Most Common Interview Questions and Answers
Interviews will make or break your application for a role, and as a result, you need to get any advantage as you can, to help, we’ve put together a number of common interview questions that you might get asked and how to answer them.
Tell Us About Yourself
A simple and common interview question on the surface but one that many people stumble on. For this question, it’s a good idea to keep it short and mention a few highlights that are particularly relevant to the job you’re applying for and the company.
While a quick mention that you have a family and a pet dog is nice, you must remember that you’re at a job interview being assessed on your ability to be the right person for the job. So, if you’ve won an employee of the year award or earned a high qualification then it is worth mentioning those over your love of a particular sport.
What do you know about us?
Are you prepared? Do you know much about the company you’re looking to work for? If you don’t, then make sure you do your research beforehand.
During a job interview, employers are looking to identify the best person for the job and the right character for the company. Can you fit in and blend with the company culture? Will you be looking to stay long-term? These are the answers that, through interview questions, employers are looking for and your analysis of their company can go some way to answering this and confirming your strength as a candidate.
What are your strengths?
Another common interview question but it’s an open one that can make or break your interview. Focus on your work strengths and look at them from the employers’ point of view.
The interviewer will be looking for what you do best and what you can offer them on a day-to-day basis within the role. Match your core strengths to the job position that you’re applying for and depending on the job, back it up with relevant analysis and statistics if you can. For example, in marketing roles, you might look at how many leads a campaign generated, or in sales how many sales you made on a particular product etc.
What are your weaknesses?
When it comes to weaknesses, it can be just as hard as you don’t want to come across as if you have a flaw – but the reality is we all need to work on something to strive, improve and grow.
Weaknesses won’t mean that you’re setting yourself up for a fall, but it’s a way for a company to work out that you can self-analyse and understand areas where you need to improve. Before an interview, think of 3 areas where you are weak but also have room to develop and grow, it can be from past work or personal life. Just show an understanding of your flaws and an ability to know how to improve.
Why did you leave your last job?
While this is perhaps an open chance to say critically negative things about your old employer, it’s never a good idea to do so. Instead, for whatever reason you left, ensure that it comes across as thoughtful and consistent with how you have come across the entire interview. Looking for career progression is often a good answer to this question as it shows that you want to grow and improve within a company that allows people to do so within their structure.
Questions to ask in an interview
We looked at a number of common interview questions, but do you have any to ask your interviewer? Asking questions at the end of an interview allows you to demonstrate that you have researched not just the company but the role you’re applying for and that you’re keen to learn more about the position as you see yourself doing it.
Make sure you ask questions about the role itself. The daily challenges and tasks, career progression, personal development and the company’s overall vision for the next few years are always good ones to ask. Sometimes, you might even catch the interviewer off guard, and they may not be able to answer, which isn’t a bad thing, as they’ll quickly realise that you’re serious about the position and keen to fill it.
The keys to interview success
Nailing an interview is never easy as there are so many variables to consider, from the type of person interviewing you to the role, the company and even the location. But what you can do is prepare yourself properly through research and practice, doing so and knowing the company, job description and how to match your experiences and successes with what the business is looking for will allow you to handle every question and ace the interview.
With these handy common interview question answers and tips, you’ll have your new job in no time.
For more information on how to successfully handle a job interview in any sector and for any role, get in touch with us here at PE Global at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ll be more than happy to help.