10 most frequently asked interview questions
Published: 22 Jun 2012
Interview questions and styles may change from business to business; however, some questions are commonly known to be asked at interview.
Overall, what the interview questions are trying to do is a few things:
- See if you have the skills and experience to conduct the job on offer
- Check your enthusiasm, motivation and interest for the job
- See whether you will blend in with the working environment, style and teams
So, to help you prepare for your next interview here are the 10 most frequently asked interview questions you need to know:
This is usually the first question asked in an interview as it lets the interviewer know a little bit about you.
It is important that you deliver a confident answer to this, so it is advised that you rehearse before the interview.
Make sure that you identify areas that reflect the job you are being interviewed for and show your enthusiasm, this can display the interviewer how you are well suited to the job. Also, try and include some of the achievements you feel are important.
When answering this question, it is important that you respond to relevant skills and strengths that make you suited to the job.
Doing research beforehand can help prepare an answer to this question. By studying the job advert and person specification, it can help you think about the requirements that make you relevant and appropriate for the job role.
Try not to be too critical when answering this question. Instead, pick one of your weaknesses and try to turn it into a positive.
For example, you could be a perfectionist, which means that you sometimes take longer on tasks, but you make sure that they are completed to a high quality. It is essential to make a negative into a positive as it doesn’t make you appear overly critical and shows you can reflect on your own performance.
Whatever the situation was from your previous job, you should always answer this question with a positive and enthusiastic response. If the reason for leaving your last job was redundancy, then you should talk about how your company had to restructure, instead of focusing on your own personal situation.
Under no circumstances should you criticise your previous employer, as this will appear unprofessional.
Answer this question with a response that highlights why you would be a good candidate for the job and how enthusiastic you are about it.
Ensure that you show an interest in the job sector and understand the company and their ethos, and show how your skills match their requirements.
- Give Me An Example Of A Difficult Situation/Task At Work And How You Dealt With It
This is often asked so that you can express situations in which you used problem-solving and communication skills to help resolve the situation. It is suggested that you identify a situation that you assisted in settling through showing emotional intelligence.
This question gives you the opportunity to show how past achievements will benefit the business. It is suggested that you only include personal achievements if they are highly impressive or prestigious. Otherwise, try and identify a time where you achieved a good sale or something relevant to the job role.
For the more experienced candidates looking for higher level roles, e.g. Sales Director Jobs the answer should focus on closely related areas of sales achievements and executive decisions. For example, your answer should mention the driving of an increase in sales or building a successful sales team regionally and globally – what did you achieve and how? Success stories are essential!
The reason for this question being asked is because the employer wants to understand how long you intend to stay for. Reassure them by explaining how the job role fits your career plan, as this will display your long-term commitment to the company.
The salary is typically discussed when the job is offered, so, if possible, try and avoid bringing this up in the interview. However, if the interviewer asks this question just give a real but wide salary range that you are happy to negotiate and emphasise that you feel the salary will not be an issue if you decide to work with each together.
You could also give examples of previous pay and benefits; by saying “in my last role my salary was” “the benefits/bonuses included meant my pay reached….” this helps the interviewer see the scale to which they can negotiate on too.
It is critical that you show you have done some prior research on the company before the interview. Looking into areas such as the company structure, finances, customers, products and services, competitors and market trends as these are the key areas.
You need to show you have a thorough understanding of what the company is about and how they work. If not, it will look like you have no interest in working for the company.
Managing Director of Personal Career Management, Corinne Mills, is the author of the UK’s number one best-selling CV book “You’re Hired! How to write a brilliant CV”. To find out more about how working with a career coach can help you to perform well at an interview you can contact them on 01753 888 995 or fill in their online contact form to find out more.