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To help give you an idea of what could come up, here is a list of common interview questions and tips on answering:
This is a common opening question, partly because your interviewers want to know more about you, but mostly because they want to put you on the spot and see how you react.
They’ve given you complete control here, and you should take full advantage of it. They have not, however, asked for your life story. Ensure you keep your answer relevant to the role you are applying for.
Keep your answer to a two or three minute long summary briefly covering your education, your interest in the field, work history and experience.
The first part of this question is realising that you actually have some – being a perfectionist doesn’t count.
Everyone has weaknesses or things that they can improve about themselves. Be honest with yourself, give your answer but address how you are practically trying to tackle this. You could use examples of identifying training which you are planning to get or courses you are going on etc.
This is your chance to sell yourself – don’t be modest!
There could be a number of candidates being interviewed so this is your chance to demonstrate why you want the job, why you would be a perfect fit for the company and how your experience is relevant to the role.
Before the interview have a look at the average salary for someone in this industry, within your local area, and who possesses similar skills to yourself, and you should get a basic idea.
Don’t sell yourself short but make sure you give a broad but realistic answer.
The interviewer wants to see that you’ve thought about your future and find out about your ambitions and motivations. They also want to verify that this isn’t just a stop gap position (unless of course it is a fixed term contractor role).
Tailor your answer to the organisation and position you’ve applied for and ask your interviewer about potential career progression. Be passionate about the industry you are applying for and discuss your ambitions and talk about your strengths.
If you’re going for a senior position, explain how you’d be looking to move the company forward. Have a look at their business strategy or corporate objectives before the interview, and explain how you can help them achieve this.
Where possible, be honest. If it was for personal reasons, such as caring responsibilities then say that. Otherwise, say you were taking a career break to assess your new career direction.
This is a similar answer as to ‘why do you want the job?’ but focus your answer more on the specific role and why you want to work for that company. You could mention skills mentioned in the job description which you are capable of.
You can be relatively honest here, but use your common sense. Because it’s unlikely anyone one grew up dreaming of the day they’d become an international pension transfer specialist but it won’t look good if the firm you are applying for is an engineering company and you tell them you have always wanted to be a hairdresser.
Always say yes! It shows you are keen and will give you a chance to find out more about the company you are potentially going to be working for other than what they have on their website. Here are some suggestions.
1. Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
2. What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role?
This question will give you a chance to expand on any skills you have not already discussed in the interview if they bring up a skillset of the role which you match.
3. What are your expectations for this role during the first 30 days, 60 days, a year?
4. Describe the culture of the company.
5. What are the biggest opportunities facing the company/department right now?
8. What are the biggest challenges facing the company/department right now?
9. What do you like best about working for this company?
10. What is the typical career path for someone in this role?