Practice Answering Common Interview Questions
Make sure to run through common interview questions with a friend or family member. This is usually much more effective than simply reading potential questions and crafting answers in your head. In addition, this can also help with managing anxiety and reducing any pre-interview jitters.
When you prepare with someone else, you practice enunciation as well as good body language. You’ll also familiarize yourself with how to project calmness and confidence. Practice giving detailed answers that are concise and to the point. Be sure to answer a question in 1-2 minutes anything longer than this becomes reiteration and suggests a lack of confidence.
Interviewers often ask questions that reveal aspects of your character, such as “What is your greatest weakness?” and “Tell me about a time you dealt with failure.” They also ask questions about your skills, qualifications, work history, work style, and salary expectations.
These kinds of questions help the interviewer determine whether you’re a good fit for the position and for the company’s culture. They can also help the interviewer gauge how well you respond to pressure. You can find more sample interview questions in our guide to nailing interviews.
Job Interview Questions And Sample Answers
Every interview is different, so it can be challenging to predict the kind of questions you will be asked. Employers may use a preferred style, depending on their sector and their hiring process. However, here are a list of common job interview questions along with a selection of sample answers:
Tell me about yourself.
My name is Sam, and I live here in Birmingham. I have worked in the industry now for two years, whilst studying for my degree, and I absolutely love what I do. I particularly enjoy interacting with customers and planning new ways to engage them in the services we offer. I am now ready to take on the next challenge in my career, so I was very excited to see this position advertised.
Why do you want to work here?
Firstly, I believe that all of my skills and experience match the requirements of this position. I would relish the opportunity to bring all of my experience to the role. Also, I believe that our values are very much aligned. This company values creativity and integrity, and I was so impressed by the work the business is doing in changing the market. As someone with a keen interest in environmental issues, I was also very impressed to hear of the companys mission to cut carbon emissions, and only work with sustainable materials.
What motivates you?
How do you handle stress?
What are your key strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
What are your goals for the future?
Can you tell me about a time you overcame a difficult work situation?
Career Guru And Influencer Julian Parra Shares His Essential Steps To Crushing Your First Interview
Don’t let your first job interview freak you out.
If you just lined up your first job interview, that means your resume stood out and the employer is curious if you’re the right fit. Your resume wowed them with your experience and skills, now you need to put it all in context and convince them you’re the best candidate. Easier said than done? Nah, this doesn’t have to be so hard.
Monster teamed up with career advice guru and social influencer to determine the four things you need to do before your first job interview to make sure you’re prepped and ready to nail it.
After hearing about how millions of people were losing their jobs because of COVID-19, Julian started posting career development tips and tricks on social media, and since then has grown his following on TikTok and has been featured on the New York Times and Buzzfeed.
These first job interview tips can take some of the weight off your shoulders so you come off sounding as smart and eager as you truly are. As Julian always says, Let’s get it!
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How To Prepare For Your First Job Interview: 25 Tips
Preparing for a job interview is akin to preparing for exams. This is because the feelings before a job interview and exam are equal. During both the times, you are anxious as well as excited. But there is a little difference between both. In order to prepare for the first job interview, follow some of the following steps:
Job Interview Question #: What Extracurricular Activities Do You Participate In
Now is when you get to talk about hobbies and clubs.
But dont go off on a tangent! Choose no more than three activities.
Each activity you list should reflect a skill the employer would find valuable.
If youre president of the Spanish club, that would be a great way to talk about your language and leadership skills.
Example: For the past year, Ive served as the president of the fashion club, which is one reason Im so interested in the fashion industry. Thats one reason why I want to work at XYZ shoes.
