Preparation is key when it comes to job interviews, so running through the most common questions and preparing your answers is vital. It is important to practice both the easy-peasy questions and the difficult ones. The questions selected are some of the hardest questions you might see but there are plenty more. So have a look at how you could answer them so that you ace and smash your interview.
The question is… are you ready for the interview?
Preparation is key when it comes to job interviews – find out as much as you can about the company, make sure you know exactly where the interview is being held and how to get there, decide what you’re going to wear and make sure you’re on time.
And that’s the easy bit. You can’t predict exactly what will come up in the interview, but there are some age-old questions you might want to consider that may well be asked and, even if they’re not, giving them some thought beforehand will help make it clear in your mind what sort of things you need to get across to secure the job you want.
Imagine you’re being asked the following questions, think about your answers, and practice the key points you want to make:
Be straightforward and honest. Play to your strengths and think about what you have learned and achieved in your previous employment that has made you better at your job and increased your experience and skill set. Have you worked on a project that took you out of your comfort zone but gave your confidence a boost? Are there examples of how your people management skills have been put to the test with a positive outcome? Try not to boast or embellish your achievements, the chances are the interviewers will see straight through the bluster.
Don’t be negative about your weaknesses. Find something you think you could work on but be ready with a list of things you’re doing, or want to do, to address that weakness. It might be a lack of understanding of technology, or little or no experience in managing a team – as long as the job you’re going for doesn’t require either of those, you’re showing you want to grow and learn.
Don’t be tempted down the stealth boast – my biggest weakness, if any, is that I work too hard – route. You’ll fool no one.
They have your CV and they’ve invited you in for an interview, so be calm and confident. Outline your experience and strengths and what you can offer in terms of your personality and enthusiasm for the new role. Think about the application process and what they said they were looking for and concentrate on addressing as many of those points as possible.
Tell them why you feel the role is right for you and why you want it – if you’ve done your homework about the company, you’ll be able to say why you think you’ll be a good fit and how working in the business interests and excites you.
Having goals shows you’ve given thought to what you want to achieve and how you aim to get there. Talk about the job you’d eventually like to do and relate that to the role you’re being interviewed for. It doesn’t matter whether your ultimate goal is one step down the line, or many years of experience away, the fact that you know what you want and how you’re going to get it should impress the interviewers.
Go back over your work history and experience and show if you can, that each step has been part of getting to where you want to be. Don’t be afraid that they will be put off by the fact that you’re ambitious and may well need to move on again in future – if they are impressed by your determination, they will see you as a long-term prospect.
This is probably the one that throws most people. It probably comes at the end of a long and detailed interview when you feel you’ve covered everything. The best approach at this point is to ask more about the company, its culture and what a typical working day or week looks like. Ask about how progression and success are measured and if there are any particular challenges the company is facing.
Finish off by asking if there’s anything else they would like to know from you, and if you’ve answered their questions as fully as they would like.
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