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5 Questions to be Prepared for

Every interview is different, depending on the company or the role you are interviewing for, however there are some questions that tend to be asked universally. Hiring managers will expect you to have answers ready for common questions, and for you to be able to show you’ve put some time and thought into the interview.

It is therefore important you have some answers prepared for topics you are likely to be questioned about. Below are some of the most common questions asked, with some tips on how to answer them. The better you prepare, the better and more confident your responses can be!

Tell me about yourself

The first part of any interview is almost always about introducing who you are as a person and as a potential employee. Be prepared to not only talk about your career history, but to show a bit more of a personal aspect of yourself, although not too personal! Normally it is best to explore a bit about where you have lived or grown up, your education and what interests or hobbies you have. The hiring manager is trying find out a bit about your personality with these kinds of questions to see if you are an ideal fit for the job or the team.

Why do you want this job?

There are quite a few things you can mention when answering this role. This is a great chance to show off the research you have done into the company and the role you are interviewing for, and how working for them fits into your career plans.

You should also tie this to your strengths and core values, demonstrating how good of a fit you are for the role they are hiring for. Any example of skills given should line up with the required qualifications the hiring manager is looking for.

What are your biggest strengths?

Similar to the above question ‘why do you want this job?’, this question can really allow you to sell yourself as the perfect candidate for the job. When answering what your main strengths or skills are, or what you can bring to the job, be conscious to be ticking off strengths the hiring manager has put as requirements in the job description. For example, if you are interviewing for a sales’ role you will want to talk about how good your negotiation skills are! Its also good to give real life examples from your previous role to show you can actually demonstrate your strengths. Making sure you have these skills and examples prepared will also help you answer any competency-based questions that are thrown at you, as these are likely to revolve around skills they would like to see in a potential employee.

What would you consider to be your biggest weakness?

This is a question that no one wants to answer in an interview, but one of the most popular ones asked! When going about your answer, it’s best to pick a skill you can have a real example of in the workplace, and have already made steps to try and improve on. This is a chance to show you are conscious of skills you need to work on. Make sure however, that you don’t provide an example of a skill that is critical for the job at hand! For example, if you are interviewing for an administrative role, it is probably best to avoid telling the hiring manager that organisation is your biggest weakness!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Whether the question is “where do you see yourself in 5 years”, or “what are your goals for the future?”, a hiring manager will almost always try to find out more about your long-term plans and aspirations. Your answer should make it clear to the hiring manager that you are looking to grow and develop with the company, not simply move on to something else that interests you in a few months’ time! Showing you are ambitious and have a drive to develop within the industry you are interviewing for will make you stand out as a better candidate to invest in.

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