The key to interview success is preparation.
The dynamics of an interview can sometimes be quite complex and there are no “Fool-Proof” formulas available which can guarantee success.
- However, you can certainly improve your chances of success at interview by demonstrating that you have the three “C”s.
- The Competence to be effective in the role
- The Confidence to use your skills for the benefit of the Employer
- Ben Compatible With the Company, it’s people and it’s culture
Interview questions, some are much easier to answer than others. Although you can’t ever be 100% accurate when it comes to knowing what questions you’ll be asked, there are certain queries that get asked time and again by interviewers.
Below are just some of the top questions asked by employers.
This seemingly simple icebreaker is a devilish conversation opener. The biggest mistake candidates make is to ramble about their life story. What the interviewer wants to hear is a focused answer that includes 4-5 sentences about you relevant to the job opening. The best answers are 2-3 minutes long and include information about your career history, experience. Make sure all of these details are related to the role you have applied for in some way.
This may seem like a tough question but by breaking it down into 3 parts you can breeze through it and impress the employer in the process: Make it clear that you believe you meet the requirements of the role. Go through the skills needed for the job and provide examples of how you displayed each of them in a previous role. Show that you’re a proactive individual who identified problems in previous jobs and found solutions. Employers want people who make things happen so if you can convince them you have a high level of initiative, you’re likely to end up with a positive result.
Don’t think this is a chance for you to talk about how great you are. Actually companies want to know what you can do for them. Numerous answers are good, just stay positive. A few good examples: Your ability to prioritise, your problem-solving skills, your ability to work under pressure, your ability to focus on projects, your professional expertise, your leadership skills, your positive attitude. This is your chance to sell yourself so offer an answer on what you can offer the organisation and what you can explicitly bring to the job and company.
This is tricky as no one wants to go through their weaknesses for fear of eliminating themselves. Think of a genuine one and always finish up with how you have overcome it / and are tackling it– if you genuinely feel you do not have a weakness, perhaps explain key arrears you feel you have greatly improved in throughout your career. Always turn a question like this around and focus on the positive, as opposed to the negative effect.
Regardless of the circumstances of your departure, NEVER criticise an old employer. Don’t say you’re looking for a new challenge if you’re not because the interviewer will investigate further. If you’re stuck for a reason, simply explain that you felt there were no opportunities for career advancement in your last job so you decided to move on and find a company which equals your ambitions.
The biggest blunder you can make here is to say ‘no’ and conclude the interview. This is an opportunity to demonstrate that you researched the company and are serious about the role. There are a host of good questions to ask and you need to prepare them in advance.