How Can I Answer Experience-Related Questions at my First Job Interview?

Question from the Job Seeker:

 Dear ROZEE.PK, I am a big fan of your blog; as it provides me with great suggestions for my career and professional development. I have recently finished my studies and currently job hunting. Using the tips you have provided I have also made an effectual and up to date resume. However as a newcomer into the job sector, the only thing that worries me; is my lack of experience. Furthermore, I get nervous and doubtful on the prospect of being asked any experience-related or situation based questions, when competently I’m just a novice. Therefore kindly advice me and others like myself that; how can fresh graduates, with no previous work experience, answer tricky questions related to past experiences or problem-solving situations at our first job interviews?

 Imi Malik

 Answer From ROZEE:

 Dear Imi,

 First of all, thank you so much for appreciating our blog and the efforts we put behind it. We hope to continue on playing our role in your career development.

Experience-related or situation based questions are not only tricky and stressful to answer for first timers, but can also prove a hectic ask for most experienced personnel as well. So as to start off with; you can take a sigh of relief since you’re not alone. Every job interview, not matter it being your first or a later one, requires careful planning and preparation before hand. Considering the job description is amongst one of the most important things you need to do while preparing for the interview. Think over questions like; what skills are listed as credentials for the job? Does the company need team players or maybe someone with strong leadership skills? Is it a public dealing job or a back office job?  Once you have a better idea of what is going to be required of you at the workplace, you can not only predict the type of questions that might be asked but also prepare well thought-out answers for them. This will also help to think over past experiences that can be related to; while answering the interviewer.

Now you may be thinking, how can I reflect upon past experiences when I have no job experience at all? Well maybe you don’t have any paid experience, but can you recall a situation where you helped out someone in their work? What about your university project? Or a presentation or speech you made? Or maybe you attended an event as a representative for your college? Or any volunteer or social community work? All these can be related as your past experiences and be used to answer situation-based questions. For example; if you were the cricket team captain at your college, then that probably means you have good leadership skills. Or if you were the lead debater then you would have excellent public speaking skills. Just make sure that you’re realistic and not making up tales while answering. Also focus on making them realize that you’re a quick learner and would appreciate the opportunity if given to you.

Last but not least a few good points to remember for your first job interview are;

  • Don’t be late – this shows your eagerness and excitement
  • Come dressed properly – this shows your professionalism
  • Warmly greet the interviewer, don’t sit until asked to, and thank them sincerely after the interview is concluded – this shows you’re well mannered
  • Answer all questions politely and keep a smiling face – this shows your friendly and positive minded
  • Don’t get nervous, keep your cool and relax – this shows you can handle stress and the job.

Best of Luck

 Rozee Team

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