Five interview questions to be prepared for

 

5 questions you should be ready for at interview!

As experienced recruitment consultants, we see job candidates making the same mistakes over and over.

Interviews are testing times for even the most confident of job seekers. Most people are nervous of the unknown, but preparation is key to overcoming the nerves and smashing that interview to land the dream job!  So how can you prepare?  There are 5 standard questions that most interviews will involve.  Master these and the job world is your oyster!

 

 1. Tell me about yourself…….

One of the age-old interview questions.  Where do you start?

Start with your professional experience, and any interests that show you in a good light to be the ideal candidate for this role.  This is not an opportunity to go into detail about your junior school, parents, siblings etc.  Also, do not recite your CV from start to finish, focus on your strengths, skills and what makes you tick.

Good Answer:

I’m a confident and passionate sales person who thrives on hitting targets. In my last role I exceeded my target by 23% for the year, this gives me a real buzz and I intend to do this for my next employer too!

What not to say:

I’m looking for sales because I need to earn as much as possible, so I can emigrate to Australia

 

2. What are your strengths?

This is an opportunity for you to show that you have read and understood the job description and person specification for the role you are applying for.

Good Answer:

I enjoy listening to and resolving customer problems.  I pride myself on my customer service skills and my ability to deal with difficult customers exceptionally well.  I feel that my empathy, understanding and communication skills are the main strengths that enable me to do this well. (give a specific example). 

What not to say:

Any strength that doesn’t relate to the job you are applying for.

I’m good at everything!

 

3. Why are you interested in this job?

This is an opportunity to demonstrate that you have researched the company and the role well, and that you are genuinely interested in the company and the role on offer, not just trying to bag a job!

Good Answer:

I have identified from on-line research that you are developing a new (*insert here) technology that I am passionate about, and I feel that working on this project will allow me to work for a company that provides a service I truly believe in.

What not to say:

I’m desperate for a job, and this seems ok

I need the money

 

4. What is your biggest weakness

This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you are self-aware.  A weakness should be turned into a positive or something that is not a direct requirement of the role.  The answer to this question will show your human side, it’s not a negative and it is ok to use humour.

Good Answer:

I am often very hard on myself but am working on this

What not to say:

I don’t have any weaknesses or ‘I’m a perfectionist’

 

5. Why did you leave (or are leaving) your current / last role?

Always state your reason in a positive context, don’t be defamatory about your current or last employer. 

Good Answer:

After working for my employer for the last 10 years, I have managed to avoid 2 rounds of redundancies, but the last round was a 20% reduction in workforce and I was unfortunately one of the 20%.

or, I am looking to progress in my career, and am looking for an organisation that sees the benefit of staff training and development.

What not to say:

I didn’t get on with my boss or colleagues.

 

In Summary:

Try to allow your personality and humour to come through in a professional manner, nerves are good if you use them right, they show you care!

Do your research and demonstrate that you know and understand the company, products, ethos and culture. Don’t lie or be defamatory about previous employers

Be prepared with examples to demonstrate your skills.

 

What killer questions have you faced in an interview? Let us know in the comments below

If you would like further information on interview skills, please contact the J&L Team on 01782 213334.