There are a few basic questions that all interviewers ask to get to know you as a person and as a potential employee. Knowing what to expect will help to prepare concise and on-topic answers before the time giving you the edge on your way to your dream job.
You as a Person
What are your interests? How do you spend your free time?
Mention hobbies, sports, reading material, family time etc.
What are your qualifications?
Even though this is mentioned on the CV, the interviewer may be trying to make conversation. Steer clear from using the phrase: “It’s in my CV”.
Why did you decide to study this qualification?
Explain how your qualification has or will aid you in your career aspirations.
What are your work related strengths?
Prior to any interview, have a list prepared of your greatest strengths and specific examples that illustrate each attribute. Show how your skills will benefit the company. Valued traits include: achiever, intelligence, positivity, good communicator, dedication and confidence.
What are your weaknesses?
Design the answer to make it something that can be overcome and will not jeopardise you in the offered position. Instead of using the word “weakness”, rather refer to a “developmental area”.
Tell me about yourself
Begin by describing yourself in a work situation. Prepare a summary of your work experience, career achievements, educational background and accomplishments or transferable skills relevant to the opportunity.
You in the Work Environment
Why should I hire you?
This is an opportunity to sell yourself as best you can. Your answer should be short and to the point. The employer is looking for evidence that you can do the job.
Do you mind working overtime?
Indicate your willingness to work overtime when required. Obtain information from the interviewer on their expectations regarding this.
Why do you want to leave your current company?
Refrain from using negative reasons and do not speak badly of your previous employer. Align your response with your career aspirations.
Why have you changed jobs so frequently?
The client is seeking assurance that you will be making a long-term commitment to their company. Provide valid reasons for each move in your career.
Why do you want to work here?
Researching the company is key. Reply using the company’s attributes as you see them. Indicate your belief that this can provide you with a favourable working environment and that such an atmosphere would encourage your best work.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
Respond only with work related answers and your specific contribution. Use structured examples evidencing measurable achievements such as cost and time-savings.
What have you done that shows initiative?
It is important to highlight what makes you stand out. Focus on ideas you initiated that had a favourable impact on your organisation.
Can you work under pressure?
Give an example of where you conquered a pressurised situation.
Your Career Aspirations
Where do you see yourself in 3 to 5 years’ time?
Highlight the skills you would like to acquire in this period and ask what opportunities exist within the company.
What salary are you worth, and why?
It is usually premature to discuss this in the first interview. If asked, avoid giving specifics about your salary requirements.
What type of position are you interested in?
Draw attention to your skills and area(s) of expertise and combine those with your passion.