21 Jul Sarah’s Top Interview Tips
We all know that interviews can be tricky which is why it is always a good idea to go prepared.
Always ensure you take your time when answering each question. There is absolutely no rush! It’s also important to provide tangible examples and back each answer up with an example of how you meet the criteria.
1. Can you tell me a little about yourself? A simple question but most people fail to prepare for this one. Don’t give your complete personal or employment history. Try to focus on what makes you the perfect fit for the role and a brief overview of what you enjoy. Personality and interests are important as well as job skills.
2. What can you tell me about the Company? Companies know that interviewees can find out about the business by viewing their ‘about page’ from their website, however, it’s worth doing a bit more ‘digging’ and viewing their blog or news section to see what the company has been up to. As well as remembering the key facts (how long the company has been around for, where they have offices, number of staff), by doing some research, it demonstrates that you have taken the time and have an interest in the company.
A great pan-island business website to search for company news is: www.businesslife.co. Click on the search bar and type in the business name and it will generate any news related to that company.
3. Why do you want to leave your current role? Ensure you are not negative about your current role and company, you do not want to come across as a negative person. Maybe you want career progression, to follow a dream career or are just looking for a change. Focus on the positives that a move in career will bring rather than focusing on the fact that your boss is nightmare!
4. What are your main responsibilities in your current role? Give a short overview of your main duties and what you enjoy the most. Try to link some of your responsibilities to those that will be required in this role. It will show your capabilities.
5. What would you say are your key strengths? Your time to shine! Be clear on your answers and give examples where you can. If you have great time management skills, give an example of when you demonstrated this. If you are a great communicator, how?
6. What would you say are your weaknesses? The best approach to this question is to choose a weakness that you can follow up with how you are trying to improve it. We all have weaknesses so don’t be afraid to be honest. Giving an example of how you are working on this weakness demonstrates your willingness to overcome and improve on this. Do not say you don’t have any, we all do! Weaknesses are the things that allow us to keep growing.
7. How do you deal with stress at work? This is to find out whether you know how to work around stressful situations as all jobs will have their stressful days. Whether it means you just focus on one thing at a time, take a moment to just think or even just making a cup of tea!
8. Describe a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a task / project? Think of a time when you were successful – what did you have to do? Did you do more than what was expected? What was the outcome? How did you feel?
9. Do you work best as part of a team or individually? Of course, you are more likely to prefer one or the other, however, try to incorporate that working as both is important in business and that you can work comfortably in either situation. There will be times for both.
10. How would you/ your boss/ your mum describe yourself? Get those personality traits across! Only you know yourself. Give a short list of personality traits you believe others notice in you that are positive. Avoid any negatives! You are trying to sell yourself.
11. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time outside of work? Focus on the activities that show passions, goals and personality. There are lots of different and unique hobbies. Unfortunately, socialising and watching TV don’t really count as hobbies.
12. What key skills do you have that would be beneficial in this role? Make sure you prepare a list of skills that you could bring to this role. Numeracy skills, IT skills, language skills, strategic thinking, problem solving etc.
13. Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years? This question always throws people as it is quite intense. Maybe you would have completed a new qualification, moved up the hierarchy or just gained a lot of experience to get you to your next step. Not everyone wants to be the next company Director and if you are not looking for career progression and comfortable at your current level, be honest.
14. Why should we consider you for this role? Describe your personality traits, key skills and what you would bring to the Company. Remember you are in competition with other candidates so think about what sets you apart from other people.
15. What is your salary expectation? Be as open and as honest as you can. A good approach to take is by giving a salary range rather than a solid figure. If, however they ask what your current earnings are, be honest and provide this information.
16. Do you have any questions? This is the chance for you to ask anything else you would like to know about the position or the company. Even if you just ask when you are likely to hear back, it is always good to ask something.