9-Frequently Asked Questions in Interviews

As a candidate, you should accept that there is nothing new in performing effectively at a job interview. It’s all about preparation. This is easier to say in theory than to carry out in practice, but job interviews are, for the most part, a principle. They’re composed of and measured by a core of the most common interview questions and answers that ‘tick the boxes’. Any candidate is sure to make a strong impression if they make a reasonably committed study of the most common interview questions and answers; if they commit themselves to understanding what the organization is really looking for.

The most important thing is understanding that an interview is a forum for pitching the skills, achievements, qualifications and character attributes listed on your resume as unique selling points; “this is a major reason you have been invited in the first place.” Knowledge of the most common interview questions and answers is still vital. Make no mistake: if you go in to an interview ill-prepared, you’re most likely not going to make a good impression and it’s an inexcusable waste of opportunity. However, there is no reason to assume you will not make the final shortlist at the very least; you don’t want to seal your fate before even trying.

 

  • Tell Me About Yourself

Some candidates will want to prevent it, but just tick to responding with 5 straight points of introduction i.e. your name, your present status, institution you attended, a brief description of who you are and why you applied for the job. It’s quite important we emphasize that interviewers are looking for a quick and informative response to this question. They are thinking about your demeanour and attitude of this candidate, and how articulate you are. If you know that you are being asked to represent your best self, and what you find special about yourself.

 

  • Tell us About Your Strengths/Weaknesses?

The interviewers that ask this question are trying to measure to what extent your self-awareness is, what problem solving skill you will be bringing to the company, to know if you are genuinely and positively self-critical etc.

In preparation for the interview, note down and group your skills under these headings: knowledge-based skills, transferable skills and personal traits. Choose three to five of the strengths from each column that match the employer’s specific requirements as listed in the job advertisement, and back them up with specific examples from your own history to demonstrate why you believe it to be a strength. Do the same for your weaknesses as its very essential to be honest no matter how hard it is.

I can’t stress the importance of preparation enough, preparation is vital. Write and memorize something short, concise and positive, that you’ll be able to deliver with confidence.

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

The interviewer is asking this question to know how long you intend to be with them, if you’ve properly thought through what is meant by working for them, how ambitious you are and If you’re too ambitious for what they can offer, your dedication if eventually hired and if you’ll be a waste of their resources when hired.

On answering these questions, it could not be stressed enough that you have no business applying for a job that isn’t in line with your dream job, or could better prepare you for it. If you have researched the potential growth opportunities available with your position, you should let the interviewer know that you see yourself assuming the responsibilities.

For example, if you are applying for a sales position and in five years you know that the position will likely lead you to a Marketing Head Position, tell the interviewer that you see yourself in the role of Marketing Head. I advise that you state the responsibilities of this position and how you plan to execute them as efficiently as possible.

 

  • Why do you want to work for us?

When interviewers ask these questions, it’s usually because they are considering What you know about them, if you really want to work for them, if and what you know about them, and whether you share their values or you’re simply just looking for a job.

Liz Ryan, CEO and founder of Human Workplace freely admits that the truthful answer for most job seekers is: “I saw your job ad, I’m qualified for the job, and so I wanted to learn more. I don’t know whether I want to work here yet. That’s why I came to the interview to find out.”

However, even if that is your feeling, it’s better to adopt a softer tone. You have been given the interview so you must be in with a chance. They already know that you want a job, so essentially, they’re just giving you an opportunity to hear what you know about the company.

 

  • Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

When they ask this question, they want to know your relationship with your employer, your view about employer/employee relationship, how you talk about your employer (i.e. your loyalty and respect) and if you will probably leave their organization for the same reasons.

In tackling these question, you want to make sure you avoid speaking negatively about your previous managers, colleagues, or the company. However, you can discuss broadly about company goals or mention that you disagree with the direction the business is pursuing. Just don’t get personal in your response. Being negative won’t reflect well upon you. Plus, industries can often be small: You could easily speak negatively of a co-worker only to have that person be your interviewer’s former colleague.

You don’t have to tell the whole truth. But you should tell something that reflects the real reason you are leaving, start by describing some of the things you have been able to accomplish, then shift to explaining how you no longer have opportunities to learn and develop your skills.

Practicing your responses will help you feel comfortable answering. This is particularly true if you were laid off or asked to resign. This question can be particularly nerve-wrecking to answer and in such cases, just give a short, clear, and unemotional response.

 

  • Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

The most important advice on this question is that you should never be in a position where you do not have a question to ask your interviewers when invited. Research a couple of questions to ask at job interview. Having a question, or two, is a positive sign, that you have commitment, a healthy curiosity and care about the job you have applied for.

