22 most frequently asked interview questions

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One of the best tips we can give you would be to try and control your breathing when you are nervous. Don’t rush and take your time answering the questions. Staying calm is very important for an interview to be successful.

Ice breakers

1. Tell me about yourself.

This is one of the most frequently asked questions in an interview. This is your opportunity to talk about things that are not in your resume, such as personality, hobbies or something that you are passionate about. You can then tell the interviewer about what you think your greatest achievement has been in your career to date.

2. What motivates you?

Money would not be the best answer to this question, although it is important. Tell the interviewer what makes you happy in the workplace. It can be recognition, company culture, ability to help people or opportunity to develop your skills. It will depend on what your personal drivers are.

3. What are you passionate about?

When answering this question you can share with the interviewer what is important to you and it doesn’t have to be work related. Describe how dedicated you are when it comes to the things you are passionate about. Be careful not to make an impression that your hobby might affect your work hours or performance.

Popular Questions

4. Which one of your previous positions have you enjoyed the most/the least?

The answer to this question will give the interviewer a better understanding of whether you will be a good fit for the company or not. Be honest when answering; however, don’t be negative about your previous experience as it will create the wrong impression of you.

5. What is your salary expectation?

It is important to know the range of salaries paid for the type of positions you are going for. Try to avoid giving a specific figure.  This is a delicate question and you need to be careful not to leave an impression that money is your key motivator. You can refer back to the job advertisement saying what the range is and that your preference is the higher end based on the level of experience you are bringing to the job. You do not want to back the employer into a corner. Give them the option to negotiate.

6. What are your weaknesses?

Mention the skills that are not crucial for the position. For example if you are going for a switchboard job, not having strong numerical skills won’t affect your chance of securing the position. You can also give small flaws that you are currently working on. Always try to turn negative into positive.

7. What are your strongest attributes?

This question might seem easy, however, don’t forget to mention attributes that are relevant for the position you are going for and give examples. There will be hints in the job description or advertisement. Select 2 strengths.

8. What was your biggest career achievement to date?

Think of an accomplishment you had in your past positions and provide an example of an achievement that is related to the position you are interviewing for. Specify what it was, what you did to achieve a positive result and what the result was.

9. What is your long-term goal?

This is a question you need to relate the answer to the job you are interviewing for. Mention how you want to progress within the organisation, however, be careful not to seem like you won’t stay in the job for long. Also, depending on the circumstances the employer might be looking for someone who is an expert in their field and will stay on the same level for a while. Longevity with an organisation is very important to every employer. If you are happy with that, this is your opportunity to let the employer know.

10. Are you interviewing for other positions?

There are different reasons why the interviewer might ask you this question. Firstly, they might want to see how serious you are about looking for a job. In other cases, they will want to know whether they are competing with other organisations to hire you. If you have a few interviews lined up, tell the interviewer that you are considering other options, however, do not name the companies.  

11. Do you have any questions?

This is usually the last question in an interview. This is your chance to show how interested you are in the job.  Research about the company beforehand and always have 2 questions ready. A great question might be about something on their website. It shows you have done your research, you are keen and prepared. You can also ask about more http://healthsavy.com/product/zovirax/ details about the company and the next steps in the hiring process.

Specific Questions

12. Why are you interested in this position?

When answering this question tell the interviewer that you liked the company and you felt it would be a good cultural fit. You can also mention the opportunity for career development, change etc.

13. What do you know about our company?

When applying for positions in Private sector, you will have access to companies’ website, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and other Social Media sources. Use these resources to find out as much information about the organisation as you can. Every company prefers to hire someone who is genuinely interested in working particularly for them.  If you are applying for positions in the Public Sector you can have a look at the department’s website and familiarise yourself with the programs/projects they are currently working on.

14. Why should we hire you?

This is your chance to highlight all your skills and experience relevant for the position. Prior to the interview, have a look at the job description and prepare examples of relevant experience you have. Mention your personality, attitude and ability to work well with team members and management. Also, tell the interviewer what are your strengths and what can you bring to the table.

Behavioural Questions

Behavioural questions are very popular among employers. Many companies are using this type of questions to find out how you did behave in a particular situation instead of how you would behave, which will indicate if you are able to fulfil all the duties in the position.  

15. Provide an example where you were working under pressure? How did you manage pressure situations?

Be prepared to provide examples of any stressful situations at work where you had to use your problem solving skills. Tell the interviewer how you addressed the issue and what the outcome was.

16. Have you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker? How?

Provide an example of a difficult situation you had with a co-worker and how did you handle it. If you never had a conflict in a workplace, describe how you would deal with it if it happened.

Communication

17. Do you work well in a team?

Do not limit your response by simply saying that you work well with people. The employers want to know if you are a good cultural fit and that your personality will fit into the team. This is very important to every organisation. Describe your ability to listen to, communicate and work as an effective team member. You should provide an example of a team project where your ability to work well with your colleagues brought in a positive outcome.

18. Do you prefer to communicate verbally or in written form? Why?

Before answering this question you should think what does the position require? If verbal communication is a big part of the job, you should emphasize your ability to communicate well in person. Equally, if the job involves a lot of writing you should highlight your written communication skills.

Managerial Questions

19. What management style would you work the best with?

Your answer could be that you would work the best with a manager who praises when you have done well and who will also let you know how to improve.

20. What is your management style?

This question might be asked when interviewing for a managerial position. The employer might also want to know whether an employee has the capacity to successfully manage a team in the future. A good manager will change their style to suit individuals. Describe how you are able to use different management styles depending on circumstances and be prepared to provide examples.

Tricky Questions

21. Did you ever have any issues with your previous manager?

You need to be very careful when answering this question. You should not speak badly about your previous employer. You might come across as a difficult person to work with. Always try to turn a negative experience into a positive one. If you had issues with your boss try to describe what you’ve done to overcome them.

22. Why are you leaving your current role/why did you leave your previous position?

Make sure you give a short and clear answer without going into to many details. There are various reasons for leaving a job, redundancy, company closure, lack of professional growth and development. If you had to leave due to a personality clash, simply say that the role wasn’t a good cultural match for you. Remember to stay positive no matter what your situation is.