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How to Turn Interviews Questions To YOUR Advantage?

How to Turn Interviews Questions To YOUR Advantage? - By Ahmed Haouaria

13 Juil 2019

How to Turn Interviews Questions To YOUR Advantage?

By Ahmed Haouaria 

What this article about? 

At this time of the year when airlines are fully engaged in Cabin Crew recruitment and selection processes, I devote this article to all students whose dream is to become world class airlines Cabin Crew with the hope to help them better understand the recruitment requirements to go across the recruitment journey.

The article is also intended to help efficiently prepare the material resources needed to go through the process to make it as smooth as possible.

Regardless of the position you are applying for in airlines or others businesses sectors there are a certain number of question that are most likely to be asked during the final interview.

The biggest mistake you can make is to neglect preparation. Job interviews require high quality preparation and practice phase. At the opposite, when you put valuable effort in the matter you are much more likely to get the job you search. 

While there is no “best”, “standard”, way to handle interview preparation, there are steps that need to be taken to boost your chances of success. This may take time, but remember that every interview is a learning experience, and your interview preparation work lays an important base for all interviews yet to come.

Have you ever asked yourself the question: “Could I turn interviewer’s questions to my advantage during the process to make them my ally? “

The answer is definitely: YES

Here’s a checklist of interview preparation items to consider:


1. Prepare to speak about yourself 


Basically used by recruiters as an icebreaker to get you chatting ‘’Speak about yourself’’

is often the first thing they will ask you once you sit down. This means that your answer will set the tone for the whole interview, so it’s really important that you get it right.

Many job candidates panic in the face of this question and go robotically through their CV. This question is, in fact, a fantastic opportunity to show your interviewers exactly how you’re the perfect candidate fit for the job and to build a bit of rapport with them at the same time.

As you know that this question is likely to come up your interviewer will expect you to have thought about it. You really have no excuse to succumb to improvisation skills temptation. Preparation is then key, as with most interview questions. -

Were you promoted? Great. That’s worth mentioning. Under which circumstances did this happen?

Did you achieve some outstanding results? Tell about them, Quantify them.

Have you worked with a great mentor and learn a lot? Tell about your learning process and how grateful you are for your mentor’s support. 

Did you build new skills during your professional career? Get precise about them.Give facts.

2. Focus on work-related accomplishments

During the recruitment interviews one of the major concern will be your work-related accomplishments, education, training, and experience. Sharing some of your professional goals is also fair game.

Use storytelling to wow hiring team. Recruiters are humans and like all humans they enjoy stories. Stories communicate emotions via a mechanism called a “mirror neuron”.

For Marco Lacoboni, a neuroscientist at the University of California at Los Angeles, known for his work on “mirror neuron” what makes these cells so interesting is that they are activated both when we perform a certain action, such as smiling when telling a story or reaching for a cup and when we observe someone else performing that same action. 

In other words, the emotion you feel while you tell your own genuine story, resonates in the listener’s right hemisphere, making them feel that same emotion. Stories are an opportunity to get in touch with your audience and create a kind of emotional rapport with the interviewer.

A story narrows the distances, puts the storyteller and the listener nearly in the same place.

To put it briefly, if you tell the right sincere story at the right time, interviewers will most likely just feel good about you, regardless of the number of candidates they interview and make you stand out from the competition. 

Be aware recruiters are likely to evaluate candidates by using a technique called Competency based interviewing technique, also known as ‘’behavioral interviewing’’.

This will require you to put emphasis on past experience and define examples of cases in which you demonstrate your competence in specific areas. For optimum success, most effective way of answering these questions is to use the “STAR” technique taking into consideration: 

Situation:Give an example of a situation you were directly involved in that resulted in a positive outcome.

Task:Describe what tasks you were responsible for in that situation.

Action:Discuss the steps you followed and the actions you performed to complete the situation’s task.

Result:End your answer by discussing the performance you were able to achieve thanks to your actions.

3. Don’t go too much into persona details 

Even with a good preparation with the objective to have the best possible answers for every interview questions, you may not have considered WHAT NOT TO SAY in your job interview, and this is just as crucial as WHAT TO SAY. 

