7 most common interview questions to expect
Naturally, for an interview, you are not expected to plan every response to questions the company could ask. There are numerous ways for employers to word a question and the chances of preparing for each one is, unfortunately, slim to none. Luckily for us, the basic answer to one question can be transferred to similar ones, meaning a little bit of preparation can take you a long way. So, if you want to give yourself the best chance of success, keep reading for our take on the 7 most common questions to expect…
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Usually asked at the beginning of the interview, this is an interesting way for the company to find out how you summarise your own story. Although it can be tempting to boast through your many achievements, we would instead advise you to give a small pitch (2-3 points) you wish the employer to know about. An easy tip for speaking about your professional life is to start in the present, then mention your past ventures and finally, transition to talking about your future and the role you are applying for.
What do you know about the company?
If you have spent hours researching the firm and learning about their history and goals, don’t be afraid to bring up what you have found out. It is a mistake to worry that the employer has heard it all before since even if they have, they still need to hear it from you too. Instead of regurgitating information from their “about” page, try investigating their mission and core values. You can then mention how this is what drew you to the company initially and how eager you are to help contribute toward their goals.
What do you consider to be your biggest weakness?
The classical answer of “I am a perfectionist” can seem tempting in this instance but think about how many previous candidates have also given this response. Instead, try taking some time to consider what areas you could improve in, or perhaps traits of yours which may not be your finest qualities. You can then mention what you are going to do to improve these, showing you are self-aware and ready to be the best version of yourself.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
For some, this can seem like quite a delicate question. It is important to strike a balance between being honest about your goals but also demonstrating how you see your future aligning with the company. If you see yourself moving up in the firm, you can mention this, since it will show the interviewers that you have the drive and determination to succeed in the firm.
How would your boss and colleagues describe you?
This is a great opportunity to mention your best qualities without appearing to be bragging. For this question, everything you list needs to be backed by a story or facts, so an approach to achieve this is through paraphrasing a performance review you have had by your company. You are then free to explain how your colleagues described your performance and what you did to earn this praise.
What are your salary requirements?
A little research may be required into the typical salaries for your industry. By finding out how much you should be paid with your experience, education and skills, you will be in a far better position to negotiate a salary. We would recommend you to start at the highest figure you would want, but make it clear you are also willing to discuss with the company to reach a mutually beneficial salary.
Do you have any questions for us?
This may seem like a trick question, but it is really just a chance for you to gauge if the job is right for you. Don’t forget, although you are the one being interviewed, this part of the process is your chance to find out as much as you can about the role and company. You might be interested to hear about the training programmes they can offer, or what the most common career paths in the department are. Asking no questions at all can make candidates appear uninterested so we would advise you to always have one or two ready to dazzle your interviewers.
Written by Saffron Shergill at StudentJob UK. StudentJob is a job board designed to connect students and young professionals with the part-time jobs, summer jobs, graduate jobs and full-time jobs in their area. To find out more, check out the site here: www.studentjob.co.uk.