For the vast majority of us, the interview is the most nerve racking part of any job hunt. With so many different techniques implented by potential employers it is impossible to know exactly what to expect but there are some basic questions that always get asked and you need to know how to answer them.
It’s inevitable you’ll be asked questions at your interview and knowing the most frequently asked interview questions can help you to prepare. It’s also worth asking yourself the questions before writing a cover letter as it can help structure and focus your pitch.
Its almost guaranteed that you will be asked questions at your interview and knowing how to answer the most common ones will help you to breeze through an interview.
1. What makes you more employable/stand out over the other candidates?
When writing a cover letter, this is one of the most important to consider. Make sure that you mention any previous experience and how you handled particular situations better than others may have done. Try to think of 5 or 6 attributes that make you stand out from the crowd.
2. How does this position appeal to you and how does it fit into your career path?
There are currently many more applicants than positions available, so make sure that you exmphasise your determination and your passion for the job position as most companies will want to keep their staff turnover low. Also try to mention your career goals and how you think that the job you are applying for will help you to achieve those goals.
3. If you could describe yourself in only five words what would they be?
This one can be a tricky one. Think of three skills that you portray in your working style. Then 2 more that describe you as a person. Companies understand that not everyone is a robot and small companies especially like to know that the person that they are introducing into their workplace is going to be a good fit. Conflicting personalities can cause problems in the workplace and this is something that companies will try and note before making an employment decision.
4. What were your reasons for leaving previous employment(s)?
This is a very common question on application forms and will need to be explained during interview. You need to avoid blaming your previous boss for your leaving. Blaming everyone but yourself will make you come across as a somewhat troublesome employee.
5. What are your salary expectations for this role?
This is another tricky one where most people slip up, but the only thing you need to do is be honest. Dont undervalue yourself and make sure you say a number that you would be happy to work for. If you do say a low figure then you will only regret it if they offer you the position.
6. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
A nice simple question here as long as you are prepared for it. Be sure to steer clear of anything that would make it seem like you arent going to be loyal to the company.
7. When have you had to deal with a great deal of pressure and how did you handle the situation?
This is a very common question among customer based roles, but trips quite a few people up. This question can make or break an interview, it is important to boast about your ability to solve problems in an organised manner, even under pressure.
8. What can you tell me about current news and affairs within our industry?
It is definitely worth doing some research into the current news and affairs of the industry before you go for the interview, having prior knowledge of the industry and current affairs will give you a possible advantage over other candidates and it will also give you the appearance that you are interested in the job that you are applying for.
9. How do you take to criticism?
This is quite an obvious question really, make sure that you stay away from anything negative and try to think of a time when you have received criticism and used to improve yourself as a person.
10. Do you have any questions?
Quite possibly the most common question among interviews and is one that can let you show your enthusiasm for the position and the industry. You can ask specific questions about the industry and what their company is doing about new competition etc.
When preparing for your interview, research is key, knowing about the industry you intend to go into is very important. Potential employers will not be interested in someone that shows a lack of enthusiasm by failing to prepare for an interview properly.