Interview Questions

Interview Questions: An essential part of your interview preparation is to ensure that you are well prepared to answer questions that the interviewer is likely to ask. The better prepared you are for interview, the more relaxed you will feel and confident in your approach.

Reasons for leaving present and past jobs
  • Never be negative about past employers.
  • If you want to leave your present job for negative reasons, be very careful in how you express this to an interviewer.
  • Mention that you are looking for a new challenge, with more responsibility or a change of environment. It is advisable not to speak of remuneration in connection with your desire for a new job.
What are your Strengths and Weaknesses?
  • Examples include team player, flexibility, reliability, use my own initiative, organised, communicate effectively with staff at all levels, committed, trustworthy, etc. Also your education and work experience to date are key strengths.
  • Try to have examples of each strength, and use the ones that are going to be most relevant to the role for which you are being interviewed.
  • Weaknesses should always be turned into strengths, therefore always counterbalance negativity with a positive comment.
  • Examples of weaknesses may include taking on too much responsibility, you can turn this into strength by stating that you learned to delegate and manage your time more efficiently in order to overcome this.
Why our firm/this company?
  • Use your research and compliment the firm, you should let them know you have looked at their website.
  • Avoid mentioning aspects such as the salary level or length of hours.
How would your manager/friends describe you?
  • You should use some of the answers you have prepared for your strengths: e.g. reliable, honest, hard-working.
Give an example of where you have used your own initiative
  • Here you must describe the picture clearly, 3 point answer – The problem; What you did about it; and Successful conclusion.
Interests & Hobbies
  • Use a variety of interests that show you are a team player.
  • Be honest about interests and hobbies.
  • Always be able to list at least two to three hobbies.
  • Hobbies should provide you with both mental and physical stimulation.
  • Do not discuss this, however if asked be honest and tell them your previous salary and what you are looking to earn.
  • Highlight that salary expectations are flexible depending upon the right opportunity.
What parts of your job do you like/dislike the most?
  • The interviewer is trying to find out whether the job in question involves tasks you like/dislike.
  • Talk about the characteristics of your present company that are different from the company you're interviewed by. For example, if your company is large, you might say you are frustrated with slow decision-making. Or if it's small, you could say that there is a lack of opportunity to progress in your career.
  • Likes - Try to tailor your likes to similar things they are looking for on the job specification for the position for which you are being interviewed.
  • Dislikes - Try not to be too negative – e.g. I dislike it when it is quiet and time passes slowly however if this happens, I will ask if any colleagues need help.
Questions to ask at the end of the Interview
This is an opportunity to further impress, consider some of the following as good questions to ask:
  • Why has the position become vacant?
  • What does the role entail?
  • What opportunities are there for promotion?
  • How will my performance be assessed?
  • Do you encourage individuals to further develop themselves through training?
  • How will my performance be monitored?
  • Who will I report to?
  • What will my daily routine involve?
  • Which of my skills are required to do this job?
  • What is it about this department and organisation that you (the interviewer) enjoy?
  • What is the next step?
Remember that the interview is a two-way process. As well as the employer interviewing you, you are also interviewing your prospective employer. Make sure you ask questions to help you decide whether you want the job and whether you want to work for this particular employer.

At the end of the Interview the interviewer will ask if you have any further questions. If you haven’t, tell them you have asked everything that you wanted to for the moment and you will think about it, you can always ask your consultant to contact them with any further questions. End the interview by saying something like “Thank you for your time, it sounds like an excellent opportunity”.

  • Counterbalance any negative response you give with a positive comment.
  • Maintain a positive attitude, enthusiasm and smile.
  • Overall composure – body language i.e. do not fidget.
  • Conservative dress – smart attire, groomed hair and minimal jewellery.
  • Make a list of questions you want to ask at interview.
  • Make a list of positive comments about yourself you want to make, use the examples you have thought of for your strengths. Most questions are open ended and each one is an opportunity to sell yourself.

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