You never really know what to expect when you are going to a job interview. You prepare yourself as much as you can: you choose your outfit, you review your CV and you do your research on the company you are applying to… But the fact remains that questions are as unpredictable as the interviewer: if the interviewer considers you have the skills and are perfect for the role, they might ask you personal questions to get to know you better.
Here are 10 common questions the interviewer will ask you for sure.
1. ‘Would you like something to drink?’
Nobody considers it as a serious question, but they are wrong. The interview starts here. It shows the level of your confidence, and you absolutely need to reply by the positive. The best choice is to have some water. Neutral but assertive (and free), you cannot go wrong with it.
2. ‘Tell me about yourself’?
Whatever the position, the interviewer will always ask this question. Contrary to popular belief, you should NOT talk about yourself – in a personal way anyway. This is the opportunity for you to talk about your academic and professional past. In other words, show your interviewer that you know your CV and that you have the skills.
3. ‘How was your previous professional experience?’
The interviewer wants to know why you left your previous position. Did you resign? Did you get fired? In any case, if you are a graduate and it is your first serious job, fair enough. But if you resigned, just state the reasons why, or just explain that you wanted to change directions and seize new professional opportunities.
4. ‘Do you have any holidays booked?’
Do not forget to be honest with your potential employer. If you have any holiday booked, say it.
5. ‘What is your biggest achievement?’
The interviewer wants to be personal without being personal, if that makes sense. Just like question 9, it is an occasion for you to set yourself apart from competition. This question is quite philosophical, and a lot of candidates think of this is their moment to shine on a personal level. You should really think of a professional or academic achievement. Why not talk about your future goals as well? Show the interviewer that you love a challenge and that you are all about the future.
6. ‘Why did you choose us (Company)’?
This is the most common of common interview questions. The interviewer wants to know if you did your research, and if you actually took some interest in applying or just clicked on ‘ apply ‘ while looking for a random job on Indeed.com. You can win an interview only by demonstrating your ability to look for information. Knowledge is power.
7. ‘Why do you think that you are a good fit for this position’?
This is the moment for you to put your skills side to side with the demands of your new position: explain why and how your skills are the ones the company needs. For instance, if you speak four languages, and are applying to work in a travel agency, explain why speaking Spanish or German is important. This is one of the most common interview questions.
8.’What are your strengths/weaknesses?’
This is no doubt a tricky question. You don’t go to a job interview thinking about your weaknesses. It is paradoxical, but by accepting your weaknesses, you demonstrate strength. And you can easily turn a weakness into strength as well, which shows your flexibility. Your interviewer wants to see if you’ll integrate the team well. For instance: I am not really present on social media’ or ‘ I am not fluent in German, but I take evening classes’. Show that you want to improve yourself.
9.’Tell me something unique about yourself?’
Your interviewer wants to know if you have any hidden talents. You shouldn’t talk about your great dance abilities though. Stay professional. Say that you travelled a lot, that you speak different languages, that you volunteered for a charity during your summer break… anything that sets you apart from competition – the interviewer needs some help to make the right decision.
10. ‘Do you have any questions?’
You will be asked that question 100%. It is a very common interview question. The interviewer wants you to express your interest in the position. If you reply by the negative, they might see it as a lack of interest or understanding for the role you are applying for. If you don’t know what question to ask, just go for something factual like ‘ what is the policy about working overtime?’ Or ‘ when will I know the outcome of this interview?’. If you want to work in fashion, you should probably ask about their cut of date system: you might get paid only next month.