I get asked a lot about job interview questions and answers. And as a former employer, I thought it was time to commit my thoughts to paper and give you some definitive answers to the most commonly asked questions.
So if you have a job interview coming up and are nervous, I’m here to help. Let’s prep your interview questions and answers and give you the knowledge you need to beat out the competition. Before we begin though, a word of advice. Remember, every role is different. So make sure you tailor your answers for each position. Write them out and make sure you understand them. There is no template you can use for every job interview. Make sure you have prepped before and are ready for anything they can throw at you.
Job Interview Questions And Answers
1. Tell Me About Yourself?
They care about your work related life here. So keep your answers confined to that area of your life. Unless specifically asked to expand.
2. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
Don’t, under any circumstances, say anything negative about your last employer. Say you needed a new challenge or that you felt you needed a change of direction. Anything positive that shows you are driven and hard-working.
3. What Do You Know About Our Company And What We Do?
While I can’t help you with the specifics here, know this. If you have not researched the company and position you are interviewing for, your screwed. Take the time to research.
4. Why Should We Hire You?
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else and don’t act desperate. You should have researched the company and know what the job entails. Now is your chance to explain your understanding of the role and explain why you and the company would be a great fit.
5. Would You Say You Have Achieved Success So Far In Your Working Life?
The answer to this is always yes. If asked this or to name a time you have achieved success in a role, now’s your time. Don’t just list achievements though. Actually explain the process and how the success was achieved because of actions you took.
6. What Are Your Weaknesses?
This one is always a little curve ball. And here’s how you beat it. Start listing out things like “I sometimes take too long making sure a project is perfect” or ” I don’t always make time for my social life”. What do you notice about these examples? They are not weaknesses at all! But they are framed to sound like it.
7. What Are Your Strengths?
Only you know what your strengths actually are. List them down and make sure you have examples to back them up.
8. Why Have You Been Unemployed For So Long?
This can be difficult or easy to answer. If you have had a child, illness etc it’s a simple one. However, if you have any other reason, it can be awkward. Make sure you cover everything you have been doing while unemployed. Whether that be gaining new certifications, freelancing, being self-employed or even doing charitable work for no compensation. If you have a sizable gap on your CV, make sure you can explain it adequately.
9. How Long Would You Be With Us?
Another that can be fraught with traps. Keep the answer without specifics. Say that you see a good career progression within the company or that as long as you and the company work well together.
10. Tell Us About Your Management Style?
Communication is key with this answer. Talk about building relationships, guiding colleagues, challenging people to be better and how you would implement that to get the best for the business.
11. Are You A Team Player?
If you answered no, then your out of luck. Of course you’re a team player! Duh.
12. You Lack Experience For This Role, How Are You Going To Overcome That?
Not only do you need to highlight your relevant skill set and give examples of why you are a good fit, but I would also talk about not bringing preconceived ideas into the role. This will allow you to innovate and move the company in the right direction.
13. Are You Most Interested In The Role Or The Pay Package?
You get it. They get it. We ALL get it. Without the money, nobody would be working. But as with the rest of the interview process, this is about doing the dance. Talk about wanting to grow as a person, gain experience and challenge yourself. You can also add in that of course the money’s nice, but it’s not what drives you.
14. Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years Time?
Keep the discussion relevant with the role and department. Having a vision for yourself and the role is important and shows good long-term planning skills.
15. What Have You Learned From Previous Mistakes?
It’s time to be humble. Discuss mistakes that were made, talk about the lessons you learnt and how you handled the situation. Go into details on what you would do differently or actions you would take to make sure it never happens again.
16. What Do You Expect From The Company?
Here’s where you set out what you would like. A clear management strategy, the freedom to carry out your role and a set progression through the ranks are all good discussion points here.
And last of all………….
17. Do You Have Any Questions For Me?
You should have already made a list of questions to ask while researching the role. I would also ask why they work for the company, what keeps them motivated there and what they most enjoy about their role. Try to be engaging and personable.
No two interviews will be alike. What will set you apart from the other applicants will be preparedness. Most people have a degree, a body of work and extra activities on their resume. But what most applicants fail to do is prepare for their interviews properly. They think they can show up and that’s enough. Don’t be that person. Research the company, practice these question and write down anything you want to ask.