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Job interviewing Questions and Answers

Let's start with the ten most popular Job interviewing questions. Giving comfortable responses to commonly asked interview questions is a foot in the door for any candidate. If you go to an interview and the interviewer doesn't ask you at least a few of these gems, well, I'll be amazed!

Job interviewing Questions and Answers

1) Tell me about yourself

This is probably the single most popular question that interviewers use for opening an interview. But don't take the question as an invitation to recount your entire life's history. When you hear this question, answer by pretending that they had actually asked you: Tell me briefly about your professional experience and the relevant qualities that make you a strong candidate for this job

Example Answers:
  •  I'm a management consultant with 12 years’ experience gained across industries and sectors ranging from financial services and retail to petrochemicals and media. I am responsible for business development activities and last year sold projects totalling £400,000 to clients. On a day-to-day basis, I also manage a team of up to eight consultants and junior consultants. But more than being a good consultant, I like to think of myself as a fair and democratic person as I try hard to listen to my clients as well as my team. 
  •  I'm currently the floor supervisor at Molly's, which is a busy bar and restaurant in Brighton. I'm responsible for all aspects of management, ranging from stock taking and ordering to end-of-day cashing up. I run a team of seven staff and am responsible for training, hiring and firing. The hours can be quite long, but I enjoy it and like the mix of activities from dealing with customers to managing the staff.

2)What are your strengths?
Asking about your strengths is just as common interview question as asking about your weaknesses. When you’re looking for a practical job, focus on your practical qualities. Ideally, one of your greatest strengths will be your experience, and another your reliability. Give some solid examples of how, where and when you’ve demonstrated these qualities. Stick to three or four key points and put them across strongly.

Example Answers:

  • As an office manager with Global Gadgets, I have excellent organisation skills and really good attention to detail – I'm not the sort of person who does things by halves. I also believe that I have good communication skills in dealing with not only external customers, but also all members of the internal team – from the senior managers to the junior researchers. 
  • I've been told that I'm a very good manager. My team tells me that I give them a lot of freedom in how to do their work, which they really appreciate. They also say that I'm really enthusiastic, so when we're faced with too much work, they tell me that my manner really helps to keep them motivated and calm. My boss also tells me that I'm very innovative in terms of finding new ways of working that cut out inefficiency.

3)What are your weaknesses?

My natural tendency is to make up my mind very quickly – and in the past this has got me into trouble. But I have come to realize that speed is not always appropriate, so I always remind myself that I may need to collect more information and weigh up the pros and cons. Nowadays, if I am at all uncertain about a decision, I will seek input from colleagues.

4)What motivates you?
Employers are looking for people who are keen to make a difference to their organisation. So if you aren't terribly motivated by work and the only thing that keeps you going is the thought of leaving your workplace at the end of the day, keep that to yourself.

One trick is to say that you are motivated when you get to use the kinds of skills that the employer is looking for. For instance, if the employer requires someone with customer service skills, then – hey presto – it may be wise to say something along the lines of: I really enjoy spending time with people and get a buzz out of dealing with customers and sorting out their problems. I hate it when I feel that I'm not doing my best on behalf of customers. Yes, it sounds a bit cheesy, but if you say it with sincerity, it can nail you the job.

5)What are you passionate about?
This question is just a variant on What motivates you? However, the key to answering a question about passion is ensuring that your body language demonstrates not just enthusiasm, but real passion. I remember observing interviews for a job as an assistant fashion buyer at a large high-street fashion retailer. All the candidates had fashion degrees and were equally knowledgeable. But the candidate who got the offer was the one whose eyes and face lit up when she talked about her passion for clothing and design and fabrics and trends and all things to do with fashion.

6)What are your biggest achievements?

An interviewer may ask for just one achievement or a handful – so give this question some thought beforehand. Wherever possible, keep most of your achievements work-related and focus on the benefits that you achieved for other people, such as:

  • Increased customer or client satisfaction 
  • Greater revenues or profit 
  • A bigger slice of market share 
  • The elimination of inefficiencies or errors 
  • Cost reduction 
  • Improved relationship morale within the team or with other stakeholders 
  • Enhanced reputation of your employer
For example, an IT manager may say:

"We were asked by our head office in the US to upgrade all of our staff's computers to a new software package. We have over 600 computers across three locations in the UK, and it was imperative that we handled the migration within the space of a few days to ensure that there would be no compatibility issues. This was back in March, which is traditionally a really busy time of year for our company. I had to attend a lot of meetings with senior managers to persuade them that it was important. And I had to co-ordinate the efforts of my team to ensure that all of the computers were upgraded within those few days. It took a lot of planning and hard work, but I was really proud of the fact that we managed the migration and had only a few minor problems – and no complaints from the staff."

7)What are you most proud of? 

This is simply a variation of the question What are your achievements? The trap here is for unwary candidates who may gush about their family or accomplishments outside of work. While you may be terribly proud of your children or your relationship or having lost weight or given up smoking, try to use a work-related achievement.

8)What is your greatest failure? 

Ooh, this is a nasty question. The interviewer is setting you a big trap to fall into. The way to fend off this question is by saying that you don't think that you have ever had a ‘greatest failure’. 

However, saying that you've never failed isn't a good enough answer on its own. So go on to talk about some minor failure that you have experienced – perhaps a particular project that did not go well or a piece of work that was not up to your usual high standards.

Example Answer:

"i was part of a team that launched a new skincare product into the UK for my current French company about 18 months ago. The product itself was great and we presented it to panels of consumers to try. The consumer panels didn't like the packaging that we'd put it in and indicated it should be more muted. That went against my gut feeling, but we responded and gave the consumers what they wanted. However, when we launched the product for real, sales weren't as good as we would have liked. So what I learned is that consumers don't always get it right and that I should trust my gut feeling more in future."

9) Do you have any regrets? 

Regret is a very strong, emotionally laden word. Again, the trap here is for unwary candidates to end up confessing major misgivings about their lives.

One way to avoid the trap would be to say something like: Sure, I've made mistakes, but I don't think that I have any real regrets. I believe that I've learnt from every situation that I've been in. And those situations and my choices in those situations have made me the person that I am. 

Alternatively, you can admit to wondering what may have happened if you had made a different decision at some time in your career. But always assert at the end of your tale that your decision was the right one to have made at the time.

Example Answer:
"We had an offer from a big American conglomerate to buy our business a few years ago. But the negotiations fell through because the conglomerate wasn't willing to pay us fairly for our business. As it turned out, the bottom fell out of the market and the value of our shares fell. But there was no way that we could have foreseen that terrorist attacks would cause a slump in the economy. So at the time it was the right decision."

10) Why should we hire you? 

This question is often used to bring an interview to a close, so treat it as your opportunity to sell yourself boldly to the interviewers. A good answer may match three or four of your key skills and characteristics to the job. For example: 

Example Answer
"Your advert said that you were looking for someone who is highly numerate, has good team working and presentation skills, and a willingness to work hard. I hope that my experience as a financial analyst at Transworld Bank shows that I'm good with numbers. Both of the jobs I've held so far have required me to work often long hours in a close-knit team, and it's something that I very much enjoy. And my boss singled out my presentation skills in my last appraisal. So I think that I am a very strong candidate."

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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