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How To Be Prepared For The Most Common Interview Questions

We always make our candidates aware that they should be fully prepared for all questions and situations during the interview process. After all, employers can try to catch you off guard during an interview and will always be looking to either bring out your personality or make the interview situation a more relaxed environment. These questions, on reflection can seem strange but they always have a purpose when being asked. Do you know what you would say if someone interviewing you asked you a random question such as, ‘what animal you would be?’ or ‘what celebrities you would invite to a dinner party and why?’

Chances are you’ve never really given this a thought, but maybe you should!

Most employers will stick to a more generic approach to the interview process and try to find out more about you and your working experience as well what skills you can bring into a role. Here is a list of 7 common interview questions

  1. “Tell me about yourself.”

This is a very open question but you should always be prepared for a form of this question during any interview you attend. One thing to consider is to prepare for this in advance. Take some time to construct an answer that sums you up within a few minutes. You should try to highlight some of your working experiences as well as out of work activities you enjoy. This is your first opportunity to truly sell yourself to the employer so take the time to answer this question with confidence and a strong delivery.  

  1. “Why are you leaving your current position?”

All new employers are going to want to understand the real reason as to why you are looking to move on in your career. Don’t hesitate when answering this question, and be honest and upfront with your response. During your answer insure you are, in no way negative about any of your previous employers. Always highlight the key skills you have learnt as well as any frustration that were in place. If you mention that you are making a shift in your career or pursuing a different challenge, be specific about what those changes are and how the role you’re interviewing for will fulfil that.    

  1. “What type of salary are you looking for?”

Money is always a driving factor when anybody is looking at moving into a new job. This question is something you shouldn’t be shy about coming forward and answering, we all need to make a living. Be realistic about your expectations as well as respectful towards the advertised salary range. If you are looking at the top of the range then be prepared, before the interview, as to why your skill set warrants the higher income. Always be confident with the answer you give. 

  1. “Why are you interested in this job/working for this company?”

This question will have required you to have done your homework. Take the time to visit and understand the company’s products and website and I don’t just mean 10 minutes. The person to get the job will be the one who answers this question the strongest. Be prepared to give specific answers about why you want this job and why you think you’ll be good at it. Try to focus your answer on the actual job description and the day to day activities you will be doing and not the hours, salary or benefits. Nobody wants to work for a company just because they pay is good as we all need a level of job satisfaction to get up on a rainy, cold, winters morning and go to work.

  1. “Tell me your greatest strength.”

Time to market and sell the brand that is YOU. When answering this question, try to think back to the job description advertised and adapt your answer accordingly. If they have a specific skill identify try to mirror this skill as your greatest strength. Once you have identified your biggest skill, elaborate on how you have brought that into previous job roles and the success you have had. For example, if you say you have great customer service then highlight a time you have gone above and behold to give a great customer experience.

  1. “Tell me your greatest weakness.”

Nobody likes to admit that they have a weakness, but we all do and there is no point hiding from it. Because of this, it can sometimes be a tough question to answer but, if you plan ahead then it becomes a lot easier. Pick a weakness prior to the interview and when asked highlight how it has challenged you in the past but explain the steps that you have taken to improve this weakness. Make sure you give them a specific example of how you are already improving this weakness in your current job role in comparison to previous jobs.  

  1. “Do you have any questions for us?”

Never, never, never say NO!! You need to go into an interview with at least 3 questions ready and waiting to be answered. The employer wants somebody to ask questions as this shows an interest in the job and the role. On occasions your question may have already been answered during the interview process, if this is the case then highlight this when asked. Example, I was going to ask…..but you have already answered that for me. A positive question to end on could be – to you what does success look like in this role? The last thing you want is walk away from an interview and think, Oh I wish I asked that!

Job interviews don’t need to be a stressful situation. As the saying goes if you FAIL TO PREPARE, THEN PREPARE TO FAIL. Sometimes the slightest slip-up can ruin your chances at a job you may have been perfect for. But with the right about of planning and preparation for you interview you can attend with confidence and be prepared for anything.  

And don’t forget the celebrities names that are coming to dinner!!