Whether you’re interviewing for a role in marketing, recruitment, IT or administration there are a standard set of bulk questions that will almost definitely come up. However, more often than not, I see candidates trip up on even the most basic questions. But, no more! Here are five examples of the most commonly asked questions and tips on how to ace them!
- Why do you want this job?
This question has many facets to it. You should consider;
- The role itself- why it’s a step up for you, what you can get out of it and how this fits in with your career goals.
- The company itself- what can the company you are interviewing with offer you that a similar company can’t? What are the recent achievements of the brand?
- Your skills & how they relate to the role & the business.
As a rough example “I am really interested in the Role of a Recruitment Consultant because I understand that it is really fast-paced and target driven. I have previously worked to high targets and I found this really motivating and, from what I understand of the role this would only be a step up from that.” The company information you will have to consider yourself as it changes with each business but, you get the point!
- What’s your biggest weakness?
Don’t avoid this question and definitely don’t commit the age-old crime of claiming that you “work too hard” or “care too much” because, chances are, your interviewer won’t believe you. Instead, use this as a point of self-reflection. No-one is good at everything. Perhaps you’re really organised and therefore find it hard to be flexible when it comes to processes. Or, it could be the case that you’re not naturally organised and so you have taken the time to create a time-management programme that works for you. The point of this question is to show that you can self-reflect and that you are open to improvement- not to show that you are a “perfect example of a human”.
- Why should I hire you?
This is really just an easy chance to sell yourself! Tell your interview about your skills and relate them to the job/ the company/ the vision that the company have. For example, in a recruitment interview, this is a great time to mention resilience & why that relates well to the role or, previous sales experience that you have.
For example “You should hire me because I am truly resilient which I know will help me as a Recruitment Consultant because, when working with people some things can be unpredictable. In my previous role when I worked in Retail I routinely had to deal with difficult customers who would change their minds or, argue with advice that I was giving but, through perseverance, I stayed and managed to hit and exceed all of my targets.”
- Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
The best way to answer this question is once again to relate it back to the company and their vision. Don’t just say “oh, in three years’ time I guess I’d like to be a manager and just keep working my way up in the business”. Think about what that means to you and, what they would mean to the business.
For example, if you do really want to be a manager consider something along the lines of “In three years’ time I see myself leading a team within your business. I understand that you are currently growing steadily and I would really like to contribute to that growth and pass on what I know to guys that I bring into the business. I feel that I have really relevant knowledge and strong leadership skills and, I would hope in three years I have honed that in even more, to the point that I would be a real asset to anyone that joins the business in this domain”.
- What’s your biggest achievement?
Once again, this is a real chance to sell yourself! This can really be anything, it doesn’t have to be a work-place example! Just make sure that you can relate this achievement to the role. Have you run a marathon in the past? You may not think it relevant to the job at first but in reality, to achieve this you will have worked hard, trained excessively and really managed your time around other commitments- of course, your potential employer will think highly of that! It’s all about the skills you used to get there!
Another example could be; “Last year I gave a speech in front of 100+ people. Naturally, I am not a public speaker but, through hard-work and really learning what I was saying I performed confidently. I class this as my biggest achievement because I really had to work for this and ended up proving to myself that, even when out my comfort zone I can surpass my expectations and complete any necessary tasks.”
So, there are five classic interviews that you can be certain you will be asked at some point and, tips on how to answer them! For any question though, standard or not you should make sure that you are prepared by doing research into the company, role and industry. Best of luck!