Most Commonly Asked Interview Questions

So you have got an interview, congratulations! Now comes the part where you need to ace the important interview.  To help you with the interview, here are some of the most commonly asked questions:

1.    Tell me about yourself?

Is one of the most feared and commonly asked questions. This should be about yourself however this does not mean ramble on about your personal life. Keep it to relevant facts such as education, your career and your current life situation.

2.    Why did you leave your last job (or leaving your current job)?
This is not your chance to bag your current or last job. If you are leaving because of frustration with your job it is best not to show this. Instead remain positive and say “I have achieved all I can in this position.” It is also not a good idea to mention you are leaving for money. Remember to answer the question on a positive note and for reasons like career advancement and a position that allows you to grow.

3.    What do you know about the company?
This is where your research on the company comes in handy. This also shows your interest in the job and an understanding of the organisation and industry. Check out their website, Facebook and LinkedIn and if they have been in the news recently. If you do your background work it will stand out that you have come prepared for the interview.

4.    Why do you want to work for this company?
Show your knowledge of the company once again and re-emphasise your suitability for the position. If you have the selection criteria from the job description also go through that stating how you meet these criteria.

5.    Why should we hire you?
Summarise your experiences and reflect how this can benefit their company. For example: “I have 5 years’ experience in administration with a proven record of excellent organisational skills and time management. I am confident I would be an excellent addition to your team.” Also reflecting on the job criteria and how you fit these would also be beneficial.

6.    Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

This is always a hard question to answer, not everyone has a 5 year plan mapped out.  Be honest with your answer if your aspiration is to be in the same position and working hard at that then say this. It does not mean you have to give the impression that you want to climb the corporate ladder but if this is what you want then let them know this as well. A good answer to this question would be: 

“I would like to contribute as much as I can to the company and the position you have available. Once I have accomplished this I see myself in a management position. I enjoy managing people and I am a good leader.”

7.    What are your strengths?
Relate this back to previous positions and on areas that will support your job application. An answer to this question would be:

Responsible Team Player – I take responsibility for the tasks I have been given. I work well in a team, and it has taught me to take on board other people’s ideas and opinions.
Always Punctual – I am always on time to work and often have done overtime.
Self –Confidence – I believe if I put my mind to it I can accomplish any task assigned to me.
Full Commitment to my work – In previous roles I have ensured each task is completed to the highest standard.
Well Organised and ensure each task is completed in the appropriate time frame.
Able to Prioritise – I have always prioritised tasks and gotten the most important jobs done quickly and efficiently.

8.    What are your weaknesses?
The best way to answer this question is to share a weakness that can also be perceived as a positive. Think of your past experiences that is a weakness but is not really a negative point. For example: “My biggest weakness is my modesty, I underplay how good I really am.”

9.    Do you work well under pressure?
You would answer this question with a ‘Yes’ and then give a specific time when you thrived under pressure. For example: “Yes I do work well under pressure as I use the pressure to help me work more efficiently.”  It is best not to answer this with a no, remember you must always stay positive in the interview.

10.    What is your greatest accomplishment?
Choose an accomplishment that is relevant to the role you are interviewing for and is fairly recent. Review the selection criteria and choose one of your previous accomplishments that reflect this. An example of this would be: “My greatest accomplishment would be writing articles for candidates to help them get the job they ideally want.”

Remember to write down the answers to the questions and practice. The more you practice saying this out loud the more polished and prepared you will be. Interviews don’t need to be hard if you prepare yourself accordingly. Good Luck!

Article By: Melanie Parry – MACRO Recruitment

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