interview you can expose all your life and show the employer everything that you haven’t
spoken about in your résumé or in your cover letter. With them, the employers can read between lines or
verify the accuracy of the facts that you previously claimed.
However, an interview is not just about the time you spend in a room with the employers. There is a set
of attitudes and choices that can help you or trip you up during the recruitment process. You should focus
on things you usually may not pay attention to, like the way you talk, your punctuality (or lack of it), the
way you greet someone and how you present yourself. You must be conscious that you should arrive at
an interview looking as professional as you can for the type of job you are applying to in order to give a
good impression.
It’s also important to arrive at an interview with an open mind and a humble posture, knowing that you
can be interrogated about any kind which the employers find opportunistic. You must be the best
candidate and not just “one more”. Some of the possible tricky questions which you might be questioned
about can be resumed to the following topics:

i.

The nature of the employer company: You must know the company’s business structure and
history. You won’t ever find your dream job in a company for which you don’t know the
background.
E.g.: “In which year was our company created?”

ii.

Situations faced in your past: It is in this context that the employers can interrogate you
about some actions you have taken in some situation that occurred in the past. These kind of
questions can be focused on different situations, like the ones you faced during your
professional life, your academic choices or even the decisions you have taken during the
recruitment process.
E.g.: “Why have you chosen to make in Master in the Faculdade de Economia do Porto?”

iii.

Simulations: In this situation, the employer can ask you to play a role during the interview.
E.g.: “Imagine that I’m a potential buyer. Convince me to leave here with the product.”

iv.

Hypothetical scenario: The employer can ask you about one-off situations or situations that
won’t happen in the job you are applying for.
E.g.: “How would you react if a colleague of yours would be fired when he was a valued
colleague?”

v.

Question without correct or wrong answer: The objective of this type of question is for the
employer to know your principles and values.
E.g.: “What is, for you, the most important thing in life?”

vi.

Illustrative: Sometimes, you can be asking about something that could seam not adequate
for that kind of interview. This kind of questions has, as it only purpose, to make the
employer know more of you as a person.
E.g.: “If you were an animal, which one would you be?”

vii.

Domino: In this scope, you will be taken to answer to some sequential questions.
E.g.: Why are you applying for this job? Why this company? Why didn’t you choose another
company? Which are the advantages of this company that others don’t have?”

viii.

Technical knowledge: You can be questioned about your abilities to execute some
operations within the company where you’re applying for. You can be also questioned about
your language skills, in fact the interview can be done in other language.
E.g.: “If we hired you, which methods would you put in practice with this budget?”

ix.

Self-evaluation: It’s important that you are able to evaluate yourself. Naturally, you know
more about you than anyone else so you should be able to build a type of SWOT analysis of
yourself.

E.g.: “What makes you better than the other the candidates?”

However, the most crucial part of interviewing is convincing the hiring manager that you truly desire the
job. Interviewers don’t just look for applicants who have the requisite skills and will fit in with a company.
Now more than ever, they want candidates who want them.
Besides that, you must always emphasize your distinctive qualities and show how helpful you could be in
the company.
But most important of all, never forget to be yourself! If you want that job, fight hard for it because the
best weapon for conquer it is being sincere and truthful

Fep Finance Club,
June 2012

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