Job interviews can be daunting, wherever you are in your career. The best way to overcome nerves however is to be prepared! Researching the company is a given, but thinking ahead to what questions you may be asked is also key.
Below we look at some of the most common interview questions and how you should answer them.
1. Tell me about yourself
This somewhat generic question is designed to be open, allowing you to talk freely about your qualities. This is a great time to talk about your working history, your passions and what motivates you. Stick to talking about your professional background while including a few personal tidbits.
2. Why do you want to work for our company?
Here is where your research pays off. Show off how much you know about the company and try to use specific examples (“I saw your X project and loved the way you…”).
3. Why do you think you’re right for the role?
A common question to find out what you can bring that other candidates can’t. Plan this by noting down your USP, what makes you stand out?
4. What are your strengths?
Another chance for you to discuss your qualities. Look at the job requirements mentioned in the ad and think about what strengths you have that apply to this specific role.
5. What are your weaknesses?
The dreaded weakness question! Avoid saying “I have no weaknesses” or “I’m too organised”. Instead be honest and upfront about what you consider to be a weakness of yours… then, talk about how you minimise this in the workplace or plan to overcome it.
6. Why are you leaving your current job?
Again honesty is the best policy here. For many people, explaining that you’re looking for a new challenge is the truth and is well received by employers. Avoid moaning about your previous company however, as this comes across as unprofessional.
7. What are your career goals?
Think about the type of company you are interviewing for – are they a large corporation or a small family-run business? Be honest about where you would like your career to go but consider your audience!
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
This question helps companies understand your level of ambition and future thinking. Most companies are keen on employee retention, so knowing that you have future goals that fit in with their business is ideal.
9. Do you prefer working in a team or alone?
Companies like to know if you work well with others but will also want to see if you have the capability to work alone. Again, be honest here, but saying you have the capabilities to work autonomously and with others is the answer most employers want to hear.
10. Do you have any questions for us?
Always attend an interview with questions for your potential future employer. This shows you have given the job (and company) care and consideration. Asking about the potential for career growth and/or the company’s plans for the future is a great place to start.
Do you have any interview tips? Let us know in the comments below!