Whatever the career move you are contemplating, you will inevitably need to prepare for an interview.
In order to look natural but not flustered, it is always advisable to think ahead of time and prepare your answers to some of the typical questions asked at interview.
We have prepared a list of 10 widely used questions for you to think about.
TIP : print out this pdf and use the note section to start putting together your answers.
Q1. Are you good as a member of a team?
Obviously you will be answering ‘yes’ to this question. However, it is best to provide at least
one example to demonstrate your ability to work in a team.
Don’t forget to also include any team sports or activities you are involved in outside work.
Q2. How would your friends and colleagues describe you?
This question is really a means for people to find out if you are able to talk openly about yourself. The answers you give about your friends & colleagues opinions should give a good indication about how you are perceived by those around you. Be factual at all times and pick your words carefully. Terms like ‘laid-back’ or ‘fun-loving’ should not be used.
Q3. So, tell me about yourself.
Well, here is your chance to impress. No waffle about your love of gardening, just a good clear round-up of your work experience, perhaps where you are from and your qualifications. A hint at your future goals can also be added.
If you do this well, it should give a clear indication of why you are perfect for the job.
Q4. Tell us your greatest weakness?
The best way to attack this is to choose something you have been working on to improve.
Perhaps something that was outlined in your last appraisal.
The most obvious things not to use are things like time-keeping, but there is also the problem
of trying too hard – don’t say, “I have a tendency to work too much at weekends.’ This does
not go down well.
Q5. What salary are you looking for?
Do your homework about other salaries in your industry. Have a clear figure in mind of the salary you would be willing to accept for this role. Don’t sell yourself short, but be willing to negotiate.
Q6. Why do you want to leave your current job?
This is not the time to list the negative traits of your current employers. This is the time to indicate what you have learnt in your current position and state why you are ready to move onwards and upwards.
Q7. Why should we hire you?
Before you go to the interview look carefully at the job spec, then give a prepared and great example of where you have solved or added value to a similar project previously.
Think of how the things you excel at will impact on the new role. What will make you stand out from the other candidates they will be interviewing?
Q8. Describe the worst boss you have ever had?
Again this is not an opportunity to list how bad a previous boss was. It gives you an opportunity to describe how you have learnt from the failings of bad management in the past.
Plus you could then state how you would have done it differently.
Q9. Where will you be in five years?
Employers will want to see some indication that you see yourself with them in 5 years, even if you don’t feel this.
Show them that their company aspirations match your own for the future and that you see yourself growing within the company and in the industry.
Q10. Have you got any questions?
As this will be at the end of the interview, this is your opportunity to impress for the last time. Again, do your homework, don’t ask about holiday entitlement or your pension. Ask about the company, a project or a specific question about the role. Don’t worry about referring to notes you have taken with you, it will make you look as if you have prepared.