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Job Interview Tips-10 most common questions

Posted 15th May 2020 • Written by People First •

Job Interview Tips - Here are the 10 most common interview questions and quick tips on how to answer them

Why should I hire you?

It's a simple and obvious question, but no one is trying to catch you out and embarrass you, so stay calm.

Explain your qualities, describe your achievements and show what you could bring to the role. You can start by repeating the requirements of the role (“My understanding is that the job needs someone who can...”), then show the skills you have to achieve that with examples from your past.

Describe what sets you apart from your peers, what are your Unique Selling Points / USPs?

 

Tell me about yourself

A very, very general open-ended question, but it is meant to put you at ease by letting you talk about yourself. But not for too long! Don't see it as an excuse to talk and talk and talk. Keep it relevant, interesting and full of examples that show your successes, challenges overcome and progress made.

 

What is your biggest weakness?

Interviewers ask this question to see how self aware you are. Don’t mistake the interviewer for a psychiatrist and tell them all your problems, instead pick one weakness and, most importantly, show how you manage that problem. For example, “When under pressure my attention to detail can be less than I like so I build in extra time for checking my work or ask a colleague to do a final proof read for me.”

And definitely don't say "I have no weaknesses". You will be the 1000th person the interviewer has heard make that joke.

 

Why do you want to work here?

Find out as much as you can about the organisation and its competitors - this should help inform your answer. This is your chance to demonstrate that you have done your research into the company.

 

What are your strengths?

1: Before the interview make a list of what you’re good at, what you enjoy doing and what others say you’re good at.

2: Take that list a step further and ask yourself why you consider each strength to be a strength - list three reasons per strength.

3: For each strength listed, detail three examples of where you’ve showcased that strength.

 

What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

Don't be too arrogant and don't exaggerate but use this question as an opportunity to showcase your strengths. Use real life examples from your past.

 

Describe a time something went wrong and how you dealt with it

Even if you say you have no weaknesses, we all make mistakes; the important thing here is to show what you learned. Don't blame others for what went wrong, accept responsibility where necessary but show how the issue has helped you learn, develop and progress.

 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

A horrible question!

You don’t want to be under ambitious, OR over ambitious!

What does work is to say that you would hope to develop and be trusted with increasing responsibility over the next five years.

This shows that first and foremost you want to be recognised as someone who does an excellent job, and that this would underpin any career development and promotional opportunities.

 

What motivates you?

This is designed to show that not only your experience is good for the job but that you and your personality are a good fit for the job and company.

As with previous questions, before the interview make a list of the things that you enjoy doing at work and in your career, make sure they fit what the job offers and requires and use those in your answer. But be honest, don't force your answers to fit the job or you might get a job you don't really want! Honesty, enthusiasm and self-belief are qualities a recruiter will hope to see reflected in the answers.

 

Have you got any questions?

Remember that interviews are a two-way process. Interviewers will want to know if you’re interested in them and their organisation, so you should never go to an interview without a list of pre-prepared questions. Ask about the company and the opportunities for personal development and, of course, ask more about the role, its challenges and the team. Questions directed at the interviewer themselves are a good move too. What do they like about their job, the company, the culture?

Click to see more interview tips to help you in your search for a job with Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Multilingual or in Supply Chain.