Being well prepared for an interview enhances your confidence and can make the interview less stressful. It is worthwhile to do thorough research on the company and the role. Think about your past achievements and experiences and see where these could be relevant to the job description.
Interview questions are becoming more role specific and competency based. There are, however, some common questions which are generally still seen in interviews. Here are 10 of the most common interview questions, that might help you prepare for your next interview.
1. Tell us about yourself.
Here you should list your main attributes, qualifications and career history. Emphasise those skills relevant to the job on offer and what makes you uniquely qualified for this position. This is not the time to tell your life story in detail.
2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Identify a strength that can add value to the company and explain how this strength can be implemented in the workplace. Choose your weaknesses with care. Once again, have a look at the job description and see where you might be lacking. A weakness should be something that can be developed.
3. Why do you want this position?
Be honest but be careful not to bring the potential employer into your personal life saga. Too much drama may put them off. Employers want to know if you are serious about working for them or if they are taking a risk to employ you.
4. What have been your greatest achievements thus far?
Think of something fairly recent and work-related. Identify the skills you used in the achievement and quantify the benefit it had for the company.
5. What skills do you have which can be used in this position?
List your learned skills and experience to support what the job needs. Always include soft skills that you have which will support your hard skills in the job. For instance, if you are applying for a part-time bookkeeping job, attention to detail would be an excellent skill to highlight.
6. Give me an example of when you have had to resolve a conflict situation.
Always tell the truth. Be honest with the interviewer if you have never had to resolve a conflict situation. If you are a parent you will have many examples to cite, but try to keep it within you professional role.
7. Give me an example of when you had to overcome a difficult obstacle.
The aim of the above two questions is to find out whether or not you can approach problem-solving logically. Mention a work situation not caused by you. Explain how you defined the problem, what the options were, why you chose the one you did and what the outcome was, always ending on a positive note.
8. What are your career objectives for the next couple of years?
This gives the employer an idea of how you see your career progressing. Steer clear of titles, the title you are chasing might not be available within the company structure. Rather streamline your goals with the company goals.
9. Why do you want to leave your current employment?
Never bad-mouth a previous employer. Find a positive way to state a negative situation. For example, because the company is so large, it takes a long time for decisions to be made.
10. What salary are you expecting?
Market research is key here. Don’t ask for too much, but also don’t sell yourself short. See what the industry standard is for your position and level of experience. Avoid discussing salary in the first interview.
Be sure to have questions ready at the end of the interview of what you want to know about the company.
Remember, the interview is not just to see if you have what it takes to do the job, but also to see if you and the company is a good fit. Always be honest with your answers. Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t get the job.
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