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The most common interview questions

The most common interview questions

You’ve impressed your future employer with a killer resume – and now they want to meet you.
Congratulations! Let’s get you ready for interview.

Most of us can relate to the nerves that ensue after the initial excitement of selection. You might find it easier to express yourself on paper then in person, and that’s ok.

The best thing to beat these nerves is preparation. Analysing your fit for the role will help you understand your motivation and what you could bring to the position. Writing it down, will help you articulate this – minus the nervous rambling!

Below are a series of common interview questions. Allow yourself enough time to write down a considered answer for each.
Keep the job description in mind when you answer.

Think about your motivation for applying for the role and how it might fit with the company you’ve applied to. Answer the questions below:

  1. What motivated you to apply for the job?
  2. Why are you looking to leave / why did you leave your last position?
  3. What are you looking for in your next role?
  4. What skills are you looking to develop in your next job? Why?
  5. What are your own business philosophies – what do you feel must be present in a successful business?
  6. What do you think makes a company good to work for? What do you like about your current company? What could be better?

Its important to be aware of your personality and how you interact with others. Keep this and the job in mind, while answering the questions below:

  1. Give me three adjectives you would use to describe yourself and examples of your work style to support them.
  2. Give me three adjectives you would use to describe your weaknesses/areas for improvement and the reasons why you feel you need to work on these.
  3. If I was to ask a co-worker about you, how would they describe you on-the-job?
  4. What are the three most valuable things you’ve learned while working in your current / last position?
  5. Tell me about your greatest accomplishment at work. What about the achievement, made it the best?
  6. What do you feel makes you successful in your current role? Give an example to support your success.
  7. Do you prefer working alone or in teams? Give examples of how you have worked successfully both alone and in a team? What do you attribute your success to?
  8. Tell me about the best manager you ever had? Now tell me about the worst?

All positions have some element of problem solving. These skills are essential to employers. Think about yours and what you could bring to the role, then answer the questions below:

  1. Tell me about a time where you were required to work with a difficult person (i.e. client, co-worker, manager, etc.). How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?
  2. If you were given a task to complete in an unrealistic time frame, what would you do?
  3. If someone came to you with an enthusiastic, yet unrealistic request, how would you handle it?
  4. Tell me about a difficult situation you encountered at work and how you overcame it.
  5. What was the biggest mistake you’ve made on a job? How did you handle the failure?

Read back through your answers. Do you think that they best represent you, with relation to the specific position?

The purpose of this exercise is to have examples to quickly draw on at interview. Don’t try to memorise your exact written answers.

Once you are happy with your answers, have a family member or friend read these questions to you.

Have a go at answering without your notes. The more you practise, the more comfortable you will feel.

Now go show that employer just how awesome you are!