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Handling ‘Ice-breaker’ Interview Questions

Derek Cirino - Oct 4, 2017

The success or failure of your interview is mostly dependent on how you respond to icebreaker questions. While the questions can bury you, they can also propel you forward if you understand the tips on how to handle them.

Remember, inviting you for an interview is a golden opportunity given to you to prove that you are the best candidate. Interviewers cannot always select the best candidate but they can select the candidate that successfully presents themselves as the best. This is why passing an interview is much different from excelling on the job. Here a few tips on using your response to icebreaker questions to impress your interviewers.

Keep your response short

In response to icebreaker questions, it is better to keep it short. Short answers carry more weight. Besides, when your response becomes too long, you may likely say what you never intended to say. Remember, your interviewer will use your response and other means to assess you. When you begin to ramble, he may begin to see you as being loquacious. Once your interviewer cuts you with another question, it is a sign that your response is becoming too long. Watch it.


Tie your response to your skills

It is a smart idea to use your response to sell yourself. Make the decision easier for your interviewer. The whole idea behind the interview is to find out whether he should recommend you for the job or not. For instance, when you receive a question like “what are the last few things you do before going to bed”. You should include statements like you spend about 30 minutes planning your activities at work the following day to achieve maximum productivity.


Avoid cracking jokes in your response

Being humorous will not get you a job. It could only go against you depending on how your interviewer feels. So, you should avoid jokes especially political ones. If your interviewer cracks a joke, you can smile or laugh a bit but let it end there.


Avoid long silence

Long silence counts against you. It could be a deliberate act from your interviewer, trying to see how you can break the ice. In such a situation, break it by asking questions about the company. Ask intelligent questions that show that you have done a good research about the company. It is also a good idea to suggest a solution to a problem that the company has.

In other words, while researching about the company, if you come across a challenge, it is a good idea to come up with a solution. Even if your suggestion may not work, you have proved that you did a research on the company and that you are the type that takes on challenges as they come.


Do your research about the company

Visit the website and social media channels of the company you are applying to work for. Gather as much information about the company as you can. When your prospective employers find out that you know a lot about them, they tend to believe that you are passionate about working for them.

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