‘Winging’ aninterview is never usually a good idea and its obvious to any recruiter orhirer when you arrive unprepared and lacking information. Considering theinternet has a constant influx of information on interview questions, there reallyis no excuse not to brush up and put yourself that step ahead!
Some of the main questions appear simple, but practising them will help your confidence, show your preparation and highlight your knowledge.
Firstly, and often oneof the most difficult questions, is ‘Tellme a bit about yourself?’
This is NOT a question about your life story.
It relates to your professional development. Ensure that your key points align with job spec and requirements. Focus on key relevant points and competitive strengths and then turn this into a story.
Breaking down the question into key points will make it easierto recite and recall in an interview environment.
A great example can be found here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140707201224-6220028-how-to-answer-the-tell-me-about-yourself-interview-question/ , this article has a template to work from to help you build a strong and informative narrative.
‘What do you know about the company?’
This is your chance to show that you’ve researched thecompany.
Use the company website to find any information, such as structure,all areas of work, company history and any key points.
Googling the company is also useful to find if the company hasundergone any mergers, change of staff and the effects this could have had.
Finally, utilising LinkedIn, create an all-round knowledge of employees, roles and company information to show that you’ve explored various avenues of information.
‘Why do you want this role?’
Use this opportunity to study the job spec and apply yourown experience to key responsibilities and skills or requirements listed.
Mention the company, use your previous research and apply itto an aspect of why it makes you want to work there; what does the company do?,what are their values?, do they have areas of expertise you want to learn?
Linking the two, will show that you’ve considered yourselfworking there, what you could bring and why the company works for you.
Align the role spec with your experience, pick a few keypoints and elaborate with an explanation as to why these tasks appeal to youand how you could confidently complete them. Keep this relatively short, as therewill be an opportunity to delve into this further throughout the interview.
‘What would you bring to the company/ Why should we hire you?’
Tackle this question by splitting it in to two parts. What’sin it for the company and what’s in it for you?
Use examples to show that you will be the right candidate;dedicated, motivated and ready to learn.
Yet also show that aspects of the job will encourage yourmotivation and your professional and personal development.
When interviewing alongside other candidates, use aspects of the company’s purpose and values to show how you align with them and how they will aid your personal investment.
This will help ensureyou cover all factors that highlight your interest and enthusiasm for the companyand how both you and the hirer will benefit.
‘What are your strengths and weaknesses?’
Choose three of each (you may be asked to describe less, butit’s better to be over-prepared), no-one is interested in an exhaustive descriptivelist. Three answers with an example for justification, will keep the answerrelative, short and interesting.
If there is an opportunity to relate your strengths and weaknessesto the job requirements/or skills that would be beneficial to the role, thenuse this as another example to highlight your competency.
When answering weaknesses, follow the same structure. When givingan example show your reflection on the weakness and how you’re working to overcomeit/what steps have you taken to improve in these areas.
‘How do you deal with Situation XYZ?’
In this question, the hirer is trying to get a feel for theway you deal and manage in varying situations. This could range from a time youhelped to introduce new ideas, overcame difficultly or confusion with co-workersor even how you managed a conversation with senior team members.
One of the techniques we recommend for this question is theSTAR method; SITUATION, TASK, ACTION, RESULT.
SITUATION: Use a situation from experience, with specificdetails.
TASK: What was your responsibility, how were you to performin the situation?
ACTION: When describing how you overcome the obstacle orchallenge, focus on your role and aid you had in the situation that broughtabout a change.
RESULT: Finally, what was the outcome? Emphasise your accomplishmentsor even what you learned from the situation and how it could be applied nexttime.