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10 Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Think about the Common Interview questions from the employer’s point of view. He or she only has a limited time to come to a decision about which is the best candidate from those on the shortlist. If all candidates are to be asked the same or similar questions so that their answers can be compared and contrasted together, there needs to be a list of questions prepared and ready to ask in advance of the interview. If a job description and personnel specification exist for the post, these will form the basis of a lot of the questioning. If the employer has taken the trouble to be explicit in advance about what will be done in the job and the essential and desirable qualities required for the job, these lists provide a predictable direction for questioning in the interview. The employer is likely to start with questions that explore the backgrounds of the candidates, frequently covering education, training and experience. Most interviewers like to ask about any interests or hobbies that the candidates may have, to find out what kind of person they are outside, as well as inside, the workplace. More general questions will follow about attitudes, aptitudes and abilities plus perhaps some exploration of any ideas the candidates have about how they would approach carrying out the job on offer. For more senior or specialized roles, there may well be some questions designed to see if the candidates have a vision of how they would develop the role, if appointed. Here is a selection of Common Interview Questions that you may be asked in an interview.

10 Most Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

1) "Tell me About Yourself"
Why Tell me About Yourself  interview question is a favorite of so many interviewers? Many consider it a nice ice-breaker, giving them a chance to gauge initial chemistry, get a little insight into the cipher sitting before them (that would be you), and force you to do all the talking, for at least a couple of minutes! 
It shouldn’t matter to you. If you are prepared, you know this interview question can be your golden opportunity to provide an answer that demonstrates four of the traits every interviewer is desperately searching for: intelligence, enthusiasm, confidence, and dependability.

This is as open as a question can be. It’s up to you to set the boundaries and make sure you stick to points that are informative and relevant. The interviewer wants you to include things like:

● your current position; 

● your background, education and training; 
● the skills and strengths that make you good at your job; 
● your experience and accomplishments; 
● the high points of your career so far;
● what attracted you to your particular field and how you got into it; 
● your goals for the future.

You need, of course, to tailor your answer and take into consideration the skills, strengths, aptitudes and experience – the competencies – required for the job.

2) ‘What hobbies or interests do you have?’ 
Why should employers be interested in the answer to this question? Is it pure nosiness? Everything you say about yourself contributes to the general impression gained about you. If I tell you that my hobbies are knitting, cookery, needlework, decorating cakes and bird-watching, you have an idea of the sort of person I am. If, however, I tell you that my hobbies include karate, African music, organizing a community group, gardening and swimming, the picture is quite different. You need to think hard about which hobbies and interests to mention. They can illustrate that you have a well-rounded personality and lead a full and satisfying life. Examples of times when you were in a leading or organizing role will create a good impression.

3) ‘What are your strengths?’ 
This is one of my favorite questions. If you were ever given a chance to shine – this is it. Although at first sight this seems daunting, it is easy to prepare an impressive answer if you consider it before the interview. In the space below make a list of 10 of your good qualities. Each point should comprise one word or short phrase and should relate to your behavior at work. Examples could be: ‘Flexible; good at keeping to deadlines; calm; can work under pressure …’ Everybody’s list will be different. If you find this exercise difficult, try to imagine what your mother, your best friend, your dog – or whoever loves you most in the world – would say about you if they were describing your best characteristics to a stranger.

4) ‘What are your weaknesses?’ 
Whatever does the employer mean by asking this question? Nobody will want to employ someone who can reel off a long list of serious faults. The best way to answer is not to admit to any weaknesses at all. An example could be: ‘At my age I know myself pretty well and don’t think I have any major weaknesses.’ If you do mention weaknesses, make sure that they are those which sound more like strengths. 
For instance: I sometimes take my work too seriously and will stay late at the office to get something finished,’ or I tend to be very flexible as a work colleague, and I will do the jobs that no one else wants to do.’ No employer will mind you having weaknesses like these.

