There are some questions that appear more often in interviews than others. If you’re asked one of them and don’t have an answer, you’ll look badly prepared. Here’s a list of ten commonly-asked interview questions.
1. Tell me a little about yourself
This is the part where you can really sell yourself. Try to summarise the key points of your CV and your best characteristics. Resist the temptation to tell your life story.
2. What do you know about our company?
You can usually read about the company’s history, vision and products and services on their website. Memorising the day the company was formed or the exact number of employees worldwide is, however, not necessary.
3. Why do you want this job?
“I need the money” is perhaps the worst answer you can give. Saying something complimentary about the company is a much better idea.
4. What has been your biggest achievement in your career so far?
This answer should sound impressive. Have you been involved in a big project or had to deal with an important client?
5. What is your biggest weakness?
This question is all about being able to identify a weakness and knowing how to work on it. “I’m a perfectionist” is a cliché and a terrible answer. “I’d like to improve my English skills” or “I’d like to get more experience” are much better.
6. Why did you leave your last job?/Why do you want to leave your current job?
There are some valid reasons, like “I’m looking for a bigger challenge” or “My last company relocated”. Don’t say anything negative about the company, your boss or colleagues.
7. Where do you see yourself in five years?
“In your chair” is another cliché that should be avoided. Don’t feel the pressure to mention promotion if that’s not what you want, but development and new skills are important.
8. Why are you the best person for this job?
When answering this question, mention experience, skills, goals and personal qualities (e.g. reliable, hard-working, creative or assertive). The more confident you sound, the better.
9. What are your salary requirements?
This is perhaps the hardest question. If you name a figure that’s too high, you might not get the job; tell them a figure that’s too low and you could lose out on a lot of money. Try to find out what other companies are paying for similar jobs.
10. Do you have any questions?
Asking a question shows your interest. Ask something about the company or the position you’ve applied for.
Which other questions are often asked? What’s the best way to answer them?