You can ask questions related to the post you applied for e.g. What are the expectations of the person to whom you would report, the kind of person they are looking for to fill the vacant position, the priorities of the position, what are the main problem areas that need attention in this position and what you should expect after the interview exercise

 

  • The ‘Hypothetical Problem/Crisis’ Question

When interviewers ask these kinds of questions, they want to know if you take initiative, if are the type that structure your activities, how you deal with stress on the job, and if you have any rational and logical problem-solving skills; if you genuinely engage with the problem, or just give up immediately

This best way to prepare for this is by drawing up a list of information about yourself, with your key strengths, information about your education and employment history, how others would describe you, and your strongest skills, in addition to detailing specific instances where your skills helped you to solve a problem for your business or your employer. Even if the problem is beyond your reach, keep calm and attempt to convey that you have analyzed it critically, and would know what steps would be required to solve it satisfactorily. Weigh up the options that you considered, and show how you reached your decision. It’s a hypothetical situation, but it’s very important that you never joke or make light of the situation.

 

  • The ‘Surprise’ Question

Interviewers ask these types of questions to measure your pulse, to know if you think outside the box all simply to get a glimpse of your personality.

The most difficult questions you’ll encounter in a job interview are the commonly asked behavioral or situational interview questions. The interviewer uses a probing style to ask questions seeking very specific examples. They often start out with “Describe, or Give me an example of, or tell me about a specific time.

The interviewer is looking for details of your past abilities and specific work performance. They rate each response to determine how well you reacted to these situations in the past, and to predict your future performance with their company. These situational questions are thought-provoking and you should consider your answers carefully. The interviewer will likely take notes on each answer. Your answer must contain specifics: specific details, specific illustrations, about a specific work situation.

 

  • Why Should We Hire You?

When interviewers ask you this question, it’s because they want to know your view of their organization, if you truly understand their values and organization’s goals and how you intend to contribute to it. As a candidate, you need to prepare a standard answer for this question, your response must be customized to the role you are applying for, you have to be confident, and display true passion for the work required, as this serves as a pretty compelling selling point for you.

However, while experience and qualifications are important, “the right attitude can definitely give you an edge over those with similar professional backgrounds”. You should know that your interviewers have many years of experience in recruiting and hiring, and they are used to whatever you might be planning to say. But at the end of the day most interviewers would rather hire someone who has a they drive for the role or those with a little less experience, but who is driven and motivated to learn and succeed.”

 

In conclusion, the interview is not about you, it’s really all about them, the interview panel. You need to uncover and understand the needs” of the hiring company. The key business drivers that keep the company’s executives up at night. Identify those and position yourself as a contributory solution.

The basis behind your research is to understand how the company stands financially, identify the key decision makers and partners, vendors and customers. Their products and services, the areas where you might be able to help the business grow and the culture and terminology, so you can speak the company’s language during the all-important interview.

As a candidate, you should accept that there is nothing new in performing effectively at a job interview. It’s all about preparation. This is easier to say in theory than to carry out in practice, but job interviews are, for the most part, a principle. They’re composed of and measured by a core of the most common interview questions and answers that ‘tick the boxes’. Any candidate is sure to make a strong impression if they make a reasonably committed study of the most common interview questions and answers; if they commit themselves to understanding what the organization is really looking for.

The most important thing is understanding that an interview is a forum for pitching the skills, achievements, qualifications and character attributes listed on your resume as unique selling points; “this is a major reason you have been invited in the first place.” Knowledge of the most common interview questions and answers is still vital. Make no mistake: if you go in to an interview ill-prepared, you’re most likely not going to make a good impression and it’s an inexcusable waste of opportunity. However, there is no reason to assume you will not make the final shortlist at the very least; you don’t want to seal your fate before even trying.

 

  • Tell Me About Yourself

Some candidates will want to prevent it, but just tick to responding with 5 straight points of introduction i.e. your name, your present status, institution you attended, a brief description of who you are and why you applied for the job. It’s quite important we emphasize that interviewers are looking for a quick and informative response to this question. They are thinking about your demeanour and attitude of this candidate, and how articulate you are. If you know that you are being asked to represent your best self, and what you find special about yourself.

 

  • Tell us About Your Strengths/Weaknesses?

The interviewers that ask this question are trying to measure to what extent your self-awareness is, what problem solving skill you will be bringing to the company, to know if you are genuinely and positively self-critical etc.

In preparation for the interview, note down and group your skills under these headings: knowledge-based skills, transferable skills and personal traits. Choose three to five of the strengths from each column that match the employer’s specific requirements as listed in the job advertisement, and back them up with specific examples from your own history to demonstrate why you believe it to be a strength. Do the same for your weaknesses as its very essential to be honest no matter how hard it is.

I can’t stress the importance of preparation enough, preparation is vital. Write and memorize something short, concise and positive, that you’ll be able to deliver with confidence.

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

The interviewer is asking this question to know how long you intend to be with them, if you’ve properly thought through what is meant by working for them, how ambitious you are and If you’re too ambitious for what they can offer, your dedication if eventually hired and if you’ll be a waste of their resources when hired.

On answering these questions, it could not be stressed enough that you have no business applying for a job that isn’t in line with your dream job, or could better prepare you for it. If you have researched the potential growth opportunities available with your position, you should let the interviewer know that you see yourself assuming the responsibilities.

