Interview Questions & How to Answer Them
Being prepared for an interview is the key to landing a great job, but it is more than just answering questions. It’s about selling yourself with carefully prepared answers. Anticipate all the questions you could be asked and know how to put together a strong answer. Be strategic in your responses and practice until you’re as confident as possible.
Here are some common interview questions you can expect:
Questions about you
Q: Tell me about yourself?
A: Keep it interesting and personable. Give a brief overview of your career history to date, cover your academic background, why you chose your career path and you have the option to close with any professional or personal achievements. Keep this to 3-4 minutes. Remember you want to set the scene and initially highlight your skills to be elaborated at a later stage.
Q: Have you any weaknesses?
A: Be genuine and always wrap up with how you have overcome the weakness or are working on it. Focus on the positive – turn a question like this around instead of giving in to the negative. Keep it relatable to the type of position applied for.
Q: Why should we hire you?
A: Highlight how your unique skill set meets the needs of the organization. Leave the interviewer in no doubt that you be an asset to them. Avoid making comparisons with any other candidates. Show that you are willing to be loyal and dedicated to the company.
Questions about your background and/or experience
Q: Why did you leave your last job?
A: Take a positive approach to this regardless of the circumstances. Speaking poorly of a manager, referring to a major problem or bad-mouthing the organization will make you look bad. Talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an opportunity or other forward-looking reasons.
Q: What is the most challenging part about your current role?
A: Discuss your learning curve to date and how you have gained added skills from this i.e. improved time management skills from a challenging project. Make sure that you have prepared one or two points which you can effectively back up with examples and case scenarios.
Q: Have you ever been in a position of conflict or difference of opinion with a colleague or supervisor. If so, explain?
A: Avoid using the word conflict and be careful how you phrase things. Start off this answer with the fact that you have been in a position of difference of opinion as it was, for example, the nature of the role. Explain the scenario in a concise way, bringing across your skills, your flexible approach to changing situations and how you manage both internal and external client relationships.
Questions about the company and position
Q: Why do you want to work for this company?
A: Based on the research you have done, give a thoughtful answer with certainty. Sincerity is extremely important here and will easily be sensed. Relate it to your long-term career goals and show lots of energy and enthusiasm.
Q: Are you a team player?
A: The answer should be yes, of course. Have examples ready to showcase how you often perform for the good of the team rather than for yourself. You want to give them evidence of your team attitude. Be careful not exaggerate as the interviewer may be able to sense this.
Q: What qualities do you look for in a boss?
A: You can be generic and positive here. Safe qualities are knowledgeable, a sense of humour, fair and leads by example. Most bosses think they have these traits.
Our experienced recruiters can coach you through your interview process and help you prepare for interview questions like these. Get started by applying to open roles on our Job Board, or get in touch with our Recruitment Team to learn more!