5) ‘Have you had any work experience?
This interviewer question is often asked of younger people who have just left full-time education. No employer wants to hear that you are completely inexperienced, even if you only left college a week ago. If you took part in any practical placements at college, talk about them here. You will need to come up with some kind of answer in order to reassure the interviewer that you are used to the routine of work, that you can hold down a position and that someone else has wanted to employ you in the past. Perhaps you have done a paper round; worked on voluntary projects while at school; had holiday or vacation jobs or participated in a work experience programme at school or college. If you have never done any type of work at all, do not let this situation continue as now is the time to start. You could offer your services to a community organisation on a voluntary basis or ‘work shadow’ some friend or relative who does what you are interested in. A training course could help you pick up many transferable skills. If you are studying it may be possible to get a Saturday or evening job. Apart from providing you with a positive response to this question, and giving you added purpose and contacts, the work experience may enable you to gain a character reference from the organisation concerned. Voluntary or temporary work can also show you whether you would like a certain job or not by giving you a trial period to see what it involves.

6) ‘Can you tell me about your last job?’
 First you need to summarize the main features of your last job so that your interviewer can quickly and easily understand what you were doing, why and how. Forget that you have already written about this in your CV or application form. Imagine this is the first time you have discussed the job. Think through in advance what aspects of the job will be impressive to this employer and stress how you have learned about these areas in particular. It is not the precise details of what you were doing in the job that are wanted, but an account of the main skills involved and what you contributed to the organisation. Try to include skills that will be just as useful to this new job. Explain how you carried out the main tasks. Give concrete examples where possible to illustrate your points and stress how you progressed in the course of the job.

7) ‘Why did you leave your last position?’ 
This is not the time to decry either your last job, the people you worked with or the employer concerned. A candidate who appears to have difficulty in getting on with people will definitely not be offered a new position. Nobody wants to risk employing a troublemaker. You will need to provide positive reasons for moving on from your last job, either involving different work or preferably taking up a new opportunity – to study, do voluntary work, or whatever you say you have been doing since you stopped work. If there were major problems in your last (or present) job that you 

8) ‘What has been your greatest achievement in your working history?’ 
Some hard thinking before the interview is needed in order to answer this question. The example that you choose should convey some of the principal qualities needed in the job applied for and should be explained clearly and concisely. What characteristics did you demonstrate at the time? Pick an example that has close relevance to this job to show that the skills you were using are transferable to the post on offer. A useful way to make sure you don’t ramble is to structure your answer into three key points. The first point could cover what the achievement was, the second could explain the circumstances or the background and the third point could explain why you feel that this represents the greatest achievement in your work to date.

9)‘Why are you applying for the post?’ 
This is another variant on the last question and should be answered in the same way. Try to structure your answers. Give three key points such as: 
1. my skills and experience; 
2. my character and personality; 
3. my vision for this particular post. 
In this way you will give a clearer response while still including everything you need to say.

10)'Why should we hire you?'
This is another good question as it enables you to use your list of 10 strengths again.  Employers are interested in hearing about your skills, experience and personality. In your answer you could mention any of your particular skills which relate to the job, your relevant experience, and add those aspects of your personality which best suit you for the position. A question like this is a gift to an interviewee. Do not be worried about boasting. This is the time to ‘sell yourself’ strongly to the interviewer. You are being asked to summarize your application – and the answer to this question is the crux of the whole interview. Getting the job may depend on your answer so it has to be impressive.You can bring in your ideas here – explain the thoughts you have had about the organisation and your vision for the future of the job. The more senior the position that you are applying for, the more likely it is that no one on the panel knows exactly what they are looking for when recruiting. By definition, the more rare or specialized the role, the fewer people there will be who fully understand how the job could or should be done. In addition, the more significant the position for the organisation, the more important it will be to have it filled by someone with ideas and initiative. You can show that you will bring added value to the job in comparison with the other candidates by sharing your view of the way the job should be carried out. This requires you to have spent some serious thinking time considering the job, the situation of the organisation and the possibilities of the role.

Click On Below links To Download Job Interview Questions and Answers PDF.
  1. Learn How to Answer Interview Questions PDF 
  2. How To Answer Interview Questions PDF
  3. Answering Tough Interview Questions For Dummies PDF
  4. 301 smart answers to tough interview questions PDF


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