Have a look through a list of personal details you shouldn’t share in a job interview, and think how you might address these topics if ever they come up.  

In most situations, you’ll want to prevent sensitive too personal topics. These tend to raise red flags or fuel emotional debates that are best to avoid. Once again recruiters are human and whether we like it or not, human have prejudices. So, better to narrow the field to avoid being judged or lose a position because someone is concerned about your personal beliefs.

Sensitive too personal topics may include:

  • Your religious opinions
  • Your political views
  • Your ‘’unbalanced relationships’’
  • Your financial problems
  • Your previous Illness or Injury
  • Your Family plans marriage and or children projects
  • How you left your last job

4. Check the job requirements

When preparing for an interview, most candidates will randomly focus on questions they think the employer will ask. This is a quite good approach but could be reinforced with preparing answers to questions based on the details included in the job description.

A well-structured job description will generally present the basic required skills and abilities the employer is looking for or even, sometimes, struggling to get. The ideal candidate will the one able to understand and therefore develop potential solutions to the needed competencies to quickly make them serve the company.

  • Your studies, previous work and volunteer work are rich sources to use.
  • Identify facts from your past that will demonstrate you possess the characteristics and competencies the employer is looking for referring to job description.
  • Create a list of tangibles easily verified performances from your previous school, jobs, and volunteer work that correspond to soft skills referring to job description.

Cabin Crew job description always includes “customer service oriented” the airline would basically want structured stores as bellow: 

  • when you had to jump in to solve a problem, without a manager's guidance.
  • when you had to interact with a difficult client.
  • what you learned from a mistake.
  • when you had to act in a leadership capacity with new colleagues.
  • When, dealing with a specific client, you saved your employer money or made them money.
  • when you developed a new or improved customer services complaints process at work.
  • When you managed to turn a customer complaints to a good opportunity for the company business

5. Show natural confidence

Remember who you are is the message to the world. A key element is to dismiss any critical thoughts that stand in your way. You are here to successfully market yourself. Of course, you worry about appearing arrogant but the interviewers do not automatically know what you have to offer, it’s your job to let them know. 

Believing in yourself being successful at an imminent job interview will give a boost to your confidence.  you believe you are a valuable person? Right. So, before you proceed to the interview imagine how you walk to the room, shake the interviewer’s hands and answer the questions with confidence.

6. Be honest. Do not to exaggerate your experiences

Honesty is a virtue and it also applies during interviews. Recruiters value honest applicants. As a candidate you naturally, want to present yourself in the best possible light and leave a positive first impression. You tend to be perfect. This means that you may find yourself walking a thin line between honesty and arrogance. Make sure not to exaggerate your experiences.Did you write in your CV that you’re fluent in Spanish? In this case, be prepared to show your ability to, fluently, express yourself in Spanish. Being confident in your skills and talents is fundamental, but make sure that you stay honest and modest.

When you want to present yourself in the best possible way, you should prepare a shortpersuasive statement to highlight your experience and your successes. Do not forget, the recruitment panel have your resume, so do not go through details to present your entire CV. Focus should be made on two, three main expertise elements you think the job description focus on. Recruiters like metrics and tangible facts. Use numbers to give strength to your statements.

7. Do your research

Preparing for a job interview is far from being that simple. For the interview, you have to do your homework about the company. 

The exercise itself could largely be to your advantage. When you spend quality time with your research about the company. Not only will you get a better understanding about what profile they are looking for and how you will fit in, it will also help you stand out from the other candidates. Do not forget this a completion and like sport the elite competitors spendhours preparingfor a brief critical life changing moment.

The interviewers will be impressed that you went the extra mile and did your homework.

Researches should basically include among other elements: 

                       What does the company do?

  • Examine the company website: About Us, Mission, Products/Services), Team, etc.
  • Google the company clients, Competitors…
  • Look for a LinkedIn company profile. It is always worth looking up the interviewers on LinkedIn to see if you share any common interests or mutual acquaintances.

If you don’t have good answers to these questions, this will be interpreted by the hiring panel as just a job chase like others without any real interest about the company.

                      What are the company’s core values?

