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Common job interview questions and how to answer them

Do you have a job interview coming up? Here are the answers to some of the most common job interview questions.

What are your weaknesses?

This is one of the most popular questions interviewers ask. It can also be one of the most dreaded questions too. Be honest and answer the question but always show the interviewer that you are trying to work on your weaknesses.

Example: “I am looking to get more experience (select skill). In order to improve my experience and knowledge I will be completing online courses to help me develop my skills in this area”.

Why should we hire you?

Use examples where you really made a difference.

Example: “With five years’ experience in the digital marketing industry for the last company I worked for I increased their website traffic by 38% in the first 6 months. As I have made an impact in all my previous roles I am confident I can bring positive changes that will make a real difference to your business too”.

Why do you want to work here?

Hiring managers ask this question to get a real sense of why you applied specifically for the current position at their company. They want to see that you have spent your time doing your research and that you are really passionate about their company. They don’t want a candidate that has applied to many different roles just because there is a job opening available.

Example: “I have selected companies that fit the company culture that I am looking for and there are plenty of opportunities for me to progress my career. This company is very desirable as it is exactly what I am looking for and I am genuinely excited for where the opportunity may take me”.

What are your goals?

This is a great question to show the hiring manager what aspirations you have and what drives you in your career. Sometimes it is good to talk about your short-term intermediate goals and your distant future goals.

Example: “My immediate goal is to join a company that is continuing to grow. My long-term depends on how the company develops as I am hoping to climb up the ladder and get a role that gives me more responsibility”.

Why did you leave your job?

Never badmouth a formal employer. Instead, use a positive reason why you would like to leave your current employer.

Example: “I am looking to progress my career and unfortunately this is not possible with my current employer so I am looking for a new opportunity where I can enhance my current skills and learn new ones”.

What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?

Stand out from the crowd and tell the hiring manager what makes you unique. When you answer this question think about your experiences, skills and certifications. Really sell yourself and your ability to thrive in the job.

Example: “In my last job, I helped increase third-quarter sales by 30% and this increase was a direct result of my ability to work with our customers to find out what they need that we as a company were not providing to them.”

What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?

Think of all the positive things your boss has said to you in your appraisals and use this opportunity to really sell yourself but through someone else’s words.

Example: “My boss has told me that he appreciates all my hard work and he loves that I always give 100% to every project I am involved in. He knows he can always rely on me as I am highly organised and all my tasks are always completed on time.”

If you were an animal, which one would you be?

Interviewers ask wild card questions to see if you can think quickly. Think about what type of personality would it take to get the job done? What impression do you want to make?

Example: “I would be a dog because I love being around other people. Much like a dog, I’m happiest when I get to engage with groups and I enjoy supporting those around me.”

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