I graduated last April 4 with a degree of banking and finance. Could you please give me ideas on how to answer and pass an interview? Interviewers often ask me to describe myself. They also ask, ‘Why do you want to join this bank?’ Please help me so I can be able to get a job as soon as possible. Thank you. – Interviewee
When interviewers ask jobseekers to describe themselves, it may seem like a simple task to do. However, many job applicants find it hard to do so. This is not surprising because you would have to know yourself pretty well to be able to describe in an instant the “essential you.” In most cases, knowing yourself is a life long task. There are few people who can claim that he/she knows himself/herself a hundred percent. Therefore, the first thing you must do to be able to confidently answer the interviewer when she asks you to in effect “bare your soul” is to go through a process of honest self-assessment.
Try using the 360-degree feedback mechanism often used in performance appraisal. This refers to feedback coming from people who are your superiors, your friends and colleagues, and your subordinates. Since you are not yet in a work environment, you can apply this mechanism by asking your parents, your friends and schoolmates, and your younger siblings or nieces and nephews what they think about you. Be prepared to get both positive and negative feedback. Then, compare their feedback with what you know of yourself and see whether the feedback feels true or not.
Another way of knowing yourself is by taking personality assessment (PA) tests. If you have a psychologist friend, you can ask her to administer one and interpret the results for you. There are also many available for free in the Internet (just make sure these aren’t the fun quizzes masquerading as valid personality tests).
A PA can help you know yourself by describing your strengths, weaknesses, motivational factors and demotivational factors. Knowing these things can help you improve yourself as a person. You can also work with your strengths and build them to your advantage. The good thing is, once you’ve found a good free PA test in the Internet, you can ask your friends and family to take them too. It can strengthen open communication with you and others and help build good relationships.
A personality test can also indicate what job is suited to your personality. Certain personalities are suited to specific jobs based on the nature of work required by the job. A personality test can help you determine whether or not a job fits in with your basic personality. Is the environment one that will encourage you to work and motivate you to produce your best? Will it allow you to use your personal skills to the utmost?
Once you have a fair assessment of yourself, how do you now answer the interviewer? To be more comfortable with your answer, try writing one or two paragraphs about yourself highlighting your strengths. You can also include your obvious weakness but make sure to say what steps you are taking to improve yourself.
The second question as to why you want to join a company is easier to answer. Answer from the perspective of career, financial and personal growth. Emphasize also the good attributes of the company that made you want to apply with them. These are the usual reasons for working in any company. Bear in mind though that every company has its own share of challenges and that they seek employees who can help them address these challenges.
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