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Make A Good First Impression
The second you step through the door or join the virtual interview before even introducing yourself to your interviewer you are already making your first impressions. So, on the day of your interview, ensure you:
- Refresh your mind of the job description, your CV, and any key notes you have made
- Be polite to everyone you meet, including receptionists and passing employees
- For a face-to-face meeting, wait professionally in the reception area before youre invited for your interview. Rather than scrolling through your phone, look around you. Are there posters that tell you more about the organisation? Or marketing materials like booklets that you could flick through? This will not only help to illustrate your interest in the company from the outset, but will also teach you more about the organisation
- Arrive on time being 10 minutes early is best. For a video interview, be sure you are ready to go 10 minutes prior to the meeting.
- For a face-to-face meeting, when you meet your interviewer offer a firm handshake and a big smile will do wonders. Some small chit chat from the reception area to the interview room will also help make a good first impression.
Research The Company And Your Interviewer
Doing your research is a sure-fire way to feel prepped and confident going into your first interview. What exact research should you be doing? Go on the official company website and make sure you study the following information about the company:
- Its mission and values
- the main products or services it sells
- the people in key leadership roles
Knowing about these topics will demonstrate to them that you actually care about this opportunity and that you came prepared.
Looking for extra credit? Brush up on the company’s history, culture, recent news, and any of its recent achievements as an organization. These can offer great topics for introductory conversations while you’re waiting for the interview to start.
For example, if you’re meeting with someone in HR, you could say something like, I noticed that was just awarded one of the best places to work. You must be happy with that recognition. You just showed off your research skills and you opened up an opportunity for them to tell you more about the company’s culture.
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Carry Out Market Research Before Your Retail Job Interview
If you are considering a career in Retail then do your homework before your Retail job interview. This is a rapidly changing industry which is affected by many factors. It will go in your favour if you demonstrate youve researched the industry and you understand the current trends.
Technology: Consumer trends and buying behaviour has dramatically changed over the last few years with on-line shopping. There are more methods to advertise and attract clients. There are a lot more opportunities behind the scenes for marketing and promoting products and service using social media and digital technology.
Costs: This is a huge factor affecting the retail market. More stores are moving out of the town centres to retail parks to avoid the high street costs.
Environmental concerns: This has been a hot topic and retailers are taking consumer concerns very seriously. More importantly they are acting on these concerns and changing the way they affect the environment by recycling for example. Some stores are no longer giving out disposal cups for their free coffee. McDonalds and other retailers are working towards replacing their plastic straws with paper.
Understanding the different factors affecting the industry will stand you out from other candidates. It demonstrates youve taken the time to research and shows you are genuinely interested. Interviewers will ask you to explain what research youve done on their company and what understanding you have of current trends.
What Is Your Dream Job
Similar to the âwhere do you see yourself in five yearsâ question, the interviewer is looking to understand how realistic you are when setting goals, how ambitious you are, and whether or not the job and company will be a good place for you to grow.
Again, try to set aside your personal goals and focus on your career goals. Think about how this job is going to set you up for the future and get you closer to your dream job. But, donât be that person who says, âto be CEO of this company.â
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Try And Soothe Your Mind With Your Favorite Music:
Your favourite music can soothe your mind. So, before you go for the interview, just try to sooth your mind by listening to your favourite tunes. It will certainly help in cracking the interview because the work done by the calm mind is always the good one. Also, if you will enter the interview room with calm mind, you will be able to handle the tough questions in a good manner or if your mind will not be relaxed, you might fail to answer the questions.
Tell Me About A Conflict You Faced At Work And How You Dealt With It
This question is important to ace because it helps an interviewer understand how you deal with conflict. It also helps test how well you think on your feetâso if you prepare ahead of time with a specific example, youâll avoid the awkward moment of silence while you try to think of an example.
Once you have an example in mind, simply explain what happened, how you resolved the issue in a professional manner, and try to end the story with a happy note about how you reached a resolution or compromise with your co-worker.
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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.
The Bells And Whistles
Youve packed the essential paperwork now its time for the showy-off stuff. It’s a good idea to pack the following if you have them:
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Letters of commendation
If you’re going for a creative post, youll already know to bring your portfolio. Make sure its smartly presented, and do some serious editing before you pack. Which examples show your work in the best light, and which are the most relevant to the job? There wont be time to showcase everything, so choose wisely you can always give them a link to your website if they’re interested in seeing more.
