Career Tools

Preparing Your Answers

Category: Interviews

Many questions can be anticipated in advance and it is wise to have some well constructed answers that you can tailor more closely on the day. It is advisable to at least have a number of key phrases available to use.

Some interviewers use very broad questioning techniques such as "Tell me about yourself?" This can present the most difficult challenge of the interview. You need to perceive whether the interviewer wants an exhaustive resume of your career to date, or just a brief overview. You may need to confirm which it is with a question back before you make an assumption. If you feel you need to go into more depth, don't hesitate to stop and ask if the interviewer would like you to expand on the point.

Before the interview, it is often beneficial for you and your consultant to jot down your answers to these questions. By having a fair idea of what you are going to be asked and by rehearsing your answers, you will have greater confidence during the interview.

Some frequently asked questions include:-

How you see yourself:

  • Tell me about yourself? Or how would you describe yourself?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Impress the interviewer by saying that you look upon weaknesses as challenges you seek to work on, not bad points!

For example:

  • Make a list of your own strengths and weaknesses in relation to this particular job.
  • Can you turn any of your weaknesses into strengths?
  • Make a list of the reasons why you want the job.
  • How do you behave in a crisis/when under pressure?
  • What motivates you?

How you see and interact with others:

  • What sorts of people do you like working with?
  • How have you handled a difficult colleague/boss in the past?
  • How well do you fit into a team.

Your current/previous role:

  • What was the most interesting/rewarding project you've ever worked on?
  • What was the most difficult aspect of your job?
  • How did you overcome the difficulty?
  • How do you handle criticism?
  • Why did you leave your last job? Why are you leaving your current job?
  • Why have you frequently changed jobs?  Why have you stayed so long with one employer?

What you want from your role:

  • What do you see as the next step in your career?
  • What are your long term aims/where do you see yourself in the next five to ten years?
  • What are the most important factors you require in a job?

Research and fitting in:

  • What do you know about the company?
  • Why do you wish to work for the client?
  • What makes you think you will fit in?

Personal Development:

  • What training have you done in the last year?
  • How do you keep up to date with changes in technology?

Outside Work:

  • What are your hobbies and interests?