There are various interview styles and below we have summarised some popular questions asked by recruiters, take a look at these to help you prepare for any upcoming interviews you may have coming up!
- Tell me about yourself.
Usually an ice breaker question but be concise, talk through your latest achievements and what you are currently doing. The answer to this question should just be a short pitch about yourself and you should be able to explain why you are right for the role you are applying for.
- Walk me through your CV.
Expand on sections in your CV, this gives you an opportunity to sell yourself and show off your achievements. Further, it might be best for this question to explain your achievements in chronological order, discussing your qualifications, education and work experience.
- How did you hear about this position?
With this question you can show off the research you have done about their company and how much work you have put in in order to find this specific job role you want and how much effort you put in your future career.
- Why do you want to work at this company?
Again, this is another perfect opportunity to show off the research you have done about their company, supporting it with evidence and statistics. It’s also another opportunity to emphasise why you want this specific job and why you would be perfect for it.
- Why do you want this job?
you can refer to relatable work experience you have had and potential hobbies that can show you are passionate about the role you’re applying for
- Why should we hire you?
If they ask you this question it is the best setup for selling yourself to them and showing off all your accomplishments and best achievements. Link what you have achieved to the job you’re applying for and how these achievements can be in relation to it.
- What can you bring to the company?
The recruiter wants you to see that you understand what problems and challenges they’re facing as a company or department as well as how you’ll fit into their existing organisation.
- What are your greatest strengths?
It’s best to think quality over quantity for this question when answering it. You could try to see if the company has any specific values it follows and you could relate your strengths to those.
- What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
You can use this opportunity to think of something that you struggle with or have struggled with but that you’re working to improve. A good example could be that you have never been strong at public speaking but you might have recently signed yourself up to go to a ‘public speaking’ group to strengthen this weakness.
- What is your greatest professional achievement?
A good way to explain your greatest achievement would be using the STAR method which is:
situation, task, action, results. Using this you can clearly explain how you’ve gone through the process of achieving something you’ve set out to achieve.
- Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.
With this question, definitely spend more time talking about the resolution than the conflict as you don’t want to focus on the bad. Mention what you would do differently next time to show you’re open to learning from difficult experiences and potentially not make a repeat.
- Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership skills.
Think about a time when you headed up a project, took the initiative to propose an alternate process, or helped motivate your team to get something done. It would be best to link this to a time in a work/job situation but you could always use a time you’ve taken the lead in a sport you play or in a school situation.
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
The key is to be honest without placing blame on other people. Don’t forget to explain what you learned from your mistake and what actions you took to ensure it didn’t happen again. Again, focus on the positives rather than the negatives.
- Tell me about a time you failed.
This question is very similar to the one about making a mistake, and you should approach your answer in much the same way. Make sure you pick a real failure you can speak honestly about. It would be a good start by making it clear to the interviewer how you define failure and what you have learnt from it. It is absolutely okay to fail but it’s important to show that you took something from the experience.
- Why was there a gap in your employment?
Whatever the reason, you should be prepared to discuss the gaps on your CV. The key is to be honest, though that doesn’t mean you have to share more details than you’re comfortable with.
- What’s your work style?
When an interviewer asks you about your work style they are most likely trying to imagine you in the role. The question is broad, which means you have a lot of flexibility in how you answer: You might talk about how you communicate and collaborate on projects or how you approach leading a team and managing direct reports.
Just try to keep it positive.
- How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?
Talk about your go-to strategies for dealing with stress, how you communicate and proactively try to mitigate pressure. If you can give a real example of a stressful situation you navigated successfully that would be great.
- What do you like to do outside of work?
Interviewers will sometimes ask about your hobbies or interests outside of work in order to get to know you a little better and their aim is to find out what you’re passionate about and what you do in your spare time. It’s another chance to let your personality shine.
- How do you stay organised?
You’ll want to reassure them you’d have things under control and that you are on top of this, you can describe a specific system or method you’ve used and explain how it benefited you in staying organised.
- How do you prioritise your work?
Your interviewers want to know that you can manage your time and communicate when needed. Start by discussing what method you’ve found that works for you to plan out your schedule. This could be a to-do list or a colour-coded spreadsheet as examples. You can also go on to describe how you’ve reacted to a last-minute request or an unexpected shift in priorities. Explain how you evaluated and decided what to do.
- What are you passionate about?
Don’t be afraid to talk about a hobby that’s different from your day-to-day work. Bonus points if you can take it one step further and connect how your passion would make you an excellent candidate for the role you are applying for.
- What motivates you?
Consider that the interviewer wants to make sure you’re excited about this role at this company, and that you’ll be motivated to succeed if they pick you. So make sure you pick a relevant example linked to the role and company you’re interviewing for.
- How do you like to be managed?
Give an example of what worked well for you in the past and what didn’t. What did previous bosses do that motivated you and helped you succeed and grow?
- Do you consider yourself successful?
First, make sure you say yes to this question. Then pick a specific professional achievement you’re proud of that can be tied back to the role you’re interviewing for—one that demonstrates a quality, skill, or experience that would help you excel in this position. You’ll want to explain why you consider it a success, talk about the process and the outcome.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
If asked this question you have to be honest and specific about your future goals.
A hiring manager wants to know:
- a) if you’ve set realistic expectations for your career,
- b) if you have ambition and
- c) if the position aligns with your goals and growth.
Your best bet is to think realistically about where this position could take you and answer along those lines.
- How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
Having goals shows interviewers you care, are ambitious, and can think ahead. Having a plan for how you’ll achieve your goals demonstrates your self-motivation as well as organisational and time management skills. For your answer, make sure you focus on one or two goals in detail, explain why the goals are meaningful, highlight past successes, and connect back to this job.
- What are your career aspirations?
Talk about what would fulfil you and connect it to the position you’re interviewing for.
Be specific about how this job will help you achieve your career aspirations.
- What makes you unique?
Give them a reason to pick you over other similar candidates. The key is to keep your answer relevant to the role you’re applying to. Use this opportunity to tell them something that would give you an edge over your competition for this position.
- What should I know that’s not on your resume?
It’s a good sign if a recruiter or hiring manager is interested in more than just what’s on your resume. It probably means they looked at your resume, think you might be a good fit for the role, and want to know more about you. To make this wide-open question a little more manageable, try talking about a positive trait, a detail that reveals a little more about you and your experience, or a goal that makes you excited about this role or company.
- What would your first few months look like in this role?
Your potential future boss wants to know that you’ve done your research, given some thought to how you’d get started, and would be able to take initiative if hired. So think about what information and aspects of the company you’d need to familiarise yourself with and which colleagues you’d want to sit down and talk to.
- What do you think we could do better or differently?
Start your response with something positive about the company or specific product you’ve been asked to discuss. Then you can give constructive feedback, give some background on the perspective you’re saying and explain why you’d make the change you’re suggesting, ideally based on some past experience or other evidence.
- When can you start?
Set realistic expectations that will work for both you and the company. If you’re ready to start immediately, if you’re unemployed, for example—you could offer to start within the week. But if you need to give notice to your current employer, don’t be afraid to say so; people will understand and respect that you plan to wrap things up right.
- Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
If there really is something relevant that you haven’t had a chance to mention you can use this opportunity. If not you can briefly summarise your qualifications.
- Do you have any questions for us?
Now it is your turn to ask questions. What do you want to know about the position? The company? The department? The team? It is your turn to find out more information that potentially wasn’t mentioned or explained enough but the recruiter or their companies website.