Sometimes it seems that there is no need to prepare for an interview and a false sense of security is tempting. However, the key to a successful job interview is all about preparation and anticipating the common questions that will most certainly come up. Here are 5 typical questions that we would like to share with you that will be asked of you, once you get familiar with theses, then you will most certainly have an advantage against other interviewees.
Tell Me About Yourself?
So this is an opportunity to put your best foot forward, there is a saying, “your first impression, is your lasting impression”. In fact, I have come across many candidates who completely struggle with this question. The reason for this is because they are all unsure of whether to answer this from a professional or personal standpoint. The answer to this is to keep this professional. This is the opportunity to talk about you from a professional perspective. This is where you begin by talking about how many years experience you have as a professional, you can share what industry sectors you have worked in, you can share what qualifications you have, you can describe in general terms what transferrable skills you have and then ending that you are excited to hear and learn more about the company.
What Are Your Weaknesses?
It is great when you are asked about the merits because it is a green light that gives you the right to praise yourself and highlight your successes and achievements. But remember that this will be followed by the question of your weaknesses. If you are not careful, the answers can put you in a negative light. The true purpose of this question is to highlight your character, truthfulness, honesty and humility. Human nature shows that we can tend to be prideful and hide away from our weaknesses, but in reality, there is strength in weakness and vulnerability.
Here are some examples of weaknesses that you can give; I am often to focus on attention to detail and taking long to make decisions. I am not good at delegating tasks to others. I tend to like to work on my own than in a team. I tend to sometimes struggle with punctuality.
Often, employers will tend to ask a follow-on question, which may sound like this… “So, what are your plans to work on this or improve upon your weakness?” This is the time to think of a constructive answer that demonstrates that you are practically taking steps for self-improvement.
Why Do You Want to Quit Your Current Job?
If you are looking for a new job without having to leave the old one, this is a sign that you do not like something in it. When answering a question, you need to be very diplomatic. This question is not about where you were, but about where you want to move on. Therefore, avoid any responses that blur your current job or colleagues in a negative light. Always frame your response in positive manner, talking good of your previous employer, and that it is now time to move on to new pastures, grow as a professional and learn new skills.
What Are Your Strengths?
This is an interview questions that pretty much comes up all of the time, and you must certainly prepare for this one. This is a golden opportunity for you to certainly shine and sell yourself. Remember, the interview is really about selling yourself so that the employer can believe in your abilities and for you to demonstrate how you can add value to their business and department.
I’ve noticed many people struggle in this area, as they don’t know how to sell themselves. Your strengths come in the form of the different transferable skills that you possess. Here is a great list of transferrable skills you can think about to share:
Team player | Analytical | Leadership | Problem Solver | Relationship Management | Customer Service | Strategic Thinker | Numerical Ability | Strong Communicator / Negotiator
The key to identifying your strengths is to simply take the time to reflect on your career and remember how you added value and made a difference using your skills as strengths.
Tell Me How You Managed and Overcome a Difficult Situation at Work?
Most likely, you made mistakes, faced with uncomfortable, difficult and, possibly, even dangerous situations at work. The way you deal with them says a lot about you as a person and as an employee. The key to answering this difficult question is simple, talk about a situation that was not your direct mistake but you were able to contribute to its positive resolution. Remember the moment when some external forces, such as weather or customers, had created a stressful situation. What skills did you employ to rectify the situation? Did you have to make some challenging, difficult and diplomatic situations? This is your chance to demonstrate that you have effective and proactive problem solving and thinking skills.
Why Do You Want to Work With Us?
There may be a thousand reasons why you want to work in a company in which you are currently interviewing. Perhaps this is about your on-going development, an attractive salary, the company’s benefits, or even the reputation of the employer. However, you should not say that you are only motivated by money or prestige. It’s not all about you, this about how you can add value to the employer and be of service for the long-term.
Do You Have Any Questions?
This is a question that pretty much comes at the end of all interviews. Many candidates experience that there mind goes blank at this point and don’t have any questions to ask the employer; this is not a good sign. It’s always useful to have some questions of your own to ask an employer. Remember, it’s an INTERview, not an interrogation. This is your chance to find out more about the employer. Here are some sample questions that you can ask the interviewer:
How long have you worked here?
What is the current strategy of the business?
Who will I be working with in my team?
How has the business been performing to date?
What are the plans of the business over the next 5 to 10 years?
Having some questions ready always places you in a positive light and greatly favoured by employers as its shows how keen you are and that its not just about having a job, but about getting involved in the long-term plans of the business, understanding its ethos, culture and strategic approach.