Every interview is different and not every interviewer will ask the same questions - but there are those that pop-up time and time again that you might be able to prepare for.
Here are 10 of the most popular interview questions and our advice on how to answer them.
1. Tell Me About Yourself
Often one of the first questions you'll be asked but also one of the most difficult. You're an interesting person with lots to talk about, but how much information is TOO much information?
Keep it brief and avoid rambling. There's no need to go into detail about your work history, you can talk about this later in the interview. Instead, focus on your personal interests and hobbies that don't relate directly to work. Remember, the interviewer wants to get to know you.
2. Name Some Of Your Strengths
Buzzwords like "hardworking", "ambitious", "determined" aren't really going to be enough. Potentially, the interviewer will have sat through dozens of other interviews hearing the same thing.
If you're going to say that your greatest strength is your determination, back this up with a real-life example. This will look much more impressive and will leave the interviewer with a positive view of your skills and abilities as an employee.
3. And Your Weaknesses?
This question is nearly always asked and, if not prepared, it can act as a trap for the interviewee. The temptation here is to say that you have no weaknesses but this can sometimes come across as arrogant or unprepared. Similarly, back-handed compliments such as "I work too hard" don't go down too well either.
A simple way to answer this question is by turning a weakness into something positive. For example, if you lack training, point this out but then explain how you have a love of learning new things and are keen to improve your education - and remember to back-up your self-motivation with examples.
The interviewer will be impressed by not only your honesty but also the drive towards self-improvement.
4. Why Do You Want This Job?
This gives you the chance to show the interviewer your knowledge about their company. Researching the company beforehand will not only help with this question but will also remind you why you wanted to apply to this role in the first place.
This is the time to let your passion and enthusiasm for the role shine through so use it!
5. Why Should I Hire You?
Similar to the question above, this is a chance for you to show off your technical skills and abilities, but also what makes you a great person to work with.
Essentially, your response should be a sale pitch, highlighting all of your "best bits" and focusing on what you can bring to the role.
6. What Motivates You?
This is another personal question that may pop up, and there really isn't a set way to answer it. Be honest. If building your career motivates you then that's fine, but if you find motivation in buying your first house that's ok too.
Just be sure to keep it positive and if you can tie it into the role, do so.
7. How Do You Handle Pressure?
A future employer needs to know that they can count on you when things don't go smoothly at work.
Think of a time in a previous job when there was a stressful situation and describe how you handled that. Alternatively, if this is your first ever job interview, you can describe a situation from home or school. Talking the interviewer through a real-life situation is much more compelling than throwing some adjectives about yourself at them.
8. What Are Your Salary Expectations?
This is often the cause of a lot of worry for interviewees. Price yourself too high and you're out of the running, too low and you'll undersell yourself.
The best way to approach this is by speaking in ranges. Don't be too specific with a particular number. It's also a good idea to mention other benefits besides money like pensions and paid leave. Do some research around the average salary within the market and you'll be fine.
9. Where Do You See Yourself In The Future?
Interviewers throw this in as a bit of a trick question - it's designed to find out how reliable you are. It costs employers a lot of money to replace people, so they want to be sure you'll stick.
Use this as an opportunity to talk about your wider ambitions and goals. Just try to tie everything back to the company you're interviewing for as this tends to sway an employer's impression in your favour.
10. Do You Have Any Questions?
Always make sure you have an answer prepped for this in advance. During your research, try compiling a list of potential questions that you can narrow down during the course of the interview.
If your question has already been answered or you really can't think of anything, you can always ask for feedback on how the interview went.
Of course, we can't say for sure that these questions will be asked, but as we see them crop up in a lot of interviews it's good to have something prepared, even if it is only brief.
However, be sure not to script your answers ahead of time to avoid sounding over-rehearsed and don't be afraid to run through interview answers with your Consultant. Our team are all experts in their respective fields and are here to offer support and advice throughout the entire interview process.
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