You can never be too prepared for an interview, but you can be underprepared! An essential part of finding a job should be practising your answers to the most common interview questions. You’ll likely encounter most (if not all) of these questions in your interview, so follow our lead to bag that role with these top 5 interview questions and sample answers!
- Tell me about yourself
- What interests you about this position?
- What makes you right for this role?
- Tell me a time when you worked well as part of a team
- What are your strongest and weakest areas?
The 5 most common job interview questions and answers
1. Tell me about yourself
Hiring managers like to kick off an interview with this question. It’s an invitation for you to speak openly about your interests, personal life, and your professional background. Start off by giving a short overview of your personal life to show your personality, and then move over to a brief summary of your work experience.
“I come from a big family of 7 in South London. I’m the eldest of my siblings. I’ve always been a keen sportsman having played football most of my life for local teams. Professionally, I’ve always worked in sales since the age of 16, having most recently worked selling technology to businesses. Currently looking for a new challenge in high-end sales.”
2. What interests you about this position?
The most powerful way to answer this question is to do your research on the company and incorporate their achievements, products, mission and culture into your answer. You want to convey a genuine interest in the company.
“I have a personal interest in tech, so working for a tech manufacturer as well reputed as yours is really appealing to me. I have looked into different companies but not only did your product stand out, but I really like the look of your company culture and values too – it seems like a very collaborative and innovative place to work.”
3. What makes you right for this role?
The key to answering this question is to know the skills listed in the job description, and use examples from your work experience that demonstrate you have those skills.
“To succeed in this role, you really need to be able to communicate effectively and be very self-motivated, which are two skills I developed in my last role as a Sales Consultant. In this role, I was carrying out face-to-face sales consultations with Senior decision makers daily, and also set myself personal daily, weekly and monthly goals to give me something to strive towards.”
4. Tell me about a time when you worked well as part of a team
Teamwork is an essential part of most roles. Hiring managers want to hear details about your teamwork, including the role you had to play, any targets, any challenges you overcame and, most importantly, the end result.
“Our sales team had our biggest monthly target to hit of £24,000 worth of sales. As part of our planning process, I initiated a team meeting whereby I split our team up into sub-teams to tackle different areas of the country to get the maximum coverage. Each day, our team would have a debrief call and share tips on what sales practices brought about the best results and encourage one another. As a result, we exceeded our monthly target and received a bonus!”
5. What are your strongest and weakest areas?
By asking this question, hiring managers want to see you have a good level of self-awareness. Don’t be cliche with your answers, try to be as honest as possible. At the same time, pick a strength that is very important to the success of the role, and pick a weakness that won’t severely impact your ability to do the role. It’s also important to talk about how you overcome your weaknesses too!
“For my strength, I’ve always been told I’m a strong communicator and have a way with people. I think this is true and I really enjoy interacting with people. As for my weakness, I must admit I’ve had to work hard at my organisational skills as this doesn’t come naturally to me. To help me be more organised, I’ve gotten into the habit of making daily checklists and setting reminders to make sure nothing gets missed.”
You can never be too prepared
Never walk into an interview without rehearsing your answers first! Practising will give an edge and help you feel more confident. Don’t forget to also prepare your own questions to ask the interviewer – this is an absolute must, guys!
Got an upcoming interview? Head over to our blog for more interview advice.