Questions are part of applications. Questions enable the interviewer to understand you better and vet whether you are the most suitable candidate for the job or opportunity to be offered.
Questions are a way of challenging what one knows about a particular issue. They are a way of understanding a candidate’s way of reasoning and their passion. Questions vary and change depending on the nature of the application. For instance, they wouldn’t ask for IELT and TOEFL scores if you are applying for a job but they certainly will if you are applying for a scholarship.
Outlined below are some of the questions which are most commonly asked when applying for global opportunities and how to go about answering them.
#1 – Tell us about yourself
This should be the easiest of all questions! No one knows you better than yourself! The question can prove stressful when you are not sure how much information to reveal about yourself. Candidates need to realize this is the greatest opportunity to prove yourself the most suitable person to be given the opportunity. Interviewers ask this question to find out what you consider to be important to offer the opportunity you are applying for.
When answering this question, keep all your focus in providing answers which will interest the interviewer. Always remember it is not about you, even though the question asks about you. It’s about the interviewers. Give responses which meet the needs of interviewer’s organization.
Begin by introducing yourself professionally. Highlight your strengths with some sense of personality. Be brief. Answer the question as though the interviewer has not set his or her eyes on your curriculum vitae. Assumptions could cost you a great deal! Tell them why you are there.
#2 – How have you demonstrated leadership?
This is a common question interviewer asks to find out if an applicant possesses leadership potential. As a claimant, it is important to showcase your ability in assuming leadership roles. When answering this question, ensure you give a demonstration of something you did which turned out successful. Your reply should be outstanding as applicants eyeing for the same opportunity are equally qualified.
Answering this question can be difficult. The nature of your response could appear more of bragging, and many of us are not comfortable bragging about our achievements. Too much humility could also risk you the opportunity.
To answer this question, begin with a situation, problem or task you were presented with. Make it as short and straight to point as possible. Too much irrelevant information is annoying. You could bullet out your answers if it’s to be presented in print. Let each sentence speak on its own and be as strong and as powerful as possible.
Proceed to explain what actions you took to solve the problem or situation. Be specific and show your effort as a leader in addressing the situation. Remember to narrate the motivation behind the actions you took. Avoid describing roles you did which anyone can do. Only highlight those parts which carry the aspects of a real leader particularly the roles you did in very challenging circumstances.
Conclude your answer with a happy ending. Everyone loves to hear happy endings. Narrate the positive outcomes after you had assumed your role as a leader. Whenever possible, give concrete examples. Back up your answer with statistics and if that is impossible show them who was happy in the end and who benefitted. Such answers typically stand out.
Always remember to use actual outstanding examples and be very specific about what you are talking about. It is dangerous to assume the interviewers know or can somehow conclude what you are about to explain.
#3 – What do you plan to do upon completion of this program?
Interviewers ask this question to find out if you are a dreamer who dreams big dreams. What direction will you take after getting this opportunity? They also want to see if the opportunity they are offering will play a role in helping you achieve the dream you mention.
Therefore, to answer this question, focus on the nature of the opportunity you are applying for. Provide a vision which the organization offering the opportunity can be part of. Provide a realistic ambition, or otherwise, it will appear you are lying and the interviewers will know!
About the Author
Josephine is a gifted writer and an emerging social entrepreneur. In the early stages of her Telecommunications career, Josephine believes in doing what she can with what she has to bring about positive transformation in her community. Josephine lives in Kenya.
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