Congratulations, you’ve got to the interview stage… now to prepare! Interviews can be daunting as a lot is at stake but it is very likely that you’ll hear at least one of these questions during your interview. It’s important that you are prepared to give a unique answer that will set you apart from the other candidates rather than the stereotypical response the interviewer is expecting.
Here are some of the most common questions you’ll likely get asked in an interview.
1. What do you know about the company?
Do your research; the interviewer is trying to establish if you have checked what the company stands for and what it truly means to you. Try to weave in some keywords from their mission statement, but be original in your answer and show how you understand the company’s real business values.
2. What can you tell me about yourself?
Avoid rambling as your CV will show your work history so steer away from listing it year by year. Instead, try to highlight the main points, and showcase your personality. This will give the interviewer a chance to see the real you, and not just another CV.
3. What are your main strengths?
This is the perfect opportunity to give examples of the skills you have which align with the job role, demonstrating how capable you are for the position. Aim to avoid listing generic strengths and factor in those which will add value to the business.
4. Describe your dream job?
Try not to be too extravagant with your answer here, and focus on factoring in how your graduate role will lend itself nicely towards your future career ambition. There will be bonus points for having already researched your future career developments within the company you are interviewing for.
5. What motivates you?
Traditionally there is no right or wrong answer to this question but try not to go completely left field with your answer. Be honest, be professional and be personable – it’s always great to make your career a mainstay of your motivations especially in an interview!
6. What are your biggest weaknesses?
The oldest question in the book - now this is your time to shine, even on a weaknesses question. Always look to be honest but don’t sell yourself short. State something that is an actual weakness, but make sure you show how you are looking to improve, as your ability to self-assess will score highly in the interviewer’s eyes.
7. Where do you see yourself in five years?
So you want to progress, you’re ambitious and this is the perfect opportunity to showcase that. Try to frame your answer around the organisation you are applying for. Wow the interviewer with your enthusiastic approach to this question and your determination to succeed. Look also at your short term professional goals, breaking down the future into smaller chunks.
8. How do people describe you?
This is the perfect opportunity to differentiate yourself from other candidates - look to stay away from the typical buzzwords like team player and hardworking. Although you might be, the chances are your interviewer has heard it all before, and these attributes are expected in the workplace. Offer some more valuable descriptions of yourself and be willing to go into some detail.
9. Why do you want to work here?
Once again research is crucial when answering this question. Gain a good understanding of the company’s culture, show an interest in the way the company is developing and moving forward, look at its mission statement and fully immerse yourself in the position – if you are enthusiastic about the role it will shine through in your answer.
10. Do you have any questions?
It is commonplace for most interviews to finish with the interviewer asking if you have any questions. Have a few questions prepared as it’s an excellent opportunity to try and cover anything you might not have been able to showcase during the interview fully. Look to build on any answers that the interviewer gives, and that will show how attentive you are. Also, it portrays high levels of interest not only towards the company but to the interviewer.