Interviews can be daunting, and can leave the calmest and most collected of us in a bundle of nerves. There is a lot of pressure riding on one meeting. Have you dressed appropriately? Is your body language correct? All of these factors can affect your chances at an interview, and that's all before you start answering questions. We understand how stressful interviews can be for both the interviewee and interviewer, so we’ve put together a list of the top eight interview questions and how to answer them to help you land that dream job.
Why Should We Hire You?
This is probably the most common question of all. Even if you are not specifically asked this question, you should aim to answer this question throughout your whole interview. The purpose of the interview is to sell yourself to the potential employee and tell them why they need to hire you. Before you attend your interview, consider what is required of the role and think about what transferable skills you have to offer. Explain how you have developed those skills using examples to demonstrate and how you apply those skills to the role you are applying for. Create a list of these skills before your interview and review this before attending. This will help remind you of examples of your ability to carry out the role and make it easier for you to remember these under pressure in your interview.
Chances are that by the time you reach the interview stage you have already figured out an answer to this question. However, it is always good to consider your answer to this again before attending the interview. Make sure you do your research and not just on their website. Note additional information about the company. Have they recently received any significant press coverage or awards? Maybe they have just secured a big client or job. Figure out what the company's integral values are and align them with your own. Don't be afraid to focus on the life balance of the company. Do they offer particular schemes and means of support to their employees that other companies don't? Ask yourself what is it that has made this particular role so enticing to you - just remember to keep it professional.
While there might be many things you are proud of accomplishing, think about achievements that specifically display your skill set and traits that make you perfect for the job. Have you been commended for your work in a previous role? Maybe you have been involved in a project that has received a lot of accreditation. You may have several sporting achievements that demonstrate your ability to work within a team structure under pressure. Your achievements don't have to have happened whilst at work, but you need to show to your interviewer why they make you the perfect candidate for the role.
For many, this can be difficult, as no one likes excessive arrogance. No matter how uncomfortable it may be for you to blow your own horn, try to push past that for the purpose of your interview. Your potential employer will never begin to be confident in your ability to do the job if you don't believe in your ability to begin with. If you find it really difficult to come up with an answer for this question ask some of your close friends what they think are your strengths. No doubt they will come up with many you may not have ever considered. Think about how these traits will serve you in the role you are applying for and use these examples to help answer the question. Try to choose two or three examples that you think will make you stand out from the other candidates.
Although initially, this may seem like a trick interview question, we assure you it is not. Being able to identify your weaknesses shows that you are able to assess your own capabilities and overcome problems. It is also good to show that you are not afraid to admit when you're wrong when it comes to making mistakes at work. A lot of people are too afraid to admit to making mistakes and ignore them until they become real issues. If you mention any weaknesses you have identified remember to add how you are working on them to show the interviewer your ability evaluate and improve upon your work ability.
Also try to see the positives in your weaknesses. You may have a habit of taking on too much work and sometimes feel overwhelmed as a result. You can tell the interviewer that you are aware of this and you try to structure your workload accordingly. This also demonstrates your passion for the role as you enjoy getting as much out of it as possible.
If You Got The Job, Is There Anything You Would Improve?
This question is tricky and can trip a few candidates up. You don't want to begin pointing out all of the company's flaws - you are trying to get a job after all! If, like many, this question makes you feel uncomfortable or there genuinely isn't anything you would change about the company, try a different approach. You can say that whilst you wouldn't change anything specifically about the company, but you believe all businesses should continuously strive for improvement. You can go on to add that your wealth of experience within the area, your fresh perspective and ability to adapt to situations may provide insight to keep up and push for improvements within the role.
Always make sure you’re ready to answer this with some well thought through and provoking questions. Use this opportunity to find out more about the role, the paths of progression within the job and also further show that you are engaged and have a keen interest in the role. If you don't have any burning questions, try starting with asking what you can expect from a normal day and what specific duties they require you to carry out. Make sure you do your research. If you have noticed the company has recently secured work within a particular area of interest to you, mention that. Does the company have an online blog? Most companies today use a blog to provide customers with additional information, have a read of this to help spark some questions of your own. This will show you have an active interest in that line of work. Just remember to relax and let the questions and answers flow naturally here like a conversation. While this is your interview, this is also your chance to make sure you are applying for the right role for you.
Remember this question is looking for career-based goals and not the new house you are saving for or that 5k race you are training for. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your long-term commitment to the company. Your interviewer will want to see that you have considered the role within your life for some time. They want to invest in you and you the same in return. There is no need to push for a promotion but it is good to discuss options for progression with the company.
Use these tips to help you prepare for your best ever interview. The more preparation and practice you allow yourself, the more natural your answers will become. Above all, try to cut yourself some slack when it comes to an interview. Try to remember that you are being interviewed because you are already a potential candidate that your potential employer wants to invest their time in. Even better, get in touch with Endorsed! Their expert team can support you through the interview stages, and help you secure your dream job.
Virginia is an Endorsed content contributor in the events, management, tech and manufacturing sector. You will find her attending any worth-mentioning trade show or forward-thinking event in Berlin, Munich, NYC or London. Avid traveller who’s always first on the trend scene.