The following list includes some common questions asked by many interviewers and how to prepare answers:
Tell me about yourself: the interviewer will want to know more about you than they can read from your resume so tell them about the kind of person you are. Talk about your achievements, particularly those from previous jobs which are relevant to the position applied for and any outstanding achievements from sports or other personal activities. Give examples, saying you are a high achiever or a good team worker means nothing without proof so back up any claims. Think about what they are looking for in this job and emphasize your relevant qualities.
Why do you want this job: do your research about the company and about the job role and prepare answers to explain why you are suited to both the job and to the company. Salary may be an attraction but talking about money will not often create a good impression, instead talk about career prospects and progression.
Why are you thinking of leaving your current employer: the answer may well be redundancy, which is obviously self-explanatory. If have or are looking to resign be honest about the reasons but try not to be too negative about the company, talk about the positives; what have you learned from working there and how those skills and experiences can benefit a new employer.
Gaps in employment: gaps are usually covered in a resume, however an interviewer if you have been out of work for a long period of time they may want to know why and what you have been doing. If your finances allowed for a break explain this and what you have been doing e.g. traveling, home improvement, voluntary work, looking after children etc. If you have been temporary work again tell the interviewer and although unemployment can be a difficult time always try to turn the negatives into positives.
What are your strengths and weaknesses: think about the qualities you have demonstrated in previous jobs such as achieving targets, meeting tight deadlines, resolving conflicts in the work place, going the extra mile for customers. Do not just reel off a list of typical strengths you think they will be looking for, be able to give examples. When talking about weaknesses, be honest, the worst answer you can give to say none or even worse ‘I’m a perfectionist’. We all have weaknesses but the important thing is to identify them and to work to overcome them, tell the interviewer how you are working towards this.
Interviews can vary greatly from one company to another and we have all been caught out with some bizarre and awkward questions but the above questions are common in most interviews, sometimes not asked in the same format but these are questions every interviewer should want answering.
Remember that the employer has put aside some time to meet you , which means he thinks you are a good fit for the role. So be confident, enthusiastic and smile!
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