The year 2020 is supposedly an auspicious year with the promise of many great things to come. And yet at the beginning of the year, our world has been plunged into disarray with the rapid spread of Covid-19 in almost all four corners of the earth.
Virtually everyone is affected by this pandemic – whether it is physically, mentally or financially, we are all left to deal with the ramifications of the measures taken to flatten the curve.
Of the many new normals the entire globe has come up with to adapt to our virus-stricken world, transitioning job interviews online may probably be one of the more favourable new norms for job-seeking talents.
JobRewards have previously shared five simple tips to ace an online interview, as well as five most anticipated pandemic-related interview questions, and today as part of our effort to help our fellow Malaysians to be well-versed in the art of performing the interview dance, we have curated a list of popular interview questions Malaysian employers love to ask.
1. Tell me about yourself
"...a story has to have genuine elements to be memorable, so stay true to yourself and give solid examples..."
The classic job interview question, and yet no less important. Given how easy it is to fall into the trap of quantity over quality, it is imperative to keep in mind not to blindly list attributes, but use it sparingly. Be selective and intentional about the few you have chosen to highlight relevant things from your background that make you most qualified for the job role, and weave them into your own personal career story. Your story should start with your professional background, which is your current job position and career-related activities, moving on to your passion and dreams – the things that matter to you most and drive you forward in your career. Bring in the abilities and skills you have developed, be it people or technical, and weave them together to get a complete tapestry of how you are able to bring value to the company. Remember, a story has to have genuine elements to be memorable, so stay true to yourself and give solid examples of how you have pursued your passion and how it relates to the job role you are currently interested in.
2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hacking deeper into the heart of this question, your interviewers are actually assessing you behind the scenes on whether you are planning to stay with the company long-term, as well as evaluating your ability to plan ahead, your career ambitions and expectations. Instead of revealing your cards right away, set out to describe your career trajectory, of how you have planned to develop an expertise or experience in your field for the next few years, and tie them together with the reasons you are interested in the job role and how it can help you reach your ultimate goal. Give this question some thought before the interview because how you approach it illustrates your maturity and suitability for the job role. Dream big, but make sure you demonstrate how your plans may come into fruition.
Your right career starts here.
3. What are your strengths?
"...remember to relate your strengths back to the role you are interviewing for."
Again, relevance is the key to handle this question like a pro. Be selective about your list, and you only need to give a few powerful examples that are most relevant to the job role you are aiming for that will give you a competitive edge over others. In a nutshell, your interviewers are gauging how your qualities and attributes align with the skills they believe are indispensable to succeed in the job role. So when it is time for you to shine, share with them aspects of your skills and personal attributes that you genuinely enjoy and excel at. Better if you can backup your examples with quantifiable results, and remember to relate your strengths back to the role you are interviewing for. You want to tell your interviewers that you are skilled, passionate and no one else is better aligned with the company’s priorities and goals than you.
4. Why do you want to leave your current job?
There are two facets to consider when answering this question. The first being the need to give your interviewers the confidence that you are genuinely interested in making a job change, and not just trying out. Secondly, even if your current company is not treating you well, it does not reflect well on your professionalism and emotional maturity to bad mouth the company. Instead of focussing on the negative aspects while working in your current company, shift your focus on the future and what you hope to gain in your subsequent job role. Make your answer about your career development and your interest in joining the company because your priorities aligned with each other. Share that while you enjoyed working in your current company, there is a lack of opportunity to develop in the way you would have wanted. End your answer with a short note on why you think the role you are interviewing for allows you to progress in your career.
5. Why should we hire you?
"Go on to emphasize how your priorities and goals align well with the company’s, which make you the most qualified fit for the role."
This question, at first glance, seems intimidating and often catches interviewees off guard. But if we look at it from another perspective, your interviewers are actually giving you a second shot to convince them you are the best candidate out of the crowd! Again, be selective and offer concrete stories of why your skill sets and experience make you uniquely valuable and relevant to the job role. Go on to emphasize how your priorities and goals align well with the company’s, which make you the most qualified fit for the role. Overselling yourself can mar your interviewers’ impression toward you, but when you talk about the things you genuinely care for and are good at, it can never go wrong.
Preparing for a job interview requires a lot of research, reflection and resolution. Nothing in life is handed on a silver platter, and while we put in genuine effort to practice and master the art of acing a job interview, we may end up becoming more aware of our true selves and discover what really matters in our lives that propel us to make a difference. At JobRewards we care, and we are striving to make a difference for all our job-seeking talents.
Let us know if you need any help with interviews.
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