I repost this blog about interview questions every year. It’s by Robert Half recruiters and it’s the best around. This is the first section. I will report the second section tomorrow.
Tell me about yourself.
This is often the first of many interview questions, designed to ‘warm up’ the candidate. Many candidates choose to respond with an overview of their work and employment history.
Whilst this is helpful – especially if a manager hasn’t read your CV in detail, it’s important you offer new information, such as what are your hobbies outside of work.
It’s also easy to fall into the trap of waffling. Other candidates prefer to focus on a key aspect of their career, building a story around it with performance highlights.
It’s important to ensure your answer is aligned with the job description and advertisement, to demonstrate how you can add value to the company and role at hand.
What attracted you to our company?
This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you’ve done your research.
Prior to the interview, read up on everything you can about the company from their own website, social media channels and other news articles and forums.
Identify what stands out about the company’s mission and values, and how that resonates with your own desired career path and personal values.
Tell me about your strengths.
This should be the easiest question to prepare for.
Identify two or three of your best attributes and give concrete examples of those strengths, articulating how they led to the professional success you achieved.
Be sure to close the loop and articulate how they are relevant to the job you’re interviewing for.
What are your weaknesses?
Take the time to craft an answer that isn’t a cliché. Nothing makes a hiring manager cringe more than the answer: “I’m a perfectionist.”
This is your opportunity to demonstrate your own self-awareness and desire for personal development.
Try to identify something that isn’t critical to the role, and frame your answer in the positive. Want more advice? Read our article ‘How to answer the interview question: What are your weaknesses?‘.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Your employer wants to see how driven and goal-oriented you are. They also want to check that your expectations are realistic.
In your answer, demonstrate your awareness of industry trends and ability to be flexible.