Oh no – the dreaded job interview! What will you be asked? How will you respond? Will you make a complete fool of yourself?
It’s common to have these questions swilling around in your head come interview time, but there are thankfully a few ways you can settle your mind a little.
While you might expect to be hit with completely off-the-wall questions by the interviewer, in reality, you’ll probably be presented with one or several of the following most common questions.
1. Tell me about yourself…
One of the most important aspects any interviewer will be looking for during an interview is the personality of the person sitting in front of them.
What kind of person are you? What experiences have shaped both your career and the way you approach every day life?
You don’t have to delve deeply into personal details here, but an honest description of your best points and areas in which you need to improve (we’ve all got them, and revealing these will display an admirable level of honesty) will really help.
2. Why should we hire you?
What difference are you going to make to the organisation at which you’re applying for a job?
On the face of it, this is a tricky question to answer, but it’s actually linked very closely with the first question above.
Think about the personality traits, experience and qualifications you have that make you perfect for this position, and don’t be afraid to speak passionately about them.
3. What are your salary expectations?
Don’t be afraid of this question – we all go to work, in part, to earn a decent wage.
Be honest. This isn’t a trick question, and it’s designed to find out whether or not you understand what a fair reward is for your services.
You’re worth an awful lot, but don’t overstep the mark, either. If you do your research right, you should have a pretty good idea of the going rate for the role in question and how much your experience level is worth in relation to that.
4. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
“Not here” isn’t an acceptable answer, but you should be honest.
If you’re looking to develop your career and see this position as the next rung on the ladder, explain that. This doesn’t mean you’ll hot foot it and disappear in two years’ time – it means you’re ambitious and willing to seek higher positions wherever you happen to be employed.
5. Why did you leave your last job?
This of course depends on what happened at your last job. If you were fired, it’s important to be honest, because that will always come out during the reference stage. The reason for your firing should be made clear, as should your desire to learn from any mistakes made (just don’t use the word ‘fired’; opt for ‘let go’ instead).
If you left simply to further your career or because you didn’t feel fulfilled at the last place, explain why. Again, this will show that you’re go-getting and passionate about the work you undertake.
Interviews are always nerve-wracking, but you’re more likely to come across the questions above than anything completely outlandish.
Don’t over-rehearse, but keep the above questions and potential answers in your mind as you walk into that room and you’ll be armed and ready to respond in the best way possible!