Interview questions – get prepared!

Going for an interview? Or are you unsure of what to expect when you enter the boardroom? To help you prepare, here are a few common and slightly tricky interview questions which may crop up. Use these as a guide, to help you get ready, to get that job!

1. What are your weaknesses?

Interviewers do not expect you to be perfect, and like everyone else, we all have weaknesses. The key to answering this question is to turn your weakness into a positive. For example, you may be fairly reserved or quiet, but to overcome this you have completed presentations as part of your seminars or led a group in a task.

Or you could portray a weakness as a professional strength. Let’s assume that you’re detail-oriented, a workaholic and that you neglect friends and family when working on important projects. You can turn these weaknesses around by saying that you’re very meticulous and remain involved in projects until you’ve ironed out all the problems, even if it means working after hours or on the weekend.

2. What can you tell me about our company and/or industry?

Research, research, research! Ensure you have looked into the company you are applying for, focusing on what they do and their aims. Write down a few key points that you can cite when asked. Interviewers want to know that you’re interested in their company, not just any job.

3. What sets you apart from other applicants?

This question is designed to show your passion, readiness and ability for the job. Describe how your experience, career progression, qualities and achievements make you an asset. Keep it professional, and focus on the value you’ll bring to the position. Highlight your ability by discussing your specific skills and accomplishments, but don’t forget to show your interest in the job itself.

4. Where do you hope to be in three years?

This question is often asked of recent college graduates, and the worst answer is to say that you want to be president of the company or have the interviewer’s position. Instead, talk about what motivates you especially what will motivate you on this job and what you hope to have accomplished.

5. Do you have any questions? Can you think of anything else you’d like to add?

Don’t say “no,” or that everything has been thoroughly discussed. If you think the interviewer has any doubts, now’s the time to restate why you’re the most logical candidate for the opening. Prepare at least three or four questions in advance that you can ask. This demonstrates your interest in the job and that you have taken the time to prepare for the interview.

6. Who else have you applied to/got interviews with?

You are being asked to demonstrate the consistency of your career aims as well as your interest in the job for which you are being interviewed. What you can certainly say in your favour, however, is that the present employer is your first choice.