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31 Common Interview Questions You Need to Be Prepared For

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Gemma Pratt CVs & Interviews

Interviews can be a daunting experience, but preparation can ease your nerves and build your confidence. Here are 31 common interview questions. Use these as a starting point, then consider some job specific questions for the role you are applying for.

About the company and the role:

  1. What do you know about this company and what we do?

  2. Why do you want to work for us?

  3. What do you think you will contribute to our office/ team/ business? Why should we hire you?

  4. How do you think you will fit into our team?

  5. What do you think this job will entail?

TIP: Do your research on a company. If this is their first question, then it acts as their first impression of you. By showing that you have cared to find out about them, it shows that you value them as a company and know what you are getting into. This evidently implies to the interviewer that you might remain at the company for longer. If you are on their website and come across an error or obvious spelling mistake, noting this might give you brownie points for assertiveness. 

About you:

  1. Tell us about yourself

  2. How would your friends describe you?

  3. What are your top qualities and strengths?

  4. What are your weaknesses?

  5. What is your greatest achievement in work/ during your career?

  6. What is your proudest moment outside of work?

  7. What is your preferred way to be managed?

  8. How do you deal with pressure and deadlines?

  9. How do you prioritise and manage your workload?

  10. Do you find you work better in a team or alone?

  11. How would you describe your perfect team?

  12. Give us an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision at work

  13. Where do you see yourself and your career in five years?

  14. Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

  15. Tell us about your hobbies.

TIP: While answering these questions to yourself, make a note of any key skills or attributes which you think might impress the interviewer. Find ways to comfortably include these skills and experience into your answers.

For bonus points, short examples/stories from your career can strengthen their trust in your experience. For example; "I find that I deal with pressure very well. At my current job, we had an emergency where [insert high pressured situation here] and I was able to rectify the situation by [insert an example of when you used your initiative and remained calm in the situation]".

Feel free to take this list of key skills, attributions and short examples to the interview with you as a prompt.

About your current job/ career:

  1. Why are you leaving?

  2. What did you like most about your present job?

  3. What did you like least about your current job?

  4. What are/were your major responsibilities?

  5. What have you learned from your current job? 

TIP: Remember that the person listening will hopefully want to hire you, and will know that you may leave their company too, one day. For this reason, keep your answers professional and do not damage the reputation of your current employer during your interview. Consider your answers before your interview and explain why you made these choices to bring the human element into these decisions.

About your job search & preferences:

  1. Do you have any other interviews?

  2. How has your job search been going?

  3. When could you start? What is your notice period?

  4. Do you have any holiday commitments?

  5. What are your salary expectations?

TIP: With these questions, they want to know how active you are in the market and how committed you are to finding a job. Even a clear salary expectation shows that you are realistic about the salary range for your job title, in the geographical location you are applying for the role.

The traditional, final question:

  1. Do you have any questions for us?

TIP: Take 3 questions, written down, to ask the company. If they answer these during your interview, replying; "I came with a few questions but you have answered them for me, thank you" is better than saying "no, nothing at all, thanks".

Good luck with your interview. You may also be interested in;