Major airlines make of culture their number one priority, largely by hiring people who closely align with their core values. They develop values like “pursue growth and learning” and “create fun and share it onboard.” To get there, airlines Human Resources Departments develop questions that specifically screen for each of those values. Suitable candidates would be those who properly searched for these values , prepared to related questions and provide appropriate answers.

Here is the type of questions recruiters will ask to check you would easily be sharing their core values:

  • One year from now, if you're part of the team, how will you judge if your time here has been a success?
  • What has shaped your personality, regardless of your school or professional occupation?
  • Tell me something you have taught yourself in the last six months and you are particularly proud of?

                    What's new and noteworthy?

Most recruiters will expect you to have an initial understanding of the company main activities and environment: main market, network, business model, company’s customer base, major products and services and client references. Turn this to your advantage by bringing more by showing that you’re on top of company news, business trends and public updates, you’ll make an even bigger impression. For instance, is the company launching any new products or services? Has it received any recognition or awards recently? Has it received any other recent press that is worth noting?

                  Who are the key managers?

Knowing a bit about the company's top management team can be helpful in researching and preparing for an interview. Not only is it one more way to show the interviewer you’ve done your research, but you’ll get more insight into the company’s values and culture. Plus, depending on the size of the company and the position for which you're interviewing, you probably may find yourself meeting with one of these leaders during interviews.

8. Practice ahead of time

This point is crucial. Practicing and taking notes on what you plan to share with the interviewer is key to be fully prepared during your interview, and, as a result, feel comfortable, at ease and relaxed. It’s helpful to practice out loud with someone you trust who would not only encourage you but honestly tell you about things to improve. Be careful of sounding too rehearsed when you're in the interview room, though. Recruiters do not like candidates looking superficially ready.

Obviously, Interviewing is an inevitable part of the job search process, but this doesn't need to be horrible or painful. The event should be rather dealt with as a new opportunity for new perspectives, doors to open and new career experiences. 

9. Describe a situation in which you solved a problem

For this question, preferably think of a recent example and pick a problem that is similar to the challenges you would probably face in the job, dealing with a difficult client for example.

Start by explaining the task giving sufficient detail so the interviewer can understand the situation, challenge involved. Next describe the action, initiative you took, remembering to be clear about the tangible part you personally played to achieve the final result.

Of course, the result is the most important part of your answer as a successful outcome. If possible, provide statistics or figures which highlight the level of your success, mention positive feedback you received and talk about what you learned and how this learning will help you in the job.

10. Job Interviews Are Two-Way Streets. Ask Your Questions, Too

The same way you do not like to be bored facing silent people while you are talking, interviewers will not appreciate spending their time facing silent candidates. Your interviewer wants you to talkwiththem to actively interact, share something new.  Every opportunity is good to converse, not just answer questions

Ask your interviewer questions about the work perspectives and the future of the company. By doing that, you’re no longer in the middle of a nerve-wracking interview but having a conversation where both sides are building a relationship. This also will enable you to take a breath.

11. Tell me your biggest professional failure

Self-awareness is a major element. Thus, by asking this question interviewers want to ensure that the candidate possesses this quality without any inferiority complex. The key thing here is learning what kind of tangible actions were taken to avoid such disadvantage recurrence.
Instead of spending time on what went wrong and playing the blame game identify the main reasons behind the so-called failure and highlight what you have learned and what you now do differently. Explain the effective actions you took to make sure the same would not happen again. Put emphasis on   the learnings experiment. 

12. Bring a good closure

Like the first impression, the last one is also important. 

Do you know about Recency effect?

Given a list of items to remember, as human we tend to remember the last few things more than those things in the middle. We also tend to assume that items at the end of the list are of greater importance or significance.

This is the principle that the most recently presented items or experiences will most likely be remembered best.

People, are most likely to retain and be influenced by what they last hear or see, so be ready to summarize why you’re the best person for the position.

At this stage focus on your added value to help the company. Avoid statements that emphasize on why you want the job. Instead, focus on how you can help to the company when getting the job.

Every candidate has something unique.  Highlight what you consider special about you in a positive manner, without attacking other applicants. 

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