Image 2023 03 28 T03 16 57
Image 2023 03 28 T03 16 57

Top 5 Common Interview Questions - How to Answer!

Top 5 Common Interview Questions - How to Answer!

Posted on 28/03/2023 by Caitlin Ielasi

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​What is your biggest weakness?

Why is it asked?

Recruiters ask this to see if you are honest, self-aware and committed to self-improvement.

What not to say!

Joanna Slaven, Senior Recruitment Partner, has been with us for 15 years and says, "Avoid the generic non-specific answers like - I take on too much, I have difficulties delegating, or I'm a perfectionist".

How to answer!

  • Prepare for your interview by identifying a list of weaknesses.

  • Don't list anything about the advertised duties; for example, don't say you are a poor communicator if the job requires high communication skills.

  • Consider what your references would say about you and devise an action plan about how you may improve.

  • Try to identify an authentic weakness, discuss it genuinely, and highlight how you are working towards improving.

Why do you want to work for the company?

Why is it asked?

To see how much preparation you have done, for example, do your career goals align with the position and organisation, and do your values align with the company culture.

How to answer!

  • Read the "About the company" section within the job advertisement.

  • Research the company via its social media and website.

  • Identify the organisation's mission, values, vision, culture, service offerings/products, company initiatives, leaders and reputation.

  • Ask yourself how the above aligns with your skills, goals and what you want from a company.

  • Demonstrate your knowledge and passion for the organisation and how the above can assist the company.

What do you know about the position you are applying for / why does it appeal to you?

Why is it asked?

Unlike the above question, "Why do you want to work for the company" this question is role-specific but is interrelated. For example, employers want to see how much you care about the position and if your skills and experience match.

How to answer!

  • Research the position, review the job advertisement, and identify what you liked and why.

  • Explain how well you understand the requirements.

  • End with a question; to foster an interpersonal relationship, this is a chance to get clarification about anything within the role you are unsure about.

Can you tell us about a time you faced a challenge and how you overcame it?

Why is it asked?

Simply to find out how you handle adversity and what you do to overcome the situation.

How to answer!

  • Tailor your answer to the job advertisement.

  • Draw from past challenges solved and how they relate to the advertised position.

  • List why they were challenges, and demonstrate how you thought of a solution.

  • Don't be negative, be solutions focussed and communicate the challenge positively.

  • If you are new to the workforce, draw from volunteering, education, or extra-curricular activities.

What are your career goals?

Why is it asked?

Employers want to know if your career goals match the organisation's objectives and role. They also use your answers to develop whether you are a long-term option and what you plan to achieve if awarded the position.

How to answer!

  • What are your short-term and long-term career goals? How and what are your plans for achieving them?

  • What would be your goals if you were hired for the position?

  • Consider what you would like regarding professional development, for example, what you want to learn more about within your expertise, including soft and hard skills.

  • Plans for any further education, volunteering, mentoring etc.