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Some of the Popular answers to Interviewers Questions

General Questions


Generally speaking there are going to be certain questions that arise at your interview that you can pretty much expect to get asked at any interview you may attend. The great thing about this is the fact that you can rehearse your answers to these questions and with enough practice they will flow off your tongue easier than honey sipping down your throat! These questions are likely to be fired at all candidates applying for the job. So, although they may sound personal to you and they are to a degree; these are pretty standard interview questions. So here goes. You have to bear in mind that these are the responses that I would consider giving. They are obviously not set in stone and you will need to adapt answers according to your situation:


Tell Me About Yourself


– Sounds a bit like the sort of question you get asked on a date! This isn’t as straight forward to answer as at first it might seem. Don’t start rambling on about how much you love watching the Simpsons on the TV. That isn’t what the interviewer is looking to hear. You will probably need to answer this question with a question. Perhaps you could try saying “What would you like to know about me?” This then gives your interviewer the chance to get you to tell them exactly what information they are looking for. If possible try and keep this part of the interview to a minimum. If you can, see if you can build into your response positives which relate to the job you are applying for. For example; if it’s a sales role you could say “I am a very organised person who enjoys finding a new prospect, working with it and closing the deal, carrying out the completion from start to finish”. Sometimes your interviewer might ask about your hobbies and again you should pick out points that relate to the job you are applying for whether remote or not.


What Is the Most Enjoyable Part Of Your Current Job?

 
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This is a fairly straight forward question but has a bit of a double meaning. Obviously there are going to be parts of your existing job that you don’t like doing or you wouldn’t be applying for this new position would you? But your job can’t be that great either or you wouldn’t be applying for this job! Don’t get led down this route. Just answer something along the lines of “I do enjoy my present job so I can’t really put my finger on any part of it that I dislike. I am just looking to further my career” and leave it at that. It is possible to use this question to your benefit but you need to make sure you pick something that is going to compliment the job you are applying for.


Tell Us About The Biggest Challenge You’ve Ever Faced In Your Career?


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Oh wow, this is a really great question to help you shine! You are more than likely to be asked this question and it is a really great opportunity for you to blow your own trumpet. Pick a challenge where you have been successful and explain how you overcame it and what the outcome was. This question can also be used by the interviewer to gauge what you consider to be a challenge, so this is a bit of a crafty one as well.


Why Do You Want To Leave Your Present Job?

 
- This is a bit of a stupid question really as the chances of the interviewer getting a straight answer are fairly limited. Let’s face it; if the job you are in doesn’t pay very well and you want more money, you are going to be looking for a new job. It might be that your current boss is a complete idiot and you don’t like him. It could be you can’t stand working with John in accounts. You aren’t going to say any of these things are you? Well hopefully not! I think a standard response along the lines of “I feel that I have outgrown the company I am in and my contribution as part of a team could be put to better use with a larger or more focused company where I can expand my skills further. I am really interested in……..but my existing employer doesn’t have the resources to let me advance in this area” and leave it at that. Just try not to be negative about the job you are leaving. It doesn’t look good.


What Is Your Present Boss Like?


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Another question posed by interviewers to gauge your loyalty and integrity. It is not a good idea to be critical about any of the employers you have ever worked for. Realistically very few of us actually like our bosses. Well, most of us just placate them and tell them what they want to hear. After all why would you possibly want to be best buddies with a person who holds your career prospects in their hands? If you get asked this question the most appropriate reply is “I like my boss and get on very well with him (or her). I respect their experience and they are good at their job”. You really don’t need to expand any further on this issue at interview stage. You have to remember that the person interviewing you may well, at some point in the near future, become your boss and they are weighing up your loyalty and integrity.


What Do You Think This Job Entails?


Now, when you are applying for a new job the chances are you are going to know something about what it is all about. For example; if the job is a secretarial role and you are a secretary, you will know what sort of work you are going to be involved with. In any case you will have been given a brief description of the job role and what responsibilities it carries in either the advertisement about it or in a job description that may have been sent with the original application form, so you should be able to make a reasoned reply.


What Do You Know about this Organisation?

 
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Now if you have taken my earlier advice you will have done your research and read up about what the company is involved in, its products, its turnover and its strategy. You will really impress your interviewer if you are able to show that you have this knowledge. As previously mentioned people like to think that if you are really eager to work for them. You will have done some research about what they do and how they do it. So let’s say you are applying for a job with a major high street retailer you could say something like “I notice that you are one of the leading stores who operate a “Fair Trade Policy” when purchasing your goods from third world countries. I have to say that I am very supportive of this and it would be nice to work for an employer who cares about the impact their business has on people in the outside world”.


What Made You Apply For This Job And Why Do You Want It?


