You have been preparing yourself for your interview day, as we discussed last week. The final piece of preparation is to think about the questions you might be asked and to plan how you will respond.
Questions will be wide and varied. The interviewer will be assessing your skills and experience against their requirements as well as trying to ascertain if you will be a good cultural fit for their organisation.
Questions may be a mix of fact finding, checking your career history, finding evidence to support your skill set, identifying your management style, looking at your competencies etc. Competency based questions will allow you to provide situational examples of tasks you have performed in the past which match the requirements of the role. You should be able to identify these competencies from the job description.
When answering questions it goes without saying that honesty is the best policy. If you don’t know the exact answer you can either say so or provide an answer which offers an alternative solution. Or you could start your response with “that is an interesting question….”, this just gives you a bit of breathing space.
Here are some examples of the type of questions you might be asked at an interview:
- Tell me something about yourself
- What are your strengths/weaknesses
- What motivates you
- Whilst working at XYC Company what was the biggest success for you while you were there?
- What was the most useful thing you learnt?
- How can you use what you learnt in the future?
- Can you give me an example of a time when you were able to over deliver to a customer?
- Can you similarly describe a difficult customer experience and what you learnt from this experience?
- During your University course have any of your projects been team projects?
- Can you give me an example of a team project that was particularly successful and why?
- Tell me about a time when you worked in a team that did not perform very well
- What happened?
- What did you do to improve the situation?
- Did you lead any projects – how did that make you feel?
- What did you do to make sure that the team worked together well?
We all have aspirations to achieve something in our life and/or career, can you tell me about an aspiration you have had and what you did to achieve it?
- Did you meet your own expectations?
- Did you learn anything during the experience?
An open outlook towards communication and feedback is likely to ensure greater business success and higher levels of personal satisfaction.
- Tell me about a time when you have found it most easy to communicate and invite feedback.
- What was the situation?
- What has been your experience of receiving feedback?
- How have you applied that feedback to improve work performance?
- Tell me about a time when you found others around you unable to be open towards a situation.
- What was the situation?
- Were you able to encourage others to become more enthusiastic?
- Did it cause any conflict?
It is essential that as a business we are proactive in terms of what we do, such as implementing new working practices, processes and new ideas. Tell me about a time when you have worked in a situation that required you to be proactive and think outside of the box?
- Were you able to progress your ideas?
- How did others respond to the changes you made?
- Describe the last important deadline you had to meet.
- Describe an occasion when you had to organise work in an unstructured setting? What were your priorities? How did you establish that?
- Describe an occasion where you had multiple competing deadlines.
- Give us an example of a situation where you worked under pressure.
- Under what conditions do you work best and worst?
- Which recent project or situation has caused you the most stress? How did you deal with it?
You are now well prepared to wow them at your interview. Good luck!