Below is a list of questions that are sometimes used in interviews. Before we talk about the questions, know that it is generally more than questions that you are being judged on, a smile can go a long way too, so don’t forget to throw in a few!
Keep your answers positive – ‘I left my last job because I hated it’ is not the best answer. Another way of saying it would be ‘I left my last job because I really wanted to try something new, and I feel that I have a lot to offer this position’.
Do you have any experience in……. If you are going for a job in a bar and you have never done bar work, when they ask you this question, try not to just say ‘No’. Think of what experience you do have and how it can apply to the position you are going for. ‘I have never worked in a bar, but I have been responsible for cash in my youth club, and I also have worked with customers in a shop as part of my Transition Year, and they were both happy to give me references’. The second answer is a lot more positive and more likely to leave a lasting impression.
Try not to be daunted by the questions or the interview process, or maybe just be happy in the knowledge that everybody is a little bit daunted, so it is just about relaxing and doing your best with each question as they come. Every answer won’t be fabulous, but the important thing is to relax and move on. One thing is for sure, the more interviews you do, the easier they become.
- Tell me about yourself?
- What do you know about our organisation? (Google can be a great initial tool for this!)
- What do you see yourself doing in five years from now?
- What do you consider three of your strengths to be?
- Tell me about three of your weaknesses (be careful about this one!)
- How would you describe yourself?
- What do you see this job entailing (look at the job description the night before if there is one)
- Why should we hire you?
- What achievements are you most proud of?
- Tell me about a problem you came across in work and how you overcame it?
- How would you cope with a team member who is not pulling their weight?
- What do you feel this position should pay?
- Have you any questions?
Questions about the ‘difficult areas’ in your C.V.
- Go through your C.V. and pick out the difficult areas that may give rise to awkward questions e.g. You dropped out of a Graphic Design course half way through it. You might be asked why you dropped out of the course. What you need to do is work out how you will handle it as best you can. Deal with the difficulties as best you can and move on to your positive points.
- Be ready to account for missing years. E.g. 2011 I worked in …….. for three months. 2014 I worked in ……….. for a year. The employer might want to know what you did from 2011 to 2014.
Awkward and difficult questions
- It is very difficult to prepare for these questions and they can often take you unawares. Once you recognise them, you can handle them much better.
- Sometimes in an interview you will be asked a question that seems very difficult to understand.
Remember, the interviewer may be testing you on your ability to cope with a difficult situation. They might not be interested in the answer but in the way you cope with the question. That said it is important to answer the question.
With difficult questions where you are not sure how to answer the question asked, it maybe be useful to use the ‘Editorial Control’. Turn the conversation around to what you want to talk about.
For the interview:
Smile, answer as positively as you can do your best, that’s it, that’s all you can do. Remember it is not about getting every interview, chances are you won’t, it is about learning about the interview process, improving your skills, so that when the right job comes along for you , you can do a very good interview for it.
How we can help:
So that is our small contribution to the process of interviewing! If you want to come in and chat to us, ask us to do up your CV, help you with interview skills, show you how to apply for a job online etc we are more than willing to help.