For example, if you are applying for a sales position and in five years you know that the position will likely lead you to a Marketing Head Position, tell the interviewer that you see yourself in the role of Marketing Head. I advise that you state the responsibilities of this position and how you plan to execute them as efficiently as possible.

 

  • Why do you want to work for us?

When interviewers ask these questions, it’s usually because they are considering What you know about them, if you really want to work for them, if and what you know about them, and whether you share their values or you’re simply just looking for a job.

Liz Ryan, CEO and founder of Human Workplace freely admits that the truthful answer for most job seekers is: “I saw your job ad, I’m qualified for the job, and so I wanted to learn more. I don’t know whether I want to work here yet. That’s why I came to the interview to find out.”

However, even if that is your feeling, it’s better to adopt a softer tone. You have been given the interview so you must be in with a chance. They already know that you want a job, so essentially, they’re just giving you an opportunity to hear what you know about the company.

 

  • Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

When they ask this question, they want to know your relationship with your employer, your view about employer/employee relationship, how you talk about your employer (i.e. your loyalty and respect) and if you will probably leave their organization for the same reasons.

In tackling these question, you want to make sure you avoid speaking negatively about your previous managers, colleagues, or the company. However, you can discuss broadly about company goals or mention that you disagree with the direction the business is pursuing. Just don’t get personal in your response. Being negative won’t reflect well upon you. Plus, industries can often be small: You could easily speak negatively of a co-worker only to have that person be your interviewer’s former colleague.

You don’t have to tell the whole truth. But you should tell something that reflects the real reason you are leaving, start by describing some of the things you have been able to accomplish, then shift to explaining how you no longer have opportunities to learn and develop your skills.

Practicing your responses will help you feel comfortable answering. This is particularly true if you were laid off or asked to resign. This question can be particularly nerve-wrecking to answer and in such cases, just give a short, clear, and unemotional response.

 

  • Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

The most important advice on this question is that you should never be in a position where you do not have a question to ask your interviewers when invited. Research a couple of questions to ask at job interview. Having a question, or two, is a positive sign, that you have commitment, a healthy curiosity and care about the job you have applied for.

You can ask questions related to the post you applied for e.g. What are the expectations of the person to whom you would report, the kind of person they are looking for to fill the vacant position, the priorities of the position, what are the main problem areas that need attention in this position and what you should expect after the interview exercise

 

  • The ‘Hypothetical Problem/Crisis’ Question

When interviewers ask these kinds of questions, they want to know if you take initiative, if are the type that structure your activities, how you deal with stress on the job, and if you have any rational and logical problem-solving skills; if you genuinely engage with the problem, or just give up immediately

This best way to prepare for this is by drawing up a list of information about yourself, with your key strengths, information about your education and employment history, how others would describe you, and your strongest skills, in addition to detailing specific instances where your skills helped you to solve a problem for your business or your employer. Even if the problem is beyond your reach, keep calm and attempt to convey that you have analyzed it critically, and would know what steps would be required to solve it satisfactorily. Weigh up the options that you considered, and show how you reached your decision. It’s a hypothetical situation, but it’s very important that you never joke or make light of the situation.

 

  • The ‘Surprise’ Question

Interviewers ask these types of questions to measure your pulse, to know if you think outside the box all simply to get a glimpse of your personality.

The most difficult questions you’ll encounter in a job interview are the commonly asked behavioral or situational interview questions. The interviewer uses a probing style to ask questions seeking very specific examples. They often start out with “Describe, or Give me an example of, or tell me about a specific time.

The interviewer is looking for details of your past abilities and specific work performance. They rate each response to determine how well you reacted to these situations in the past, and to predict your future performance with their company. These situational questions are thought-provoking and you should consider your answers carefully. The interviewer will likely take notes on each answer. Your answer must contain specifics: specific details, specific illustrations, about a specific work situation.

 

  • Why Should We Hire You?

When interviewers ask you this question, it’s because they want to know your view of their organization, if you truly understand their values and organization’s goals and how you intend to contribute to it. As a candidate, you need to prepare a standard answer for this question, your response must be customized to the role you are applying for, you have to be confident, and display true passion for the work required, as this serves as a pretty compelling selling point for you.

However, while experience and qualifications are important, “the right attitude can definitely give you an edge over those with similar professional backgrounds”. You should know that your interviewers have many years of experience in recruiting and hiring, and they are used to whatever you might be planning to say. But at the end of the day most interviewers would rather hire someone who has a they drive for the role or those with a little less experience, but who is driven and motivated to learn and succeed.”

 

In conclusion, the interview is not about you, it’s really all about them, the interview panel. You need to uncover and understand the needs” of the hiring company. The key business drivers that keep the company’s executives up at night. Identify those and position yourself as a contributory solution.

The basis behind your research is to understand how the company stands financially, identify the key decision makers and partners, vendors and customers. Their products and services, the areas where you might be able to help the business grow and the culture and terminology, so you can speak the company’s language during the all-important interview.

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