Interview Questions and Answers
Examples of questions and answers at job interviews
Tell me about yourself
Think in advance about what you will say when asked this question. Your story should be fairly short but filled with relevant information. Tell the interviewer where you studied, how you chose your profession, where you worked and mention your professional achievements. Try to show passion and interest in what you are doing.
What are your strengths?
Name the qualities that you possess and believe are the most useful for the role you are applying for. It’s better to back up your words with examples from your personal experience – tell them about your achievements at your previous job. For example, tell them about processes you improved and/or how you increased the profits of the company.
What are your weaknesses?
This is a tricky question. Don’t try to show that you are open and honest and begin naming all your negative qualities. Instead transform negative into positive. For example, you can say that you never give up until you finish something and, therefore, often stay at work until late. You can also say that you feel that you could top up your knowledge on a subject that complements your profession but is not a core part of it. Ensure you mention that you are already making efforts to improve in this area through your own pro-activity.
Why do you want to work in our company?
Here you can use your knowledge of the company and its products and services (We explained how to find information on a company in Pass Any Interview: Tip1). Show your admiration of the company and interest in what they are doing. Mention that you would like to participate in the growth and development of the company. It’s better not to mention that you are experiencing financial difficulties or that you are only interested in money.
Why do you think that you are good for this role?
Show your knowledge of the company, your interest in its products and services and how your skills can help to support them. Demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the industry and market in which the company operates, and express a desire to build a career in that industry.
Why are you leaving your current job?
It is better to always use positive language when answering this question. We explained how to use positive language in Pass Any Interview: Tip8.
Did you ever make mistakes in your previous job?
Tell them about the small mistakes you made, what you did to fix the situation, and what lessons you learned from the experience. Don’t blame other people. Show that you are capable of admitting your mistakes and can quickly and effectively put things right again.
Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
Here you can say that you would like to work in the same industry and company but at a higher position with greater responsibility and influence.
How do you like to spend your free time?
It’s not only important to show that you have a few different hobbies (e.g. photography, swimming, horse riding etc.), but also to show that your profession is one of your main interests and that you spend a lot of time on self development and improving your skills (reading books, attending courses and seminars etc.).
What relationship do you have with your colleagues?
If you have very few or no people reporting to you then you should show that you are a team player and that you are capable of taking the initiative. Also mention that you enjoy helping your colleagues to achieve better results.
If you are applying for a higher management position then you need to show that you can manage people effectively and know how to get the best results from them, while maintaining a good relationship with employees.
What makes a good manager?
Remember that you should always use positive words when answering this question. For example: “A leader who I can learn from and who will give me an opportunity to show my strengths. Someone who will be guiding me and supporting me with advice in difficult situations.”
What salary are you looking for?
There is no correct answer to this question. If you ask for too much then you may be considered an overly ambitious person, too little and you may sound under qualified. Bear in mind that, for the majority of companies, you will get the salary that you request for a whole year from the start date. If you agree to salary that is below what you really want, then you may come to regret this during the next twelve months. It is better to choose the golden middle and add a little on top, leaving room for negotiation. We also talked about salary in Pass Any Interview: Tip2.
What would you do if you encountered conflict in the workplace?
It is better to say that you always keep calm and neutral and try to focus on finding a solution to the conflict through discussion and diplomacy. Mention examples from your previous experience where you resolved conflict at work.
What did you like most in your previous role?
Here it is important to show your interest in the current role that you are applying for. Therefore, it is best to mention the aspects of your current job that will be present in the new role. Show that you like your profession and that you like working with people.
Do you have any questions for us?
As we mentioned in Pass Any Interview: Tip 5, always prepare 2-3 questions for your interviewer – the most neutral questions are: How many people work in the department? What are your plans for developing the company? How soon are you planning to make a decision about who to appoint in this position?
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