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This is a bit of a double edged question. Your interviewer isn’t necessarily looking for an answer here that is straight forward. You know you are applying for the job because you think you would enjoy doing it, the package is right and you think you would be able to advance your career with this firm, but the interviewer wants to see if there are some specifics that really attract you to it (other than the £ 50,000 per year and company car). So dependent upon what the role is, you could use an answer such as “I am a very well organised person and this role involves exceptional management skills. I thrive under pressure and it makes me perform to my full ability which makes me think that I would really enjoy it”. Obviously you can tailor this answer to whatever role you are applying for.


What Qualities Do You Think You Can Bring To This Job Position?


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Again, you know that you can do this job and that is why you have applied for it. Not only do you know that you can do the job, you will do it better than anyone else, so you will be aware of the qualities you are going to bring to this business. You will have reviewed the job spec and the key responsibilities so you will be able to select several areas where you feel your qualities will stand out. Perhaps you could therefore give an answer along the lines of “I have experience working in the complaints department where a sympathetic touch is required dealing with disgruntled customers. I am very tactful and am able to defuse situations using my personal skills”.


How Long Would You Expect To Work For Our Organisation?


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Let’s face it no employer wants to go through the hassle and cost of hiring a new candidate if the candidate only stays with them for 6 months and then decides to apply to another firm. The recruitment process is a long and expensive one especially where agencies are used to introduce the candidate. This could cost your potential employer as much as 30% of your first year’s package! It’s probably a good idea therefore to intimate that you would like to work for this firm for several years minimum and you could provide an answer along the lines of “I like the way your company is continuing to expand and I would like to be part of that on a long term basis. So I would like to think that I could continue to work for you for a lengthy period of time providing my career continues to progress”.


What’s Your Greatest Strength?


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Only you can answer this question, but it is a question that will more than likely be asked. After all, the interviewer wants to know what you are good at. This question gives you pretty much an open mandate to really show off. However don’t overdue the self praise. When answering this question try and provide strengths that relate to the role that you are applying for, so if the job requires the need to be organised and a good team leader provide these as strengths within your answer.


What Is Your Biggest Weakness?

 
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Bit of a tricky question this, after all no one wants to show their weaknesses but we all have them. The most comprehensive way of dealing with this question is to try and turn it into a “positive” from a “negative”. So you could perhaps say “my biggest weakness is buying the kids sweets when they ask for them in the shop” or “I really dislike washing the car at the weekend but once I have done it I always feel a real sense of satisfaction”.

Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years Time?


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Don’t say as I have heard so many times “sitting in your job!” Although I have a sense of humour, most interviewers do not. The remark often has an element of truth hanging in the background and you don’t want your interviewer thinking you are potentially a threat to his or her job in the future. I am sure you will have ideas about where you want to be in a few years time. Most people, whether they put them down on paper or not, have a good idea of their long term career objectives. Try and answer the question positively but not too arrogantly. Perhaps you could give an answer such as “I have always been very career minded and ambitious. I would like to keep progressing up the career ladder and feel that your organisation will be able to offer me that opportunity”.


What Would Your Work Colleagues Say About You?

 
- This question provides another opportunity for you to demonstrate that you are easy to get on with, a team player and a generally amenable person who works well with other people. You could answer this question with a quote such as “I am an organised, approachable, dependable, easy to get on with team member who is always willing to offer my advice or assistance to colleagues where needed”. Don’t go overboard with your answer, making out you are something you are not. You may get away with stretching the truth, but if you are not a “natural team leader” don’t say you are!


What Would Your Friends Say About You?


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Obviously this question is similar to the one above. If you are a popular, kind, caring person who can be counted on and would help a friend out at the drop of a hat then let your interviewer know.


What Interests Do You Have Outside Of Your Work?

- This will be a definite question (in my opinion) and is posed by your interviewer to try and ascertain what you are like outside of your working environment. If you don’t like football or snooker don’t say that you do. Just provide honest answers. There is nothing worse than saying you follow a sport and then it turning out that the interviewer is mad about the subject and starts asking you questions you can’t answer. You will look a fool and your honesty will be under scrutiny!


What Type Of Books Or Publications Do You Like?

 
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This question needs an honest answer. Just because you think the interviewer is looking to hear you tell them that you have just finished “Marketing Skills Made Easy” and that it was the best read of your life, it isn’t a good idea to make it up. If you have genuinely read David Jason’s autobiography or Stephen King’s latest book then tell the employer what you enjoyed about it. Of course if you work within certain industries; read the trade publications and have recently read an interesting article about the latest “blue widget release” then by all means use this as an example.


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Quick Jump ...

  1. Preparing For The Interview
  2. How To Prepare
  3. First Impressions
  4. During An Interview - Coping With Nerves
  5. During An Interview - Projecting The Right Image
  6. The Interview
  7. The Most Popular Interview Questions
  8. The Tough Interview Questions
  9. Your Questions For The Interviewer
  10. Psychometric Testing
  11. Assessment Centers
  12. Second Interviews
  13. What To Do While Your Waiting To Hear
  14. What To Do If You Get The Job
 
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