Tell Me About A Time You Screwed Up
An oldie but goodie. This is a tried-and-true test for self-awareness. Someone who takes ownership of their mess-up and learns something from it is usually humble and mindful. Candidates who blame others or give a “fake” screw-up are red flags.
A good answer to this question:
A good answer to this question will do two things well:
- Admit to a genuine mistake. Often candidates will dress up a mistake with a self-compliment or excuse to avoid looking weak. For example, “I was so committed to X that I overlooked Y.” On the contrary, good answers will just show that they miscalculated, plain and simple.
- Explain what they learned from it. It’s one thing to screw up, but it’s another thing to take that screw-up as an opportunity to improve. Great companies learn more from failure than they do from success — candidates who do too are exactly what you need to grow.
How To Be A Good Interviewer:
Read our guidelines below on how to conduct a good interview and find answers to commonly asked questions.
It’s important to prepare thoroughly before interviewing a potential employee so that you don’t come across as disorganized and unprofessional. Be sure to brush up on the interviewee’s skills and employment history beforehand by reading their resume, and print out a copy for reference during the interview.
Choose your questions wisely.
Create a list of questions that are tailored to the role you are hiring for, such as questions relating to skills, job knowledge, and work history. You should also include behavioral and situational questions to give you a good idea of how the candidate handles challenging situations. Preparing a list will also ensure that you ask each candidate similar questions.
Have an interview structure.
An unstructured interview can cause you to lose track of the interview and end up wasting your and the candidate’s time. The best way to avoid this is to set out a structure during your interview prep.
For example, make the first part of the interview a brief introduction and description of the main goals of the position and what your company hopes to achieve, followed by the interview questions. Lastly, give the interviewee an opportunity to ask a few questions of their own.
Take notes and listen carefully.
How To Leave A Good Impression After A Job Interview
How you end a job interview can have a significant impact on the impression you make on a company. Experts say there are three key things you should do as an interview draws to a close to help secure your place as a top candidate.
- Come prepared with questions that show you’ve researched the company and the job role but don’t ask anything that could invite criticism of yourself.
- Thank the interviewers by name, acknowledge or reference their job title, and make eye contact with them.
- Clarify whether thank you notes are expected. If so, follow up with personalised messages to each interviewer to keep the conversation going once the interview is over.
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Prepare Answers To Common Interview Questions
There is no way to predict what you will be asked during an interview, but there are some questions that are often brought up. Plan your answers for these questions as this will give your confidence a boost and make you feel you can be successful. Here are some of those frequently asked questions :
Why do you want to work here?: This is where your effort to learn about the company and its products and services will help you. You can answer this question by mentioning the aspects of the company that interest you and how the company’s business activities are aligned with your career goals.
What interests you about this role?: This question is your opening to highlight the skills that make you a worthy candidate for this role. You have already reviewed the job description, and you are aware of the skills that you possess and the skills that the employer wants in an ideal candidate. Focus on those skills in your answer and convey why you feel you are the right person for this job.
What are your strengths?: This is another opportunity for you to talk about your qualification and your skills. Make this answer a bit personal and highlight attributes and qualities that would help you connect with the interviewers and, at the same time, also convey your strengths.
Dont Ask For Feedback On The Spot
Ive seen people recommend that you ask for feedback or concerns at the end of the interview. Something like this: Based on what weve discussed, is there any reason you wouldnt consider me for this job? Horrible advice. Never ask this. Ever. Or anything like it.
First of all, they just finished interviewing you. Give them time to think. Youre going to go home and decide whether youre interested, they need time to think too. Dont put them on the spot like this.
Also, youre bringing the negatives to their attention. Youre literally asking them if they can think of a reason thatd stop them from hiring you. Even if they do think of something, they wont tell you for fear of a lawsuit.
I like to say something like this instead: If you need any more info from me or have any questions later, dont hesitate to contact me.
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Practice Answering Interview Questions
There are plenty of online resources available to walk you through the types of common interview questions you might be asked. Once you know what to expect, practice answering these interview questions with friends or a family member. Develop solid answers that highlight your competencies, experiences, skills, and relevant abilities.
How Do You Handle Mistakes
This is another great opportunity to tell a compelling story about how youâve grown in your past jobs and experiences. Think of an anecdote you can tell about a mistake you made, what you did about it and how you learned from it. Make sure to make the âwhat you learnedâ universal â talk about how you can apply that strategy to future mistakes with similar success.
