Interviews can be nerve-wracking but if you’re properly prepared, more often than not, they are positive experiences. Interview questions will vary depending on what role you’re interviewing for and what company you’re looking to join, but there are some interview questions that come up time and time again. So here’s a few of the most common interview questions and how to go about answering them…
Tell me about yourself?
You don’t need to talk entirely about your work background here as the interviewer(s) will have a copy of your CV. Talk about your personality and your ambitions. You want to give a positive impression of the type of person you are and the type of employee you will be. You want to enable your interviewer to visually place you in their existing team and compliment its dynamic. Talk about personal or professional goals and how you foresee achieving them.
What are your strengths?
Don’t fall into the trap of reeling off a long list of cliche characteristics. Simply think of 3 or 4 things that you are genuinely good at and then give strong examples of how these strengths contributed to previous successes. Use this as an opportunity to highlight your achievements and opt for strengths that will be useful in the role.
What’s your biggest weakness?
No one likes this question and many people fear it’s a trick question. Interviewers aren’t really looking for a reason not to offer you the job. Instead they are looking at your self awareness. Can you identify areas you need to improve upon, and make suggestions about how to make that improvement? For example, “I can be quite driven and this may sometimes come across as bossy, but I know when to dial this back working within a group and instead use it as a self-motivator”. Be honest about your flaws but always follow up with a positive resolution.
Why do you want to work here?
The interviewer isn’t asking why you’ve applied for the job. They’re looking for the reason you should have the job over another applicant, and this is your opportunity to give them a compelling reason. Pitch yourself to them and then discuss why you like their company culture and their business mission. Go beyond the usual research you would do on their website and see what they’ve been up to on social media. This will give you more of an insight into their company culture and what goes on behind closed doors.
Why should I hire you?
This is your chance to talk about what makes you unique, not just how you’re qualified. You want to set yourself apart from other applicants with the same qualifications. Perhaps talk about your soft skills, or some of the characteristics you possess that align with their business mission or culture. Make sure you’re memorable, for all the right reasons.
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