Going for a job interview can be an exhilarating experience. Although many questions are unpredictable on the day, you can still prepare beforehand for a more common set which often comes up.
You can do this by preparing responses to some of the more common questions that may arise. Doing this puts you in good standing and may help to mentally prepare for a successful interview.
Can you tell me something about yourself?
This is a common ice-breaker. It sets the stage for the remainder of the conversation. A common problem is that many people often don’t know where to begin and may end up speaking about irrelevant subjects. An easy way of avoiding this is by sticking to talking about relevant experience and qualifications for the job at hand. Mention how this relates to you being the best fit for the job.
Why should we hire you?
Use this opportunity to specify directly what you have to offer the company. Tailor your response around how you’ll fit into the company environment, how you’ll relate with management and your qualifications and experience. Potential job candidates should us this as a way to sell their skills better to the company.
What are your greatest strengths?
In this instance, describe your strengths that relate specifically to the job at hand. A balance is required to ensure that honest, clear and concise responses are given. Give concise examples of your strengths in action.
What are your main weaknesses?
Often asked in conjunction with the question about strengths, this question gauges your ability to reflect on what aspects of your personality you can improve upon. Keep your response honest and realistic, without becoming overly self-deprecating.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
This question is a test of your ability to set realistic, tangible goals. The interviewer may be assessing how effective you are at this skill. A healthy display of ambition is suitable as well as honesty. Your response sets the tone in the interviewer’s eyes for how you will achieve your goals.
How well do you perform under pressure?
This question requires an honest account of your stress management techniques. Describe a scenario in which you handled a stressful situation effectively and explain other methods that can be useful.
What kind of salary do you expect?
Do some research beforehand on industry standard salaries for the job. Incorporate your qualifications and experience into your figure. Avoid selling yourself short and expressing unrealistic expectations. This is a tricky question but it can be answered simply by giving your interviewer a realistic figure based on how well you can do the job.
What are your interests or hobbies outside of work?
This question allows the interviewer to gain a more personal impression of you and to decide how well you might fit into the organisation’s culture. When answering this question, it’s alright to open up about yourself, but be careful not to get too comfortable. Maintain your sense of professionalism.
Why did you leave your last job?
This is a fairly common question asked in interviews. It allows the interviewer to understand where you’re coming from and where you’re headed. Stay clear of bad-mouthing your former company and stick to giving the impression that you are eager for new opportunities. Try to be as clear as possible and remain honest.
Do you have any questions?
This gives you a chance to ask any questions about the company. It’s a good way to show your interest in the company. Asking questions related to the work environment and some of the projects and expectations may be a good way of demonstrating your eagerness to start working.