10 Common Interview Questions
Have you got an interview coming up and need help to prepare?
If you have an upcoming interview and need to prepare, read through these 10 common interview questions to give the best answers to stand out.
1. What are your key strengths?
Interviewers are expecting you to identify your main strengths that will be relevant to the role you have applied for. This may include communication, teamwork, problem solving and so on.
Identify which strength is most relevant and beneficial to the role and justify why you think this is your key strength.
2. What are your main weaknesses?
This question is asking you to critique yourself. We all have weaknesses therefore answering ‘I don’t have any weaknesses’ is unlikely to impress an interviewer.
Identify where your main down falls lie, whether this be time management or organisation, try and turn the weakness into a positive. Identify how you will overcome this weakness.
3. Why are you interested in working for [company]?
This is a great opportunity to show you have researched the company. It may be that the company size or values have attracted you, giving specific examples of why you want to work for them will show you have not only researched the company but you are not making a quick decision to join anyone who was willing to interview you.
4. What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did have you overcome it?
Use your previous work experiences to find a challenge you have faced that is likely to be relevant to the role you are being interviewed for. Describe the scenario, how you analysed the situation for the best outcome, what action you decided to take and the result.
5. Do you have any questions for me?
Always answer YES! This is a chance to show how interested you are in the company. Ask the interview about their personal experience of working there and what are the company’s future goals. Also, a great chance to find out any information you were unable to find prior to the interview for example who are the main competitors.
6. Why are you looking for a new role?
Whatever the circumstance, always answer positively. The interviewer is not going to be impressed if you start slating your previous employer. Great answers include career progression, increase experience within their industry, or looking for a bigger challenge. Focus particularly on skills and future aspirations when answering this question.
7. Tell me about an achievement you are most proud of
This is a competence-based question, therefore requires a well-structured answer. Using the technique STAR can help provide a clear and concise answer which will present your achievement and its relevance to the role.
Situation – Provide some content, describe the situation. Why was the achievement significant?
Task – What was the goal you were aiming to achieve?
Action – Explain what actions were taken to achieve your goal
Result – Make this clear and specific to the achievement
8. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
A chance to tell the interviewer your future career aspirations. This does not necessarily have to be a mind-blowing answer, for example a Director of a business, especially if you are starting out your career. However, showing you are willing to achieve and have set yourself goals will help the interviewer understand how they could help invest in these future ambitions.
9. Why do you want to work here?
Different from the no. 3 this is asking why you WANT to work for them. Focus on company size, latest developments or values of the company that you have come across whilst doing your research prior to the interview. The more you can sell to the interviewer about why you are passionate about working for their business is a great form of flattery. Include examples of how you can be an asset to drive their business forward.
10. Which tasks do you get the most satisfaction from?
Make your answer relevant to the job description and role. Think of examples about why you enjoy these tasks, is it because you find them challenging, most fulfilling, or you have passion for that area of the role? Avoid answering this question with a task that you find ‘easy’ this is unlikely to impress the interviewer.