Whilst as much as we would love to, we can’t predict exactly what you will be asked in interview. We can, however, use our years of recruitment experience and our specialist expertise to let you know what we think are the most asked interview questions, and point you in the right direction with how to answer them. So if you’ve got an interview coming up, read on to give yourself an idea of how you would answer these popular interview questions.
1. Tell me about yourself…
This is a tough one to answer and it’s one that many people quite often forget to prepare for. This isn’t an opportunity to list your hobbies, interest and what you had for breakfast. See it as more of an overview of your current role and how you got to where you are. There’s no need to go into too much detail, after all… your interviewer will have read your CV. It’s a good way for your interviewer to get a feel for your character as you introduce yourself and your career history to them.
2. Why do you want to work at this company?
Firstly, employers can use this question to work out what motivates you and what you want out of a job. It’s a good opportunity to show that you’ve done your research on the company, so make sure you come up with something that is unique to the business. Show some enthusiasm too! Employers want to see that you’re genuinely passionate about working for them.
3. Why do you want this job?
Don’t say salary or holiday allowance! Instead, work out why the role is great for you, and why your skill set is a perfect match for the role. Be enthusiastic. It’s also useful to explain how the role fits in with your career goals. Reassure your interviewer that you’re not just using this role as a stepping-stone or a gap filler and that you’ll be around for a while.
4. Why should we hire you?
‘Why not’ is not the correct answer here. Think about why you’re a good fit for the role, what you can bring that others can’t, why you’re the best candidate for the job and why your skills and experience are good for the role. Explain that you will work hard to deliver results or that you’ll be a good fit culturally with the business.
5. What are your strengths?
It’s important to be prepared to talk about your strengths and being able to talk about them confidently and compellingly will help you stand out from the crowd. It’s a useful way for your interviewer to work out what you can bring to the business and how your strengths can enable you to be successful in the role. They’ll be looking for strengths that none of the competition has, so that they truly believe that you’re the best person for the role. Don’t be too modest, sell yourself!
6. What are your weaknesses?
We wouldn’t recommend saying ‘I work too hard’. Interviewers use this question to gauge your levels of self-awareness, and if you answer with that… they’ll know you’re lacking in this department. They want to see that you can be honest and admit any areas of improvement you perhaps need to work on. Don’t mention any weaknesses that could suggest that you won’t do well in the role. Instead think about whether you’ve got good organisational skills, analytical skills, or ability to speak in public and state what you’re doing to improve on these. Your interviewer wants to see that you’re working hard to overcome your weaknesses rather than letting them hold you back.
7. What is your greatest professional achievement?
This is your chance to blow your interviewer away! It’s the perfect time to tell your interviewer about one of your proudest professional moments. Choose a story that reveals lots about you and why you’d be great for the company. Whether this be good leadership skills or ability to deal with conflict, make sure it speaks volumes about your character.
8. Tell me about a time when…
The good old tell me about a time when! This could be, tell me about a challenge or conflict you have dealt with, or a time when you have demonstrated leadership. Or tell me about a time when you disagreed with a decision that was made at work or a time when you failed. Either way, these behavioural questions will uncover your behavioural strengths and will give your interviewer an insight into how you’re likely to deal with certain situations. These questions show the interviewer that you have the relevant skills to carry out the role successfully. Make sure you go into detail and clearly outline the situation, task, actions and the results. This STAR method of structuring your answer will make sure that you cover all relevant aspects of the situation and shows that you’re able to look back and reflect on specific situations.
9. Why are you leaving your current role?
It’s safe to say, this isn’t the easiest of questions to answer. Employers want to know that you left for genuine reasons to make sure that you’re not going to leave the role you’re interviewing for after a short space of time. Be open and honest about your reasons, it will give them an insight into what you’re looking for in your next role and will enable them to understand if you’re likely to enjoy the role with them. Just bear in mind that it doesn’t look good if you badmouth your previous employer, so make sure that you stay positive about your previous role, even if you didn’t enjoy it.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
This is a BIG question. Luckily, it doesn’t mean where you will be exactly in 5 years, however it gives you the opportunity to explain your career goals in a bit more detail. They want to know that the position you’re interviewing for will fit into your 5-year plan, even if you fit into theirs.
Whilst these are a selection of possible interview questions, there is no guarantee that these will come up, or be limited to these in interview. Therefore, if you’re due to attend an interview in the coming weeks, we would recommend discussing the interview with your consultant, alongside consulting this blog. These are generic questions that can be asked for a whole host of roles, whereas your consultant will know more about the specifics to focus on. As always, we wish you every success in your interview!
For more info on our current vacancies give us a call on 0845 2000 741 for a confidential chat with one of our expert recruiters.