Hong Kong’s information technology and telecommunications (IT&T) industry has been facing a critical talent crunch.
However, some job seekers still struggle to land a job although relevant job ads are omnipresent.
This mismatch is because these candidates are unable to convince employers that they are a good fit to the organization.
To impress potential employers, candidates need to understand the type of talent the company is looking for and properly prepare for the interview.
In today’s fast-changing world where we increasingly talk about making organizations future-proof, it makes sense that companies want to better understand a candidate’s ability to adapt to various situations before they make a hiring decision.
Job seekers therefore need to be ready to answer a variety of interview questions that is particularly crafted to find out whether the candidate is a good fit to the organization.
Here are four popular interview questions that employers ask to test candidates beyond their technical abilities.
1. Walk me through your thinking process if you were to make an important decision for the company.
IT&T companies need analytical problem solvers to help navigate the organization through changing times.
Interviewers will therefore want to get a better understanding of the candidate’s problem-solving orientation, creativity and analytical skills before they make the hiring decision.
You will stand out if you are able to analyse a situation rationally, show that you are a creative thinker and focus on making things happen.
When you are asked to answer a question that involves a complex thinking process, take time to plan your answer and clearly outline the steps one by one.
Take time to elaborate your thoughts in an organized manner.
In addition, elaborate your considerations during your thought process.
For example, the IT&T industry is now seeing an increasing demand for sales managers to sell artificial intelligence systems.
When asked to share your thought process related to the sales of “super computers”, you may spell out your ethical concerns and your plans to avoid related repercussions.
2. How will the industry evolve in the coming five years?
Your successful track record of past achievements is a good-to-know.
Now, interviewers are looking for more — candidates who have a forward-looking mindset and share the same vision with the company.
Mastering this question will be a good opportunity for you to articulate your passion for this role and industry, and demonstrate you are a lateral thinker who sees the big picture.
A thorough research and understanding of the industry is inevitable.
Beyond your skill sets, you should demonstrate you are on top of industry developments.
For example, you should be well-versed on trends such as how financial technology is revolutionizing the banking industry, the rise of automation and its impact on the manufacturing industry and how BYOD (bring your own device) strategies are creating security pitfalls.
You should also think ahead and have a clear picture of what you would like to achieve in the industry. Only true passion will come through to impress the interviewer.
3. What suggestions would you give to our company?
Some candidates focus too much on elaborating their strengths and abilities during the interview.
Candidates need to understand that while you should play up your strengths, it is also important to show that you are familiar with the company’s culture and offerings in order to impress the interviewer.
This question allows you to demonstrate your analytical skills and knowledge of the company.
To truly stand out, you should go beyond just reciting what the company is currently doing.
You should analyze the business and the macro environment and give constructive suggestions.
A good way to organize your thoughts is go through the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to evaluate the company’s strengths and weaknesses, the external business environment and the competitors.
For example, a lot of IT&T companies are now developing drone technologies to tap into this fast-growing demand.
Is it viable for the company you are interviewing with to start an independent R&D team for drone? Is this a missed opportunity or a business area that the company is not best positioned to go into?
This is a popular interview question because interviewers look for candidates who not only excel in executing what they do at the desk but are also able to see the big picture and help navigate the company through fast-changing business environments.
4. Wild card questions
Interviewers are increasingly asking imaginary scenario questions such as “Please use a personal belonging to describe yourself” and “Sell me to buy this USB for US$1 million”.
These questions will screen out candidates who rely on memorizing model answers to textbook interview questions and identify creative thinkers who are quick to adapt and calm under pressure.
The last thing you want to do at an interview is recite a long and monotonous self-introduction that will not make you stand out.
Rehearse and be comfortable with relating your strengths to any situation.
At the end of the day, there is not a right or wrong answer to wild card questions.
As long as you demonstrate that you are comfortable with handling unexpected situations, you are leaving a good impression.
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