You may also be asked to provide proof of identification or residence, so make sure you have your driving licence, passport or visa ready.
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Why Do You Want To Work For
When a hiring manager asks this question, not only do they want to know why you want to work for them, but they also want to know what you know about the company. This question tests how well you know what the company does and how passionate you are about the work they doâso make sure you know the company well and can speak truthfully about your desires to work there.
Tips For Great Job Interviews
From researching the company to handling certain key interview questions, make sure you make a great impression and ace your next job interview by following these 20 tips.
Want to ace your next interview and land thatopen job youve been seeking? Here are 20 tips to help you prepare.1. Research the industry and company.An interviewer may ask how you perceive his company’s position in its industry, who the firm’s competitors are, what its competitive advantages are, and how it should best go forward. For this reason, avoid trying to thoroughly research a dozen different industries. Focus your job search on just a few industries instead.
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The Most Common Questions Asked At Job Interviews To Practise
Perhaps the best way parents can help their teens prepare for a job interview is to role-play. Go for maximum authenticity: Have your teen dress as they would for the interview, greet you as if youre the hiring manager, and run through the interview as if it were happening in real life.
This role-play allows your teen to get comfortable with more formal interactions and practise their answers to the most common interview questions, which often include:
- Why are you looking for a job?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- Why are you the right person for the job?
- What are some of your accomplishments?
- What are you learning in school that will help you with this position?
- Tell me about a problem you had recently and how you solved it.
First Job Interview: Top Tips On How To Prepare And Succeed
Take a few deep breaths before the interview: Stand up while answering, shoulders back . Write down a few key points that you want to make sure you tell the interviewer. If you need to think about your answer tell the interviewer that so that they don’t wonder why there is a silence.
Sally Bibb, founder of Engaging Minds and author of The Rookies Guide to Generation Y
For telephone interviews, the most important point is to behave, get dressed and speak exactly like you would during a face-to-face interview: Your aim is to convey a confident image of yourself despite the underlying nerves. Have a notepad near you and take notes of the questions they ask so that you can refer to it in case you forget. Have your CV in front of you as during phone interviews they tend to ask general questions about your career history overall. Most importantly, convey you are a likable person and smile just as you would in a face-to-face interview situation.
Dasha Amrom, founder and managing director of Career Coaching Ventures
Zoe Wilson, procurement specialist and team manager at Capita Specialist Resourcing
Rowen Douglas, senior consultant at FutureBoard
Adrian Ellison, careers adviser for the National Careers Service
Faizan Patankar, founder of Career Geek Blog
Rebecca Fielding, owner of Gradconsult, and a career coach and consultant
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Use Google Youtube And Linkedin To Research Any Names You Have
You may find that you have something in common with someone interviewing you. Perhaps you attended the same college or share a former employer. Check them out, too, on search engines and LinkedIn.
Hopefully, you know the names of the people who will be interviewing you. If they arent offered when the interview is scheduled, ask for them. You want both their names and their job titles. Then, head for LinkedIn to see what you can discover about each how long theyve been with the employer, where theyve worked in the past, where they went to school.
If they have written and posted articles on LinkedIn or other websites, read some of those articles. Look for a theme and anything you might have in common with them.
Try to get a sense of the kind of people who work there. Are they all holders of advanced Ivy League degrees, several veterans of the USMC, mostly twenty-somethings, all one gender, all one race, a mixture of ages and races, or anything else that catches your attention?
Leave Your Phone Behind
My number one piece of advice for teenagers interviewing for a job today is leave your phone in the car. Putting it on silent isnt good enough. The interviewer and interviewee can both hear the phone going off and it can be very distracting to everyone. I tell my clients that no one is going to care if they cant be reached for 30 minutes. Leaving the phone behind takes away the temptation to check it. During the interview, they need to show they can focus on the job at hand not their social life.
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