Top 10 Interview Questions

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Better the devil you know said the ageless pop minstrel Kylie, and when it comes to interviews this is certainly true. Answering questions like some of the below can be quite a dry-mouthed and clammy-palmed affair if you haven t put the preparation in. So have a look at the questions below (note that there is no guarantee these questions will arise; the aim is to get you in the correct frame of mind for an interview):

Tell me about yourself. What is your background
An excellent opportunity to get across your talents, positive characteristics, experience and qualifications. But keep it brief!
Why are you interested in our company
Emphasise what the company does that interests you (based on your research) and how the position represents a good opportunity to develop your career and meet a new challenge.
What skills do you think you could bring to the role Tell me how you have displayed these skills in a practical situation.
Preparing examples of when you used your skills and showed initiative successfully in a real situation is essential for any interview, as the question is likely to crop up in one form or another.
What aspects of your previous experience do you think will be most helpful to you in this role
As much as possible, try and link your experience with the qualities they require and the duties that are carried out in the position.
What areas do you think you need to improve on/What are your weaknesses
A question that many dread, but in reality not too difficult if you have some prepared ideas. The best approach is to mention some qualities that you have since learned to apply more judiciously after certain incidences in your career, for instance:

a) An over-enthusiasm that colleagues found a little wearing
b) An over-attention to detail that resulted in a slowness in decision-making
c) A competitive streak that you have since tempered as you now place more value on teamwork.
Are you a team player Describe a time when you worked on a team project.
Real examples of when you worked on a successful project in tandem with others. Mention how others found you to work with (amenable, communicative, etc)
Where do you see yourself in five years time
You don t have to commit there and then to be still in the role in five years time; rather you should outline the career goals that you have set yourself and how you plan to achieve them.
What has been your biggest achievement to date
Keep the achievement work related if possible, and try not to overdo it by claiming all the credit. Acknowledge others that contributed to the project; e. g. I was proud to be involved in
What salary are you expecting
In the event of a negotiable salary, research beforehand what the salary is for similar roles and quote that figure; if they say that is too much, ask calmly what they had in mind. The key is to recognise that it is all part of the interview process and that good interviewees are not dismissed for stating a reasonable salary.

And finally
Have you any questions for us
This is a good opportunity to show further interest in the role, by asking a couple of questions about particular duties and responsibilities, the company culture, etc.

Frank Bolger

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