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Common Interview Questions
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Questions to expect

Certain questions are asked time and again in interview. Expect them to come up and prepare for them:

  • Where do you want to be in a year’s time?
    • If you are being interviewed for a specific role, an employer will want you to come in, get up to speed quickly and do that job to the best of your ability. Your response should therefore reflect this and not focus on gaining immediate promotion to a different position.
  • Where do you want to be in 5 years time?
    • The longer time frame in this question allows you much more scope for showing you are ambitious or keen to progress without fear of suggesting you are just using this role as a stepping stone to the next. Don’t feel you need to say you want to move into a more senior role if it isn’t true. There is nothing wrong with wanting to get better and better (to be expert) in the thing you currently do.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
    • We would recommend having three or four strengths in mind that you think will be useful for this role. Focus on personal attributes rather than just on technical skills. You probably only need a couple of weaknesses in mind. Knowing these will show awareness on your part. However when choosing them, think of skills which you don’t think will be that critical for this role (or which can be easily learnt).
  • Why are you looking to leave your current role?
    • You should be honest, however it is important not to be disparaging about your current employer. This might make you look bitter and will probably leave the interviewer wondering if you'll end up thinking the same way about their company. It would be better to focus on career development or fresh challenges.
  • Why are you interested in the company/role?
    • To answer this properly, you need to have researched a little about both and be clear about how they will help you achieve your own goals. You definitely shouldn’t be citing an increase in salary or holidays.

Also be prepared with your own questions which you want answered at the interview:

An interview should ideally be a two-way conversation, so be prepared to ask relevant questions throughout. You don’t need to wait until the end. Interject with questions and comments as the conversation flows. This will not only give you relevant insight into the company or role, it will also help you connect with the interviewer and show that you are listening and understanding what is being said.

If your questions have all been answered by the end of the interview, don't feel the need to ask another just for the sake of it. Equally, if they haven’t, this may be your last chance to find out (unless there will be a second interview) so do take the opportunity to find out. As mentioned above, if you have specific questions about holiday entitlement or salary package, they are often better not asked at the interview. Your recruitment consultant will be able to get you answers to these if you are actually offered the job.

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