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Youre Told What Your Responsibilities Would Be
Most of the time, interviewers will remain neutral. An interviewer will usually talk about what a successful candidate will do in the position youre interviewing for. If they change their language, pay attention to how you fit into it.
For example, if they start talking about what you would be doing in this position, instead of a candidate, it could mean that they are already viewing you in that role. It may be a slip up on the part of the interviewer if it only happens once. But, if they go into the details of the job and the daily tasks, and keep referring to you, its a positive sign they are considering you to fill the role.
Besides talking about what your role would be in the job, salary may also come up. Usually, an interviewer wont talk about how much youll make right away. But, if theyre serious about hiring you, theyll push through that potentially-awkward part of the meeting because they want you to stay interested. If they talk about the salary you can expect once you start working, its a great indicator that they want to hire you as soon as possible.
Vary The Question Types
Varying the question types during an interview can help it feel fresh and allow you to see different attributes of the candidate. A well-rounded mix of questions can also let you explore different facets of the job position and assess how well an applicant might perform. For example, consider using a combination of these questions:
- Closed-ended questions: You can use these to gain basic information, like How many years of experience do you have? or You graduated with a degree from Ontario City College?
- Open-ended questions: These let a candidate expand on a topic, like What is a challenging goal youre proud of achieving? or Explain a time you had to change your approach entirely.
- Logic questions: You can gain insight into how an applicant approaches problem-solving with these questions, like How many trees are there in Banff National Park?
- Hypothetical questions: These questions invite a candidate to anticipate how to handle an issue, like How would you react to a colleague who misses a deadline?
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Get Ready For The Interview
Prepare for your interview by following these tips:
- read the job description and person specification carefully and be clear on the skills and qualities the employer is looking for
- check the company website to find out more about its products or services and their plans for the future
- go over your CV or application form and think about things the employer may ask you about
- use the STAR method to prepare some examples that show you have the right skills, personal qualities and experience
- practise your timings on presentations and keep a back-up copy
- ask someone you trust to practise answering questions
- write down 2 or 3 questions you can ask at the end of your interview, that show youre enthusiastic about the job
- prepare something suitable and comfortable to wear
- check what time you need to arrive and the name of the person you need to see
- make sure that you know how to get to where the interview is being held
- if you have a disability and need adjustments to make the interview accessible, you can get advice from Scope on how to ask for them
How To Prepare For An Interview In English
In order to do an interview in English, preparation is fundamental because it allows you to feel confident. Do some research â find out the history of the company and its mission so you have a general idea about what the interviewer might ask you. In fact, typically theyâll ask you questions to understand whether or not youâre appropriate for the position and for the company in general. The most common questions are:
- Tell me about yourself
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why would you like to work here?
Take your time to decide how to answer and be ready to give examples that refer to your past, your training and your previous work experience. But avoid learning sentences by heart â a trick that doesnât have a positive outcome, on the contrary itâll make you sound unnatural. If you donât understand the question, ask the interviewer to repeat it. It wonât affect the result.
Simulating the potential interview in English is a useful way to help you practice expressing yourself naturally. If you can, find a friend who can play the role of recruiter and ask you the questions, then give you feedback on your answers. Alternatively, you can record your interview simulation to understand which parts you need to improve.
Pay careful attention to speed and clarity in your speech. Itâs important to be perfectly understandable, so speak slowly without letting your nerves take over and accelerating your rhythm, making you sound confused and unclear.
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What Is Something You’d Be Happy Doing Every Single Day For The Rest Of Your Career
While it’s important to hire for skill, it’s also important to hire someone who’s likely to be happy in the job for which you’re hiring. A question like this one will help uncover what makes each candidate happy at work — which is a great way to gauge whether they’d enjoy their role and stay at the company for a long time.
A good answer to this question:
There’s no right answer to this question — it’s more of a learning opportunity for you to see what your employees most enjoy in the industry. Nonetheless, a candidate’s answer to this question should align with the core responsibilities of the job for which they’re applying.
A sales candidate who says they could lead client kickoff meetings every day, for example, is a much better fit than a sales candidate who prefers to create lead-generating campaigns .
Research The Company And Show What You Know
Do your homework and research the employer and the industry, so you are ready for the interview question, “What do you know about this company?” If this question is not asked, you should try to demonstrate what you know about the company on your own.
