The Top 10 Interview Questions & How To Answer Them

The Top 10 Interview Questions & How To Answer Them
The Top 10 Interview Questions & How To Answer Them

I've been a recruiter for a long time and I've sat in a LOT of interviews. Here are the most common interview questions and how best to answer them.

I'm not saying they're the best questions but they are the most common. 

Tell Me About Yourself?

You need to tell a story. Give them a very short summary of your previous roles, your experience, what you learned and what you're looking for in your next role.

Including some personal information is always helpful too. 

What is your biggest weakness?

It doesn't really matter what weakness you choose. Within reason of course.

What matters is that you recognise that you're not perfect and that you have a plan to improve this weakness.

For example, "I'm not the most confident public speaker. I want to get better at this so I'm actively seeking opportunities to speak at networking events to improve"

Why do you want to work here?

They want to know that you've done your research about the company & serious about the role.

The answer to this will be personal to you, your values and career aspirations. For example, "I can see that you care a lot about sustainability, that's really important to me because…" 

Why should we hire you?

Talk about the value you'll bring to the role, how the experience you have so far aligns to the information in the job spec and what you've seen online.

For example, "I can see that client satisfaction is really important to you, in my current role I increased client satisfaction scores from 62% to 89%. I achieved this by doing x, y, z"

Sell yourself, but be humble too.

How do you perform under pressure?

Don't just give generic answers like "I thrive under pressure".

You need to back it up, think of an example where you've worked under pressure, how you handled it and what the outcome was.

What did you learn?

Describe a difficult situation at work and how you approached it?

Think of a situation that's most relevant to the role.

For example if the role is customer/client facing, think of a time you helped solve a difficult problem for a customer and delivered a great service.

What did you do, why did you do it that way and what was the outcome?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This question is to gauge your ambition.

Don't say "I want your job", or "I want to be promoted".

Good examples include wanting to become an expert in x,y,z or learn more about a,b,c. Make sure it's relevant to the role.

What are your salary expectations?

Never tell them your current salary unless they directly ask.

If you've made it to interview you've probably already spoken to the recruiter about your salary expectations.

Be consistent, don't be greedy, but never turn up to an interview without knowing the salary range for the role. It's a waste of your time and theirs.

Why are you leaving your current job?

Never bad mouth your current or previous employer.

Talk about your desire to grow, develop or a new challenge.

For example, "I've learned a lot and I'm so thankful for the time I spent there, but I'm looking to broaden my experience in another environment.

Do you have any questions for us?

Make sure you have questions. It shows your genuine interest in the role, the questions shouldn’t be about salary, benefits or conditions. Do that at offer stage.

Good questions include "What do you see the biggest challenge for the person who is successful in securing this role?" or "what do you enjoy most about working here?"

And there you have it, the top 10 most common interview questions and how best to answer them.


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