Top 25 Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions

If you prepare your answers to the Interviewers potential questions below, before your interview, this will help you be more prepared, reduce nerves and increase your confidence during the interview itself.  Below is a list of the most frequently asked interview questions and some advice on how to best answer those questions that you may find useful.  There are details at the end of this document on where to find information about a company prior to interview.

Tell me about yourself?
Advice:-Give them “your synopsis about you” answer, specifically you’re Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or a value-added statement, the USP is a succinct, one-sentence description of who you are, your biggest strength and the major benefit that a company will derive from this strength.

What are you passionate about?
Advice:-Your response doesn’t need to be work focused, but do be sure that what you share isn’t something that could potentially cut in to your working hours.

Tell me about something that’s not on your CV / Resume?
Advice:-This gives you the opportunity to explain a strength or interest you have that is not on your CV/Resume that will help you perform the role well or/and why you were inspired to apply for the job.

What were your responsibilities?
Advice:-Try to match your responsibilities with those listed in the job description.

Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it?
Advice:-Give a couple of specific examples of how you handled particular difficult situations. Discuss how you researched the issues and contributed to finding solutions.

What is your greatest strength?
Advice:-Stay focused on a couple of your key strengths that relate directly to the job role.

What is your greatest weakness?
Advice:-A good option is try to turn a negative into a positive. For example, wanting to triple-check every item in a spreadsheet can be turned into a strength i.e. you are a candidate who will make sure your work will be close to perfect. It’s a very good idea to prepare an answer in advance of the interview to this question as an unprepared answer could seriously backfire.

How do you handle stress and pressure?
Advice:-Give examples of successful situations when you handled stress when you were under pressure at work i.e. meeting deadlines, achieving sales targets, setting up a new department/office.

What was the biggest failure in this position?
Advice:-Give an example of a failure that happened at work followed immediately by what you did to solve the problem and always keep your answers positive.

What was the biggest accomplishment in this position?
Advice:-Give an example of something you accomplished that is directly related to the job you are interviewing for.

How do you evaluate success?
Advice:-You should be aware of the type of job you’re applying for, so keep it relevant. Whereas a large corporation might place all their emphasis on the bottom line, a non-profit would measure success not in money but in social impact.

What did you like or dislike about your previous job?
Advice:-Don’t be too negative as you don’t want the interviewer to think that you’ll speak negatively about this new job or the company when you’re ready to move on.

Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
Advice:-Show your adaptability by using examples in your previous position/s where there were some assignments that required a great deal of independent work and research and others where the team effort was most effective.

How do you relate to your supervisors and co-workers?
Advice:-Give a couple of examples of how you worked as part of a team to achieve a deadline or successfully overcame an issue.

Who was your best boss and who was the worst?
Advice:-Be positive and don’t say anything negative about any previous boss’s i.e. I’ve learned from each boss I’ve had, from the good ones, what to do and from the challenging ones, what not to do. Be prepared that they may ask for more detail about the “Challenging” Boss – so be able to talk about a behaviour this person exhibited that you yourself would not use.

What strategies would you use to motivate your team?
Advice:-You should convey your understanding that different approaches work for different personality types and give some examples of ways you have successfully motivated staff in your previous roles and the outcomes they achieved.

Describe how you managed a problem employee?
Advice:-You need to demonstrate that you are able and have managed all types of people. Anyone can manage a self-motivated, successful employee, but managers who bring out the best in marginal performers will be highly valued in any company.

Why are you leaving or have left your job?
Advice:-Be direct and focus your interview answer on the future positively and don’t speak badly about your current and previous employers.

What are your goals for the future?
Advice:-Refer to the position and the company you are interviewing with but don’t discuss your goals that are not relevant for the job e.g. a desire to return to education or have a family, they could knock you out of contention.

What do you know about this company?
Advice:-Prepare in advance by researching so you can provide relevant and current information about your prospective employer to the interviewer.

How would you adjust to working for a new company?
Advice:-You need to convey how you have adjusted to new situations and demands in the workplace in the past, to convince your interviewer that you won’t have any problems adjusting to a new set of expectations and a new work environment.

Why do you want this job?
Advice:-Focus on what you feel is unique or special about this company to you, read their website or company report to get an idea about their mission and strategy so you can show a reason why you specifically want to work for them, and not just any company. Talk about how your current experience, skills and qualifications are relevant to the role.

Why should we hire you?
Advice:-Give relevant examples relating to the job description of why your experience, skills, qualifications and accomplishments make you the best candidate for the job.

What were your starting and final levels of compensation?
Advice:- Interviewers expect a candidate for employment to be able to provide the details of their compensation history. Be prepared to tell the interviewer how much you earned at each of your prior positions and make sure these tally with your CV. This normally covers the last 3 roles, however you will not usually be asked for information over 10 years old.

What are your salary requirements?
Advice:-Before you go for interviews with prospective employers, you need to research how much the job and you are worth.  When interviewing for a new position, be patient do your best not to bring up compensation until the employer makes you an offer.

Visit the company’s Website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages to see what information the company is promoting and sharing. If possible access their company report (usually online) as this generally gives a “CEO or Chairman’s Statement” outlining the goals and objectives for the company in the coming year/s which can enable you to talk knowledgably about the company and its goals and aspirations.

Good luck, and remember the client needs someone to fill their role just as much as you may need this role, so treat the interview as a meeting of equals.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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