How To Answer The Most Common Interview Questions

The 7th – 11th of March marks National Careers Week and focuses on the importance of career guidance to those who are about to leave education and enter the world of work.  However the free advice can help any jobseeker learn more about their future career prospects.

To celebrate National Careers Week, we’ve identified 10 of the most common interview questions around and how you can answer them.

By planning ahead and considering some of the questions which you may be asked can only help to boost your confidence for any job interview.

1) Tell Me About Yourself…
Interviewers ask this question to find out a little bit more about your personality and if you would be a good fit with the current company culture.  After all they have already reviewed your professional experience when you submitted your CV.  If you get asked this question, don’t talk for more than 2-3 minutes and don’t just simply list your work history or facts about your personal life. Instead give a compelling pitch that demonstrates your experience and suitability for the role but also showcases your personality.

2) What Do You Know About The Company?
A recruiter will ask this question to gage if you have actually conducted some research into the background of their company and what their core values are. Remember everyone can state key facts from a company’s ‘about page’ however you can impress further by digging a little deeper. Take a look at their social media, news section and do a quick online search to see if they have recently been in the press so you can further impress the interviewer.

3) What Motivates You?
When it comes to responding to this question there is no right or wrong answer which you can give.  Your response should be an honest account of what actually motivates you professionally; such as being creative or being a key problem solver. Your reasons should be backed up with examples from your work experience.

4) What Do You Consider To Be Your Weaknesses?
The aim of this question is to get the candidate to recognise that they do actually have some weaknesses and are able to demonstrate the actions they have taken to overcome them.  We recommend that you never tell the interviewer that you don’t have any weaknesses and that you are a ‘perfectionist’.

5) What Is Your Ideal Job?
This question can be tricky one to navigate, especially if the role you are interviewing for isn’t exactly up there with your dream job expectations.  The best way to describe your ideal job is to explain which skills you want to you use and what your main interests and values are in the world of work.

6) What Are Your Salary Expectations?
A hiring manager usually asks this question to gage if the salary of a potential role matches your current salary expectations.  This is where it pays off to conduct your research beforehand, take a look at the average salary for someone in your industry with similar skills and who is based in the same geographical area as you. Don’t worry about being too specific at this stage, being able to give a wide range of your expected salary should be a substantial answer.

7) Why Is There A Gap In Your Work History? 
If you have spent a period of time out of employment, it pays off to be honest about the reason behind it and if it was for personal reasons, don’t be afraid to say so. If you found yourself out of work because of redundancy, explain how you used your time productively away from the workplace. 

8) How Do You React To Pressure Or A Stressful Situation?
The best way to respond to this question is to give a firm example of when you have handled a stress situation in a calm and productive manner.  Also explain what ‘coping mechanisms’ you use in a pressurised environment such as creating the biggest ‘to do list.’

9) Why Are You Looking To Leave Your Current Role?
With your response to this question, avoid the temptation to criticise your former employer as this can reflect badly on you. Instead concentrate on what motivates you to move forward with your next role such as breaking into a new industry or wanting to focus on a particular skill.

10) Do You Have Any Further Questions?
For every job interview, it’s important to prepare any additional questions to ask the recruiter as simply stating ‘no’ just won’t cut it. Some great examples to ask are about any training schemes which the company may offer or even enquire why the vacancy is currently available.

If you’re searching for a new job, why not take a look at our current vacancies…

 

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