Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what questions you were going to be asked in your next interview? It is difficult to predetermine exactly what you will be asked as interview structures vary, however, we have listed the top ten most commonly asked interview questions and our advice on how to answer them!
1.Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Unfortunately, many people fail to prepare for it, but it’s crucial. Firstly, don’t give an overly personal answer or a complete employment history. You’re pitching yourself, so keep it concise and compelling and show exactly why you are the right fit for the job. Start with 2-3 specific accomplishments or experiences that you would like the interviewer to know about, then finish with how the prior experience has positioned you for this specific role.
2.Why do you want this job?
Companies want to hire people that are passionate about the job, so you really need to have a great answer about why you want the position. Identify a couple of key skills that make the role a great fit for you and share what you like about the company.
3.Why should we hire you?
This question can be quite intimidating! Use it to sell you and your skills to the hiring manager. You really need to cover two things in your answer, firstly that you can do the work and deliver great results but also that you feel you would be a great fit within the team and culture.
4.What are your greatest professional strengths?
When answering this question, try to be as accurate as possible. Share your true strengths, not what you think people want to hear! Be relevant (why your strengths tie in with the job) and specific. Finally follow up with an example of how you have demonstrated these traits in a professional setting.
5.What are your weaknesses?
Again a tricky question, the interviewer is really trying to ascertain (apart from any major red flags!), whether you can convey your self-awareness and be honest about your areas of improvement. Think about something that you struggle with and how you are working to improve it.
6.Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.
Most people are pleasant in an interview situation so by asking this question your interviewer is trying to find out how you deal and respond to conflict. You need to give an example of this focusing on how you handled the situation professionally and productively; ideally closing with a happy ending on how you came to a resolution or compromise.
7.Where do you see yourself in five years?
If you’re asked this question, be honest and specific about your future goals. The interviewer is trying to find out if a) you have set realistic expectations for your career b) if you have ambition and c) if the position aligns with your goals and growth. It is ok to say that you don’t know what the future holds, but that you see this experience as playing an important role in helping you make that decision.
8.Why are you leaving your current job?
This is a tough question, but one you will definitely be asked. Make sure you keep things positive. You need to convey that you are eager to take on new opportunities and the role you are interviewing for is a better fit for you than your current/last position. If you were made redundant/let go, keep it simple “Unfortunately, I was let go as a result of a restructure”, this is a totally acceptable answer.
9.What do you like to do outside of work?
Interviewers ask personal questions, to see if candidates will fit in with the culture and it gives you an opportunity to open up and display your personality. Do keep it professional though, saying you like a few beers on a Saturday night is fine, however telling them that Monday is not a great day because of your hangover is definitely not!
10.Do you have any questions for us?
An interview isn’t just a one-way process. It’s your opportunity to discover if the job is the right fit for you. What do you want to know about the position? The company? The department? The team? You could also ask the interviewer “what do you personally like about working for the company?” or “What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth?”
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