Questions you could be asked during an interview

Interviews are an opportunity for the company to find out more about you and for you to find out more about the job.

We recommend you study this list and plan your answers ahead of time, ensuring you’ll be ready to deliver them with confidence.

Candidates can often stumble through interviews, fearing any unexpected questions. Many interview questions however are to be expected, based on their purpose to help the interviewer understand you better.

The answers provided are deliberately specific and unlikely to relate to your exact situation. It’s important you prepare your own responses based on the role you’re interviewing for.

 

Tell me about yourself

What are your primary selling points for this job? This could be the number of years of experience you have, in a particular industry or area of specialisation, or your specific skill-set. You might also want to highlight special training and technical skills. Focus on the qualifications in the job description and how you meet and exceed the requirements.

 

Why are you interested in this position right now?

You can wrap up your answer by indicating why you are looking for a new challenge and why you feel this role is the best next step.

 

What are your weaknesses?

Often the most dreaded question. Handle it by minimising your weakness through emphasising your strengths, or by describing how you are working to mitigate or improve.

Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on professional traits:
“I’m always working on improving my communication skills to be a more effective presenter. I recently joined Toastmasters, which I find very helpful.”

 

Why should we hire you?

This is a good opportunity to summarise your experiences and state your relevant and fundamental successes:
“With five years’ experience working in the financial industry, and my proven record of saving the company money, I could make a big difference in your company. I’m confident I’d be a great addition to your team.”

 

Why do you want to work here?

The interviewer is listening for an answer that indicates you have given this some thought and are not sending out CVs just because there is an opening. Refer to any information you have gathered about the company during your preparation:
“I’ve selected key companies whose mission statements are in line with my values, where I know I could be excited about what the company does, and this company is very high on my list of desirable choices.”

 

What are your personal goals?

Sometimes it’s best to talk about short-term and intermediate goals rather than locking yourself into the distant future:
“My immediate goal is to get a job in a growth-oriented company. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. I hope to eventually grow into a position of greater responsibility.”

 

Why did you leave (or why are you leaving) your job?

If you’re unemployed, state your reason for leaving in a positive context:
“I managed to survive two rounds of corporate downsizing, but the third round was a 20 percent reduction in the workforce, which included me.”

If you’re employed, focus on what you want in your next job:
“After two years, I made the decision to look for a company that is team-focused and where my experience is valued.”

 

When were you most satisfied in your job?

The interviewer wants to know what motivates you. If you can relate to an example of a job or project when you were excited, the interviewer will get an idea of your preferences.
“I was very satisfied in my last job where I was working directly with the customers and their problems – that’s an important part of the job for me.”

 

What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?

What makes you unique? Summarise your experiences, skills and traits:
“I have a unique combination of  technical skills and the ability to build strong customer relationships. This allows me to use my knowledge and break down information to be more user-friendly.”

 

What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?

This is the chance to use any past performance appraisals:
“My boss has told me that I’m the best designer he’s ever had. He knows he can rely on me and he likes my sense of humour.”

 

For further advice speak to one of our specialist Recruitment Consultants by calling 01202 680 311. Happy job hunting!

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