It is always good to prepare for an interview by thinking what questions might crop up. Planning your answers to some common questions will help you answer any similar questions during an interview.
It is also a good idea to research questions that might relate specifically to the job description, which won’t appear below in some of our examples. Additionally, if you’re interviewing for a specialised industry there will likely be some technical or scenario based questions to consider in your interview prep.
Remember – when interviewing, the company wants to assess whether you could you do it, will you love it and will they love you.
Common Interview Questions – Fit for the role:
This is an excellent opportunity for you to sell yourself – pay particular attention to highlighting your relevant skills and experience.
This checks your understanding of the role and what is required in order to achieve it.
Describe a situation where you had to give someone negative/constructive feedback. How did you handle it?
What attracted you to this role?
What are your strengths/weaknesses?
Tell us about a time when you have had to deal with a difficult person. What happened? How did you handle it?
Why should we employ you?
Describe a time when your motivation, in any situation, was low. How did you deal with this?
Is there anything that you can’t do that the role requires?
An honest answer will help the employer understand what training will be required. The most important thing here is to show that you are confident about your ability to learn quickly to bridge any gaps.
Give me an example of when you have had to juggle more than one task at a time. How did you achieve your results? How successful were you?
In a seminar or group task, how do you ensure that your point of view is heard? Describe a time when you have had to use your initiative to resolve a difficult situation. What did you do?
Common Interview Questions – Fit for the company:
- What do you know about our organisation?
Make sure you have researched the organisation thoroughly e.g. size, turnover, reputation, products/services, mission, competitors, locations, marketing, website, who works there, social media presence etc. Leave no stone unturned and really reflect on what appeals to you about working for the organisation and how you feel you will fit the culture.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
- Why did you leave your previous job?
Absolutely nothing but positives here – otherwise you risk coming across as having a victim mentality or not being seen as someone who is nice to work with
- What is your impression of this industry/organisation?
This question highlights if you have done your research and if you are engaged with the company.
- What would you say makes for a productive work atmosphere?
- What is your opinion on [company product/website etc] and what would you do to improve it?
Common Interview Questions – Will the company love you?
- Why did you choose your degree?
- What role do you like to play in a team?
- What annoys you?
- What’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
This is to judge your thought process when you have to make a decision, what did you consider, who you communicated with etc.
- How would your best friend describe you?
- How do you deal with criticism?
It is important to know how you deal with feedback and if you can accept and learn from it.
You might come across some curveball interview questions that surprise. Often this will be a way that the company tests your creativity, reaction to being caught off guard and reasoning. Some examples of these are below.
- If you were a biscuit what kind of biscuit would you be? (and any variation of: cake, animal etc.)
- How many ways can you think of, to find a needle in a haystack
- How lucky are you and why? (questions like this can be used to assess your outlook and positivity)
- How would your friends describe you?
- What would you take to a desert island?
- What was the last gift you gave someone?
Check out some Interview Essentials for what else you can do to prepare.