Questions to expect at interview – Part 1

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One of the biggest concerns for anxious job seekers when they are accepted for interview is – what am I going to say? What are they going to ask me?

We get asked this question often and the sad truth is that there is no standard interview format or set of questions that will ensure a fool-proof interview. However, in the spirit of going the extra mile for our special candidates out there we’ve researched the most commonly asked and jotted down some pointers as to how to handle them.

It can be assumed that you can do the job if you have been invited in for interview, so you can be pretty certain that a bulk of the questions will be to explore WHO you are and HOW you will do the job. However, if you are applying for a technical role or one which requires a certain amount of hands-on experience, you will need to know your stuff. Very often the first part of the interview will consist of an assessment of some sort.

Here are some ideas (and the reasons behind them)

Question

Why are they asking

How to answer

What interests you about this job?

  1. Testing your level of knowledge of the role and the company
  2. Making sure that it’s something that actually interests you. 

Learn all you can about the role and the company. Prepare at least 3 aspects of the position which you know and can do well, and use this as a tool to sell yourself.

Why should we hire you/Why are you the best person for the job?

Asking you to motivate your application, sell yourself to them.

They know you can do the job, as can the previous 5 applicants – but what makes you stand out? What would you do differently to make you indispensible?

What do you anticipate doing for the first 30 days?

Where are you going to start? How organised are you? How much thought have you given this?

Think what you would expect if you were your manager – what foundation work can you lay down, what systems can you put in place, what can you learn?

Is there anything more about the job/company that you would like to know, or, what questions do you have for us?

Are you truly interested in the position? Have you taken time to research their company?

Good examples would be: How do you rate success? What problems have you encountered before in this role? What is the team dynamic / company culture like?

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

What growth path are you looking for, where do your interests lie, are your expectations realistic?

Be honest, and be realistic. Have an ideal plan in mind, and express your desires.

Describe your work style

How do you interact with others? How organised are you? What strategy do you adopt most often?

Be specific – if you can, give examples of how you worked in similar positions and within similar groups. Highlight your specific input, what did you give of yourself.

Tell me about yourself

Sometimes just an opener, but often an open ended probe into what’s in the forefront of your mind.

No need to talk about your upbringing or your girlfriend. Focus on your career or education and give a brief overview, highlighting achievements and things that interested/excited you.

What are your weaknesses/ What do people criticize most about you?

Want to see if you’re honest about your failings, and usually genuinely want to know if the issues that you struggle with are relevant

Know who you are. If necessary, ask a close friend or parent where you most often fall down, and explore that avenue. Do an online personality/strengths assessment if you can. But always be honest!

These are just a few questions that we see and hear often. More will follow over the next few weeks, but if there is something in particular that you have been asked and would like to know the best way to answer please leave a comment below and we will be thrilled to assist.

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