Common questions asked during job interviews

Q: "So, tell us about yourself"  This question may be used to assess your personality, preparation, communication skills and ability to think on your feet.

Q: "So, tell us about yourself"

This question may be used to assess your personality, preparation, communication skills and ability to think on your feet. Prepare a list of what you do, your strengths, and a summary of your career line, linking your experience to the job at hand.

Q: "Why did you leave your last job?"

Respond positively "...for better career advancement or promotion opportunities, increased responsibility, and greater variety at work..."

Q: "Why do you want to do this job / work for this company?"

Demonstrate your knowledge of the company and re-emphasis your suitability for the position.

Q: "What do you think you have to offer this company?"

This is a chance to sing your own praises, concentrating on the skills you have that are required for the position.

Q: "What do you think this position involves?"

This question is designed to reveal if you have thought about the position, done some research, listened to the interviewer, and can summarise all of this information clearly.

Q: "What do you know about the company?"

Demonstrate your interest in the job, and your understanding of the organisation and industry. Talk about the research you did into the company's key areas of interest, its size, its main customers or current status, making reference to your source of information.

Q: "Do you have any questions you would like to ask?"

Always prepare a question to ask the interviewer. Ask about the position, request clarification of general information about the company, or summarise your understanding and request confirmation. If they have already answered your questions tell them (be specific) so they know that you have thought about the position in preparing for the interview.

Q: "What do you believe are your key strengths?"

Prepare responses that give specific examples of your strengths at previous positions that will support your job application.

Q: "What do you believe are your weaknesses?"

No-one readily admits real weaknesses in an interview situation. It is general knowledge that this is an opportunity to turn the question into a positive. Think of something that relates to your experience of work that is reasonable as a weakness but is not really a negative point. For example; "I am very particular about detail", "I become very focused on the projects I am involved in"

Q: "Why have you had so many jobs?"

If you have had jobs in different industries or several positions in a short period, describe the positives, that you were learning new skills, following different career paths, and travelling overseas etc. Refer to the experience you gained in past jobs that relates to the position under discussion.

Q: "What do you enjoy most about your current / last job?"

The trick with this question is to list what you have enjoyed about work that strongly relate to the key competencies of the position in question, and mention that you are looking forward to expanding your experience.

Q: A question requesting confidential information about a previous employer

This may be a testing of your discretion and professionalism. It is best to reply that you would prefer not to reveal any confidential information, citing the fact that you are sure your interviewer would expect the same discretion from their employees.

Q: "Where do you see yourself in five years time?"

This is an assessment of the extent of your ambition and career planning. You should demonstrate that your long term goals are appropriate for the position being discussed and your commitment to them.

Q: "Do you work well under pressure?"

Answer with a 'yes', and give a specific example of a time when you were under pressure and how you rose to the challenge.

 

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