Preparing for an interview does not just involve researching information about the company and the role, although this is very important. You can be further prepared by making sure you have put together answers for the most common interview questions. A bit of preparation will ensure you are less nervous and more likely to succeed.
Tell me a little bit about yourself - The interviewer isn’t interested in how your parents met or how much time you spend in the pub. Have a think about experiences that are useful for the role and the business. Keep it brief and simple. Pick 4 / 5 attributes that you have, these could be skills, qualifications or work experience and identify how they relate to the role and create a conversation around them.
Why are you interested in working for us? “I want a job”, “I need money”, “My parents told me to apply”. However true these answers may be, they are not the answers that will get you the job. Be specific in what interests you about the role and really have a think about why you are applying for the job. Consider why you want to work in the business and avoid any vague answers. Be direct and do your homework and research the business. The more research you have done on the business and the role, the more they will be able to see that you are interested.
Why should we hire you? Clients want something more inciteful than “I’m the best, pick me pick me!” As before, you need to know what the criteria is for the role so you can sell yourself against these criteria. Back up each skill set they are looking for with relevant examples from your skill sets. Tell them you can solve problems, identify opportunities for improvement and have a “can do” approach. Also, make sure you bring up your previous successes as the interviewer won’t ask about everything on your CV and you want them to hear about your achievements.
What are your strengths? This is your opportunity to beat the competition and put yourself at the top of the list. The answers should include what you can bring to the business. Again, matching your strengths with the job is the best approach. Companies look for people who can solve problems and focus on the goals. Be a problem solver.
What are your weaknesses? Nobody likes this question which is why interviewers like asking it. If you prepare for it before the interview it will make it a lot easier to answer. Everyone has weaknesses so be aware of yours and how you have improved on them or are trying to improve on them. Make a list of your weaknesses and include why you need to solve them and what you have done to do so. Using this list to form your answer will show that you are aware of your problems and ready to solve them.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? This question is designed to assess your long-term planning and whether you have thought about your future and what it might look like. Do your research on the company and see where they want to be in ten years. Don’t exaggerate your answer and show your passion for the position you are applying for and the drive to make it a success.
Do you work well as part of a team? Whether you are applying for a temporary or permanent role you will be working with others and it is very important to explain your team working abilities. Talk about any previous roles and give examples of how you have worked as part of a team. If you ran the team, explain how you effectively managed others. Talk about how you coped with any difficulties dealing with different members of your team.
Do you have any questions? This is not a rhetorical question and you can’t be expected to accept a job without asking questions. Before the interview you should think what you need to know to be in a position to accept a role if offered it and ask those questions! Ask about the company; ask about their latest project, new clients, career progression, training and development. Ask about things you have read in the news to show you have done your research. Show your passion and ambition.
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