We know how stressful interviewing for a new job can be, especially if you’re asked questions that you haven’t prepared for.
While it’s impossible to cover all questions that you may be asked, we’ve picked out 10 of the most common interview questions and given our tips for answering to your best ability!
If you prepare responses for these, you’ll find yourself ready for any interview!
- What can you tell us about yourself?
Employers often ask this open-ended question as a way to break the ice. It also gives them an early opportunity to view your personality, as well as an insight into whether you would be a good match for the company and job.
Summarize your career highlights and goals.
Talk about personal interests or accomplishments that could create a positive impression in the minds of the interviewers.
- What motivates you?
Depending on the role you are applying for, it’s likely the company will ask this question to determine if your motivations match what they are looking for. If it’s a sales role, then they’ll be expecting you to say money. For a caring or nursing role, then they’ll expect you to say you’re motivated by helping others.
There are no right or wrong answers to this question.
It’s best to be open and honest about your motivations.
- Why should we consider hiring you?
Employers ask this question to see whether you’ll be a good fit for their company. They’ll also be looking to see if you understand the duties of the role they are hiring for.
Reply with a concise pitch.
Show that you’ve researched their company.
Talk about how you can fill the duties of the role successfully.
Avoid talking negatively about your current (or past) employer.
- Why do you want to work here?
This is similar to the two questions above. Namely, employers are looking to ascertain if you’ve researched their company and the role you are applying for.
Research the company thoroughly. (For example, their history, ethos and market sector.)
Demonstrate your career goals.
Explain why you believe you’ll be a good match for the company.
- Can you list your strengths?
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this question. Employers are looking to see if your strengths include suitable qualifications for the specific role as well as personality traits that match the needs of the company.
Avoid cliches such as: capable, enthusiastic and hard-working.
Give concrete examples of things you do well.
Talk about attributes that might set you apart from other applicants.
- What weaknesses do you have?
Let’s be honest, this question appears to be designed to catch you. In reality, however, employers will most likely ask this question simply as a contrast to the one about your strengths.
Don’t say that you have no weaknesses. (It looks arrogant!)
Talk about a weakness that would not affect the job you are applying for.
Identify a weakness that you’re now in the process of eliminating.
Turn a perceived negative into a positive. (For instance, your obsessive attention to detail.)
- What makes a good team player?
If an employer is considering you for a team leader or department management position, then they’ll want to be 100% sure that you can work well in a team environment. They’ll also want to hear that you understand team dynamics.
Talk about examples from your past that demonstrate your team-building prowess.
As well as work examples, you could mention clubs and organisations that you are an active member of.
Teams rely on harmony to be successful, so show that you know how to get on with people.
- Where do you see yourself five years from now?
As you can probably imagine, this question is usually asked to determine if you’re likely to move on quickly from the role you’re interviewing for. Hiring new members of staff is expensive. For this reason, companies will try to avoid hiring anyone who appears to be drawn to constant change.
Use this question as an opportunity to state your career goals and why they are a good fit for the company.
Be sure to focus your answer on the specific role and company that you are being interviewed for.
It’s okay to say that in five years time you’d like to have progressed from the role on offer.
Don’t be afraid to sound ambitious or success-driven.
- What is your salary expectation?
Employers will ask you this question to determine whether you’ve researched the average salary for the role, and to ensure that you’re not expecting a salary higher than what can be offered. Although it’s definitely an awkward question, employers will be impressed if you’re prepared with an answer.
Make sure you’re aware of the salary for similar jobs.
Don’t feel pressured to provide a specific number. (Instead, offer a salary range that you would be happy with.)
As well as stating your salary expectations, ask questions about company benefits (such as healthcare and pensions).
- Is there anything that you would like to ask us?
This question will be asked at the end of the vast majority of all interviews. It gives you a chance to ask questions about topics that may not have been covered in the interview. It also gives employers a chance to see how curious and enthusiastic you are about the role and their company.
Always have a least one question prepared in advance. (Preferably more!)
Ask inquisitive questions about the job and company.
Ask the interviewers to expand on points they may have only touched on.
There will of course be unexpected questions, however, preparing well for the interview will give you the confidence you need to answer even the most difficult questions!
For more hints & tips head over to our YouTube channel! – www.candcsearch.co.uk/youtube