8 Top Interview Preparation Questions & Answers
When it comes to interviews, preparation is key. If you are going to succeed in your upcoming interview, you will need to prepare answers to specific questions. We have created a ‘cheat sheet’ of the most common questions for you - to make sure that you answer smoothly and without hesitation. You don’t need to memorise your answers (to avoid sounding like a robot) but remembering briefly what you are going to say will be hugely beneficial.
1. Tell us about yourself…
An excellent ice breaking question that is sure to stop you dead in your tracks. Be prepared to talk about yourself and describe why you would be a perfect fit for the role – make sure that your personality shines through! You can start by sharing some personal interests/hobbies, where you grew up and your education. Including these will act as an excellent discussion point. Try not to spend too much time talking about your personal interests as this may suggest that you are not fully committed to the role. You can incorporate your professional goals as a finishing point - to look towards the future.
2. Why would you leave/ have left your present job?
If a question is asked about why you have left your current role -try to remain positive. Answer the question directly and honestly but don’t dwell on it too much. Aim to push the question towards looking forwards. Try not to disrespect or criticise former staff – you never know who might come around!
3. What are your strengths?
This is one of the most common interview questions. When you are asked about your greatest strengths, it's important to discuss the attributes that will qualify you for the specific role and distinguish you from other candidates. Compare your qualifications and the role requirements as stated in the job description.
4. What are your weaknesses?
As mentioned in our previous blog, accepted wisdom tells us to extol the virtues of the former and put a positive spin on the latter, seeing so-called weaknesses as something that can in fact be beneficial and can be turned into strengths. Nothing is more satisfying than turning people’s criticisms and negative perceptions of you on their head and using them to your own advantage. Forget about trying to hide your weaknesses and focus instead on changing how and when you deploy them.
For example, 'Shy'– a shy individual has no place in a 'brash' business and introvert personalities will often struggle in office environments where communication and confidence are key. Conversely, if you mention that you are a more ‘reflective’ person rather than shy, this will show the recruiters that you assess each situation before showing emotions or reacting.
5. What motivates you?
The aim of this question is for interviewers to evaluate your suitability for the role by assessing what you do well and what you enjoy doing. Try and find responses to these internal questions in order to answer the “What motivates you?” question successfully….
- What do you enjoy doing?
- What do you respond well to?
- How do you think?
- What are your values?
- How would you fit into the team and company?
- How do your characteristics match the role requirements?
- How can they, your employers, can motivate you?
- How will you will be motivated enough in the role to carry it out successfully?
Here are some example answers to choose from:
- The people you work with
- Challenging environment
- Making a difference
- Learning new things
- Helping other people grow
- Improving Processes
- Salary (try not to dwell on this too much)
- Input into company decisions
6. Why should we hire you?
Are you the right person for the role? Be prepare to list all of your strengths and match them to the job description, so you can craft a response that aligns with what the interviewer is looking for. Being modest is not going to get you anywhere – although arrogance will deter any interviewer! Construct your response in a confident and concise manner!
7. What salary/package are you looking for?
It seems like a straightforward question, but your answer can hugely affect you getting hired over other candidates if you ask for too much. If you underoffer yourself, you may get short-changed and a lower offer. Analyse the best way to answer questions about salary so you get the pay that you deserve.
8. What questions do you have for us?
Create a list of questions you have about the company, culture or role. Guaranteed the interviewer will ask you this in order to bring the interview to a close. If you don’t have any questions for the interviewer it may suggest that you are uninterested in the role.
To hear about our vacancies or for more information on how we can help your business fulfil its recruitment needs. Please visit www.vrpartners.co.uk or call 02380 119 820.