You can do this by tying what youve learned about the company into your responses. For example, you might say:
I noticed that when you implemented a new software system last year, your customer satisfaction ratings improved dramatically. I am well-versed in the latest technologies from my experience with developing software at ABC, and appreciate a company who strives to be a leader in its industry.
You should be able to find out a lot of information about the companys history, mission and values, staff, culture, and recent successes on its website. If the company has a blog and a social media presence, they can be useful places to look, too.
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Read And Review The Job Description
Youve received a call for that dream job, so how do you prepare for the interview? The first step in the preparation process should be to go back and review the job description. Most job descriptions follow a similar pattern and are usually categorised by the following points:
- Job title/Department
- Duties and tasks
- Skills required
The job title and department will give you an understanding of the major purpose of the position and where the role fits into the organisation, allowing you to discover who your potential line manager could be.
Read and review the job description very thoroughly and be sure to align your competencies with the skills required for the job. You will consequently ready yourself for questions around your previous experiences, performing similar duties in other organisations.
What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses
It can feel awkward to discuss your weaknesses in an environment where youre expected to focus on your accomplishments. However, when answered correctly, sharing your weaknesses shows that you are self-aware with an interest in continued growth and learningtraits that are extremely attractive to many employers. Consider using this formula for your response:
1. Select an actual weakness that is honest but professionally relevant:”Im naturally shy…
2. Add context:”…From high school and into my early professional interactions, it sometimes prevented me from speaking up…
3. Provide a specific example:”…After being a part of a workgroup that didnt meet our strategic goals two quarters in a row, I knew I owed it to my team and myself to confidently share my ideas…
4. Explain how you overcame or are working to overcome it:”…I joined an improv acting class. Its fun and has really helped me overcome my shyness. I learned practical skills around leading discussions and sharing diverse perspectives. Now, in group settings, I always start conversations with the quieter folks. I know exactly how they feel, and people can be amazing once they start talking.
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What Are You Passionate About
Much like the previous question about motivation, employers might ask what you are passionate about to better understand what drives you and what you care most deeply about. This can both help them understand whether you are a good fit for the role and if it fits into your larger goals. To answer, consider this structure:
1. Select something you are genuinely passionate about and explain why youre passionate about it:As a software developer, Im passionate about creating truly beautiful, efficient digital products to make peoples experience with technology memorable…
2. Provide examples of how youve pursued this passion:”…One of the things I loved about my last job was witnessing the results of my teams code update and watching as our months of work yielded positive user feedback…
3. Relate it back to the job:”…Having the opportunity to lead projects from ideation through launch was one of the reasons I was so excited to apply for this role.
Have Your Job Materials Nearby
You should feel comfortable and ready to discuss your background and skills confidently during a phone conversation. Have a copy of your resume nearby, so that you can refer to it during the interview. Also have a copy of the job posting and a copy of your cover letter if you sent one.
Consider creating a draft email or a new Word or Google file with all of the relevant information. That way, you’ll have all the detailsnotes on the company, key points you want to emphasize during the interview, your cover letter, the job posting, and so onin one spot.
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Make The Best First Impression
First impressions really do matter, and you don’t have much time to make a good impression during a job interview. From the time you greet the receptionist until the time you leave the building, you’re being evaluated as a potential new hire. It’s important to leave everyone you meet with the best impression you can.
The 10 Top Questions In A Job Interview In English
Here is a list of ten common questions that are asked in job interviews in English and ideas about how to reply. Read through them, then start simulating and practicing your responses.
Tell me about yourself
This is probably the most common question used to start a job interview and youâll have to respond giving personal information, details about your career, your skills, and your studies. In this case you can give your answer starting with the following:
- I was born and raised in â¦
- I attended the University of â¦
- Iâve just graduated from the University of â¦
- Iâve worked for seven years as a â¦
- Iâve worked for various companies including â¦
- I enjoy playing â¦
Why are you interested in this job?
During the interview youâll undoubtedly be asked why youâre interested in this particular job or/and working at this particular company â âWhy are you interested in this position?â âWhy do you want to work for âZZâ?â The answers to these questions should focus on the reasons that pushed to apply for the position. For example, do you want to have a new professional challenge? Do you want a job that can guarantee the chance to grow? You could structure your answers starting with:
- I want to take on more responsibility
- In line with my qualifications â¦
- Iâm convinced that âcompany nameâ is becoming one of the market leaders
- Iâm impressed by the quality of your products
Why should we hire you?
Explain your strengths
Describe your weaknesses
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