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Common interview questions

  • Publish Date: Posted about 3 years ago

​You have secured an interview, and it’s great to know that the company you are interested in working for want to know more about your experience and capabilities for the role. How you answer questions in the upcoming interview will be a key factor in whether you get the job or not.

Having an idea of what you may be asked during the interview and preparing in advance is essential.

Here are some of the most common interview questions you are likely to face on the day:

Tell me about yourself

This is the first question interviewers are likely to open with to break the ice. It’s important not to get ahead of yourself listing all your skills and experience and why you think you are suitable for the job. You will be able to speak about that in more detail later. This question is to simply find out more about you, your interests, any achievements etc.

Why do you want to work here?

This is a great opportunity to show the interviewer that you have done your research. Prior to the interview, find out what you can about the company and the role. Look at their website, social media, company news and identify what their mission and values are. When you have done your research, identify how their values and ambitions align with yours.

Why are you leaving your current job?

When asked why you want to leave your current job, never say anything negative about your current employer. Instead highlight the positive things you would personally take away from a career move, this may be a new opportunity, progression, a desire for more responsibility, re-locating etc.

What are your strengths?

This is an opportunity to match your strengths with the job you are applying for. Make a list prior to the interview to identify which are most important to the job role. Strengths could range from experience and expertise in a particular field, soft skills such as managing, problem solving, education and training that are critical to the job etc. Whichever strengths you choose to speak about, always make sure they are relevant to role you are applying for.

What are your weaknesses?

When answering this question try to follow up with steps you are taking to address your weakness. For example, you could say you’re unorganised but then give examples of the steps you are taking to improve this. Don’t say you have no weaknesses; it will come across that you have no self-awareness. Saying you work too hard or you’re a perfectionist should also be avoided.

Why should we hire you?

Rather than just listing a bunch of qualities, tailor your answer by keeping the job role and company in mind. It’s likely your competitors will have the similar qualities so make yourself stand out from the crowd by explaining how a particular quality would make you suitable for the job and give examples where possible. For example, from what I understand about the job, it’s very fast paced and that’s the sort of environment I thrive in.

Do you have any questions?

As the interview comes to a close, you are likely to be asked if you have any questions. Even if you think you have covered everything during the interview, try to think of at least one question to show the interviewer you are fully engaged. Think of some open-ended questions ahead of the interview rather than something that requires a yes or no answer. For example, can you tell me more about the team I would be working with if successful?

Avoid asking questions that make it sound like you have already got the job or that you haven’t done your research prior to the interview. For example, when can I take time off? What does the company do? Listen carefully throughout the interview to ensure you don’t ask a question that has already been spoken about.

Preparing in advance will not only make you feel much more confident going into an interview, but you will also feel more relaxed and your chances of securing the job are greater. The interviewer will be able to tell that you are well prepared, and you have done your research on the company.