An interview is a daunting prospect for most people; stress levels rise and nerves kick in no matter how prepared you are. An interview establishes whether you have the necessary skills and experience to perform well in the role, showcase your enthusiasm for the job and company, as well as highlight whether you are the ‘right fit’ for the organisation.
Preparation is key, which includes having answers ready to questions you’re most likely to be asked. However, while being prepared is important, it is also crucial that you don’t over prepare and sound as though you are reading from a script, especially if you are asked unexpected questions which will throw you if you are over rehearsing certain answers and potentially be detrimental to your overall interview.
- Tell me about yourself. This is your chance to give a snapshot of your personality; what are your interests outside of work, how your hobbies can feed into your working life – inspiration / motivation etc
- Why do you want to work for us? Use this opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the company, show that you have done your research into their corporate culture and values, as well as how this relates to you as a professional.
- Tell me about your strengths. Be confident and don’t undersell yourself, this is the time where you can potentially out-shine other candidates through highlighting exactly what you bring to the table and more importantly why that benefits the role you are being interviewed for.
- Tell me about your weaknesses. This is where you can show you are able to self evaluate, which is an important quality and that by being able to identify your weaknesses there is scope for improvement.
- Why did you leave your last job? Be honest, but think about how you can frame the answer in the most positive way you can e.g. “There isn’t room for growth with current employer and I’m ready to move onto a new challenge” instead of “It’s very much if your face fits for them”. This is because when a candidate answers in a negative way about their current or last company, it can leave the interviewer wondering about negative traits in the interviewee.
- Tell me about a difficult scenario at work and how you dealt with it.This is where preparation comes in, so consider which scenario you want to discuss and link it to how your solution made a difference to the company you are leaving (or left) as well as how it’d feed into their company.
- Tell me about an achievement you are proud of. Think of your greatest work achievement and break it down to demonstrate the skills you used to achieve the result.
- What are your career goals? Don’t be afraid to be over ambitious, as ambition is admired, however be realistic and show that you know that it takes time and effort to achieve your goals, but you are willing to do it.
- What do you know about our organisation? Again, this is where you need to prepare beforehand by doing research into the company and what they have achieved over the last few years, market share and their competitors.
- Do you have any questions for us? Take control and ask questions relating to the company and their strategy – where they see themselves in the next year, any products due to be launched etc. However, avoid anything relating to salary, holidays or incentives as this will just make you appear materialistic.
Maintain eye contact with your interviewer(s)
Sit up straight. Body language can account for as much communication as when you talk