Commonly asked interview questions.
After the last year it’s no surprise that many of us are interview rusty. This post looks at the top commonly asked interview questions and gives some tips on how to answer them.
Question 1: TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.
What they really want to know: Who do you think you are? And will you know what to leave in and what to leave out? Break it down, rehearse, breeze it. Make your answer sound natural by practicing.
Question 2: WHY ARE YOU APPLYING FOR THIS JOB?
Real Question: What can you do that we need? Do you know what we need? Reflect the job spec in your answer. Discuss their needs before yours.
Question 3: WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST STRENGTHS?
Real Question: Do you really know yourself — and what our problem is here? Answer with the job description in mind. Go beyond adjectives such as “hard-working” and “trust-worthy”. Give examples.
Question 4: WHERE WILL YOU BE IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?
Real Question: Are you after this job or just any job? How soon will you need a new challenge? Do you have a realistic sense of what we offer you? If you do not know, calmly say so — it is only natural. “I want to be doing your job!” is usually a fail — it’s too confrontational. One honest reply is to acknowledge you are there to talk about the job on offer, not the job it leads to. Also, use the opportunity to detail your achievements.
Question 5: WHAT DO YOUR CO-WORKERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT YOU?
Real Question: Do you sound calm or wary about this? Are you self-aware or just self-conscious? This catches out people not been telling the whole truth, so use true examples.
Question 6: HOW WOULD YOU MANAGE YOUR WORK IF NOT IN THE OFFICE?
Real Question: The world is unpredictable. Can you handle the unexpected? Be specific about what you would do — that simple.
Question 7: HAVE YOU IMPROVED IN THE LAST YEAR?
Real Question: Are you ready to be challenged and learn from your mistakes? This tests self-knowledge, resilience and ability to improve in less strong areas. Aim to convince the interviewer you are happy to accept a challenge and learn from the experience.
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