Common Interview Questions
The Interviewer is trying to find if your strengths match the job. Try to give an answer relevant to the position you are applying to. E.g. if you are applying for a job where accuracy is an important issue, one of your strengths could be that you have an eye for detail.
Use this question to your advantage by actually turning a negative into a positive. E.g. “I need to improve my typing skills and to combat this I have recently enrolled on a typing course”. This will show you can identify your weaknesses but at the same time, you are willing to improve. Finally, and most importantly: do not mention a weakness that is any way related to the job you are being interviewed for! This might sound obvious but it is a common mistake!.
If possible avoid using “I enjoy music, socialising and reading”. Try to aim your interests someway to the job you are applying for. If you have done some voluntary work this may be good to mention.
When answering this question make sure you do not give a negative answer. For example, “I did not get on with my boss” or “I did not agree with the way the business was managed”. If possible, try to answer the question so it shows you are looking for career progression.
Tell them your personal qualities, how motivated you are. Explain how you researched their company before attending to make sure it was a right fit for you. Talk about how you feel that the company and your skills and personal qualities will go well together.
A good answer here would be something along the lines of wanting to study and participate in training that will assist you in your job and aid in your chances of progressing within the company.
This is an opportunity for you to show the interviewer how enthusiastic you are about the job / industry. Try to think of an answer that shows your interest in the job. No doubt you will be asked this towards the end of the interview.
The employer is looking for a response that may demonstrate some of your strengths, skills or experience. Give an overview of your accomplishment and try to include things such as planning, making decisions, barriers you overcame, what you enjoyed and why.
Choose an example that you can explain in detail and one that shows you in a positive light. If you have no experience of dealing with a problem be honest and tell the employer this but then go onto describe what you would have done in a hypothetical [imaginary] situation.
Make sure you do ask a question as this shows your seriousness and interest in the position. Maybe you could ask about how you will be trained for the position. Do not ask about salary or holidays though.
Dress professionally in simple business attire; definitely no jeans or trainers
- Men should wear a shirt and tie and smart trousers
- Women should wear a smart top and skirt or smart trousers
Have your outfit ready the night before & have clean shoes & ironed clothes so you look the part
Do not smoke directly before an interview – the smell of smoke lingers
Remember to give a firm handshake at the beginning and end
Maintain eye contact throughout the interview
Always remember – You never get a second chance to make a first impression
Aim to be early – you can always find a somewhere nearby to wait. Arrive minimum of 10 minutes before your interview time so you are calm and relaxed as possible. If the worst happens and you are going to be late, then you must ring and let the employer know. Whatever method of transport you use; practise getting to the venue to see how long it will take and so you know where the building/employer is rather than getting lost on the day.
Look at the employers’ website and learn something about the company before you attend your interview. This is essential as a lot of companies will ask the question ‘What do you know about us?’ and saying ‘nothing’ will show a lack of interest/enthusiasm.
Writing them down and practising answers to questions with someone will make it easier to remember when you get to the interview. Have a look at the common interview questions and advice on how to answer them in this hand-out. Pick 2 or 3 questions you can ask the Employer at interview and make a note of them in case you forget or nerves get the better of you.
Make sure you know how you are going to explain any time gaps on your CV. Take a spare CV and your certificates with you; your interviewer won’t be expecting it so you will impress them. It also helps them remember you after the interview.
Don’t talk too much or too little – Communication is a two-way thing so ensure you are answering questions fully whilst also making sure you allow your interviewer a chance to ask them
Be enthusiastic, positive and confident – Don’t criticise previous employers. Focus on positive achievements and views. Make sure you communicate positively, professionally and with a pleasant manner.
Talk about specific achievement – Interviewers like to know how you felt about a particular success. Some will ask for specific examples of things you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of; how you solved problems; how you learned – and improved – from difficult situations.
Be honest – There really is no point lying about your background and/or skills. Job interviews are about matching needs – if there isn’t a good match, then there is a good chance that the job won’t work out.
The fact is that you will not be offered every job however perfect you think you may be for it. If you have been unsuccessful contact the employer to ask politely if they can give you any feedback for the future
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