Job Interview - Questions & Answers
Each job interview is quite unique, and each interviewer has their own interview techniques. However, when it comes to job interview questions, there are a number of questions that appear again and again in most interviews in some kind of shape or format. Actually, these questions come up so often that it is wise for you to fully review and rehearse answers.
What do you know about our company?
Don't try to provide a full company overview, just demonstrate some basic understanding of their company, their market and anything else you feel may be relevant (within the realms of the position that you are applying for). Use the findings completed from our "how to research for a job interview" module.
What prompted you to apply for this role?
Other than the money (which we suggest you don’t mention in this question, not even in jest), we would recommend you offer suggestions such as; the challenge; variety in job description; position responsibilities; the business; the structure; and anything else you feel will be a useful talking point. Don’t just spurt out answers for the sake of it, as the interview will often ask you to qualify your answer.
Tell me about yourself?
Hailed as the most common, yet the most disliked question of them all. Yet this question is a perfect platform from which to sell you capabilities and interests in such a way that it relates to the job. Sell you experience, you background, qualifications, industry knowledge, soft skills, team skills, and other points that may add value to the role. Remember, don't make the mistake of telling the interviewer your life story, they are looking for a response that is quantifiable, and answers that relate to the position they are interviewing you for. PRACTICE this question and always tailor to the role.
What are your salary expectations?
Be honest, but realistic. A job seeker who wants 30% increase on their existing salary will need to justify this claim. Also, if your request is way outside their budget, then you could find the interview a wasted exercise for all parties involved. However, if you price yourself too low, you could be seen as lesser value! It’s a potential double edged sword. The best research is through
Salary Surveys and through recruiters. Remember, it’s about what the position pays, and few companies are interested in paying above odds just because you have an excess in skills – it doesn’t work that way
Why are you considering leaving your current position/employer?
Prepare a positive response that focuses on wanting to move in a new direction, use your skills in a new way, and/or are looking for a better culture fit. Stress how much you want to provide value-add to the new organisation and not how much you want to help yourself. Where possible, say something positive about your previous company / position. Compose your answer to showcase that you do not have to leave your current position, but are open to new opportunities and are looking for a better fit.
What do you know about our company?
Don't try to provide a full company overview, just demonstrate some basic understanding of their company, their market and anything else you fell may be relevant to the job.
Tell me about a time you failed (competency / behavoural questions)?
Wow, bet you weren't expecting this question. You'll need to review our "behavioural interview section" to get a better idea on what and how to answer this.
Remember, questions like these
have to focus on failure.
The interviewer is intending to learn more about you by
finding out how you handled the fallout from a failure
and what you learned from it. Discuss a failure that
will not turn the interviewer off, but shows them that
you are able to assess situations from the past and
apply what you learned to the future. These
questions are as much about understand as well as
These questions are as much about understand as well as value-add.
What would be something negative that your last boss would say about you?
Again, yet another behavioural interview question. The interviewer wants to know what your weaknesses are in the workplace. You can approach this question by explaining particular weaknesses that your last boss addressed in performance reviews that you are currently working on. For example, you could say that your boss wanted you to be more outspoken in meetings with your ideas because he knew you were a dynamic thinker but were shy. Tell the interviewer that you have begun speaking up more and more eager to share your thoughts. Do not tell the interviewer that you are a perfectionist or that you work way too hard, as these answers have been used a million timesto the future.
Did you know? By practicing, rehearsing and remembering common interview answers, you can often apply the same (or similar answer) to a number of questions poised. You don't have to try and remember everything !