Typical Interview Questions

An interview is a nervous experience for anyone but bear in mind that research has proven that the most successful candidate for the job is not always the person whose experience, skills and intelligence is far above other candidates but it is the individual who possesses learning agility – a worker who can adjust rapidly, a ‘quick learner’ adapting to a new situation and working environment together with excellent communication skills.

Therefore, consider common interview questions listed below and when preparing your answers try and prove your point by showing an example. It is important to show commitment, flexibility, as well as loyalty and, of course, good manners.  Do not interrupt the interviewer, wait to be seated and at the close of the interview remember to smile and thank the interviewer.

Typical Interview Questions by the Interviewer and Suggested Answers

Tell me a bit about yourself?
This is your opportunity to create an immediate impression with a simple introduction of your background, include a quick summary of your academic qualifications, if attended university you could say “since graduating I have worked at …” highlight your dedication but make it brief. Do not sound to rehearsed but speak slowly and clearly.

Why have you applied for this job and why should the company employ you?
Study the job description highlight something from it by demonstrating what experience and skills you have and how the company would benefit from you, speak enthusiastically about previous jobs and apply past examples to this new role.  Demonstrate commitment and loyalty.

Are you a team player?
This is extremely important, bear in mind that you have to fit into the company’s culture, the capability of blending within a team is crucial.  Provide examples, a model answer would be to demonstrate a working example but also illustrate instances outside of work, such as sport, if involved in an organisation which supports a charity etc.  This is an opportunity to deliver a lateral response because this will show flexibility. Highlight occasions where you have lead a team as this confirms leadership skills.

What is your weakness?
Admit to a weakness do not attempt to disguise it or turn it around and say well perhaps others may consider that to be a strength – for example, if you feel, you are under experienced in a particular area state your enthusiasm to learn to better yourself in this specific subject.

Why do you want to leave your current job?
Be extremely careful not to criticise your current employer or colleagues this shows negativity, be positive about what you have learned and that you have been happy but now feel it is time for a further opportunity to develop and progress.

How do you think your current employer and colleagues would best describe you?
Be factual and professional – do not make any flippant remarks, for example you could say “I am punctual, hard working and always ready to help some one if for instance a computer becomes jammed or breaks.”

Where do you want to see yourself in 5 years time?
This is where you need to state you would be committed to the company – you have applied for this job because you consider this organisation to be a progressing business and you would welcome the opportunity to develop alongside this enterprising firm.

What kind of a salary do you have in mind?
If afraid of asking for too much or selling yourself short, perhaps you could turn it around and say “what would you normally pay someone for this role with my qualifications and experience?”

Have you got any questions?
It is essential that you have some questions relating to the company because this will show that you have adequately prepared for the interview, homework equivalents enthusiasm.

How would your strengths benefit the company?
It is not just saying what your strengths are try and prove them by fact, if you have won an award, for example,‘employee of the year’ alternatively express your ability to prioritise work, adapt in new situations and being confident at multi-tasking.

Can you work with minimum supervision?
Your response, if ‘yes’, will indicate that you can just get on with the job and cope with ease.

What are your hobbies?
The purpose of this question is to determine if you are a well-rounded individual because the employer wants to get a broader perspective of you and your life outside of work may tell the interviewer a little more about you.  However, try to balance a list of individual interests but also hobbies as being part of group activities.  Highlight any outstanding achievements.