Interviews are always nerve-racking, but making sure you are thoroughly prepared will give you the confidence you need to succeed. Practicing your answers to questions you know are likely to come up is always a good place to start. With this in mind, here are a list of typical interview questions and the best way to answer them.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
This basic question will be asked in practically every interview you go to. Make sure your answer is to-the-point but packed with information. Briefly sum up your educational and employment history with a couple of sentences. Continue with a few more sentences about something you are passionate about, which is relevant to the role, showing the interviewer you are enthusiastic about the position. There is no need to include any irrelevant personal information.
Q: Why are you interested in working with this company?
When doing your research about the company before the interview, choose a fact about them that interests you. Use this fact as a reason you want to work for the company and detail how your skills and/or experience are relevant to this information.
Q: What was your biggest challenge with your previous role?
Never, ever complain about your previous role, even if you hated it. Start by briefly explaining the challenge you faced, and then focus on what you did to overcome it. If the outcome was a good one, make sure you emphasize that and clearly explain your part in the solution.
Q: What’s your greatest strength?
You’re being asked what makes you a great employee, so determine your best skill and think of examples to back this up. You could be someone who thrives under pressure, a brilliant problem solver, a fantastic motivator, someone who possesses excellent attention to detail or who has amazing organisational skills. Remember this is your chance to shine.
Q: What’s your biggest weakness?
This is a horrible question and one that most people dread the most. If you say you don’t have one, you’re quite clearly lying and if you tell the truth, you may be setting yourself up for failure. If you’re asked this question you should answer by giving a small, work-related flaw that you’re working hard to improve. Example: “I’ve been told I occasionally focus on details and miss the bigger picture, so I’ve been spending time laying out the complete project every day to see my overall progress.”
These questions won’t be asked at every interview you attend and there will be plenty of variations of them. Think of your answers to these questions before your interview and practice them. You’ll be that little bit more confident for doing so and if you want to prepare some more, the internet is full of sites containing typical interview questions and answers for all types of roles.