Interview Questions That Uncovers An Applicants Skills and Qualities
Often out of 300 applicants only 6 candidates will be interviewed. In most interviews, but this varies depending on the job sector and employer, you will be asked around 10 questions during a 45 minute interview.
The key to passing job interviews in preparation and practice, this sounds obvious but is often overlooked with the average interviewee spending around only 60 minutes preparing for their job interview.
You can book an interview coaching session and/or a Mock Interview with an interview coach by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you work well within a team?
Some people are thrown when they are asked this question when they are applying for a position to work alone. Every company works as a team, so you are a good team player, give an example of when you have worked well within a team.
“A team always works better than an individual as you have a wider skill base and more collective experiences to rely on. You also have the advantage of motivating to achieve goals and targets. Remember TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More. In my last job, I worked as part of a small team dedicated to improve sales, by sharing all our experiences and ideas we were able to come up with an achievable action plan”
Why should we hire you?
A great question to be asked, as your answer will be highly positive and will sell you in the most generous way-don’t be shy here! Start with “by hiring me…” now give them a great selling line, what is the one thing they want from you? and then tell them how you will do it, use examples from previous job roles to highlight your ability and knowledge
“By hiring me, you will gain an experienced sales manager who has a proven track record. I lead by the front and my motivational leadership style has ensure an increase in profits in the last 2 companies I have worked for”
Why did you leave you last job?
A dreaded question for many! When answering this question never give a negative answer. “I did not get on with my manager” or “The management did not run the business well” will show you in a negative light and reduce your chance of a job offer. Answer the question positively, emphasising that
you have been looking for a career progression. Start by telling the interviewer what you gained from your last job
“I enjoyed my last job, I quickly learned how to multi-task and prioritise work and over the last 3 years I have seen myself grow. I am now ready to take the next step up the ladder with my career and feel I would suit working for company such as this”
If you were made redundant, let the interviewer know, this is not a negative!
How would you be an asset to us?
Similar to the question above, think again about the job specification and the skills needed for this role. Have a paragraph prepared highlighting how you will be able to do the job and what you can bring to the team. It goes without saying that this paragraph should be positive.
“I’m the type of person who likes to get a task completed; I am driven, hard working and have excellent time management. I have worked in this industry for 5 years and have made excellent contacts and built good working relationships to will be of advantage to any employer who employees me”
Tell me about a suggestion you have made
This question tells you the company are looking for team players and forward thinking people, you can use this knowledge in your answer. Use a real life example of when you put a suggestion forward, the situation, how it developed and the outcome. Work related experiences work best here.
“In my previous company, the management team were asked to suggest ideas how we could break a new policy to the workforce, that long term would save jobs but short term could potentially upset some of the workforce. As a team we discussed several ideas and I personally suggested the idea that was used, with great success”
The interview will be intrigued with the ending of this answer and will most defiantly probe you further.
Does anything irritate you about your co-workers?
Don’t fall into this trap-looked surprised and think about your answer for a couple of seconds
“I find this question hard to answer..erm…because I’m really friendly I tend to get on well with everyone”
If the interviewer continues to probe…
“Well, I prefer to work in a team where everyone works well together”
This way you continue to give a positive answer.
What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?
This a management role question but can easily be used for all job roles if the employer changes the job title, respond by talking about how YOU have the skills and qualities for the job.
“The key quality I possess is leadership; I can successfully set a positive vision for my team to focus on achieving. My rapport building and excellent communication skills, ensures my team keeps inspired and I encourage others to achieve their personal best.”
What are your strengths?
This is one of the most common questions you will be asked. Give an answer relevant to the skills and qualities relevant to the position you are applying to. The interviewer is trying to find if your strengths match the job. For example, if you are applying for a job where accuracy is an important issue, one of your strengths could be that you have an eye for detail. It may useful to find different words to describe similar attributes and qualities in order to avoid repetition.
“I have often been told that I have an eye for detail and that I am very accurate and precise. This was very important during my last role where I worked on large business accounts”
What are your weaknesses?
Again, another commonly asked question. A frequent mistake to make when answering this question is to say something negative like “I can sometimes let things get on top of me”. Be positive and sell yourself with every interview question, turn a negative into a positive. For example,
“In the past I felt I needed to improve my typing skills, because I aspire to be the best I can, I have recently enrolled on a typing course”.
This will show that you can identify your weaknesses but at the same time, you are willing to improve. Most importantly: do not mention a weakness that is any way related to the job you are being interviewed for! This might sound obvious but it is a common mistake!
Do you have a dream job?
Rather than mention a job, talk about duties and skills you like, to impress the interviewer theses have to be relevant to the job they are offering. Also state how your dream job would be somewhere where the team all got on, where you love the work, where you can contribute to the work.
“I have always wanted to work within an organisation with a reputation for excellence, like this one. My dream job has always been a role where I can solve business problems and make a difference with other organisations. What is really important to me, is to work within a good team in a company that is moving forward”
What would your last employer say about you?
“I think they would want me back..” is a great opening line, followed by “ as I always got on with my work and…” now mention several of your strengths.
“I think they would want me back, as I always got on with my work and they use to say that I was the type of person who would go far in this industry”
If you were me, what type of person would you be looking for?
Mention the skills they are looking for, you will know them by now as this question is often asked in the middle of the interview. And then follow this up “…someone like me who would work hard”
This question tells the employer two things, one you know what skills and qualities are needed and two, that you have the required skills and qualities.
“Someone with the experience and more importantly the knowledge to ensure we meet our targets, they would have to excellent communications skills as they will be working with a wide range of individuals from different backgrounds. You would want someone like me who is hard working and reliable”
Many people are afraid of job interviews. The truth is if you prepare for your job interview, by predicting the job interview questions, you can easily prepare your job interview answers. If your job interview answers highlight your unique selling point, are stated in the positive and are said in a confident manner, then you can influence the job interview to increase job offer.
Interview Preparation Resources
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