7 Essential Interview Questions to Prepare For

Our Head of Growth, James Hendry, explores 7 of the most common, tricky and challenging job interview questions and how best you can prepare yourself for them.

Interview Questions to Prepare For« Back to Articles

Interviews can be nerve-wracking moments, you never know exactly what to expect, could it just be basic info about you or might they ask you how to put a giraffe in a fridge. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 7 questions you should be prepared for, along with a little help.

  1. What are your strengths?
    This is definitely something you should prepare for and the best way is to sit down and start brainstorming or asking people who know you well. You don’t want to be vague or play yourself down, be confident in what you say and make sure it’s relevant. Also, always try to give some reasoning or examples of your strengths in action.
  2. What are your weaknesses?
    For this, we would suggest finding something which you are working to improve. Maybe you’re nervous about public speaking and presentations, as many people are, then also mention the fact that you’ve attended many Ted talks, signed up for a public speaking course, entered lecture competitions or even applied to give a Ted talk yourself. They love to see that you realise it’s a weakness and are doing what you can to change it to a strength. Alternatively, tell them about a weakness that can be played as a strength. Maybe you can be too determined, “I almost died because I was so determined to swim 5 laps underwater.”
  3. Give an example of you working in a team.
    This is a crucial question as they want to see how you might fit into the company. Try and give recent examples as this shows you best, maybe you had an internship where you were working alongside 4 others and needed to come up with solutions to difficult situations. It’s important to show how you took the lead, but just as important showing that you’re able to listen to others and collate the ideas. Try setting it out well by starting with the situation, how you handled it and finally what you learnt.
  4. What is your greatest achievement to date?
    This is your chance to really show yourself off, so make sure you’re both prepared and comfortable bragging about yourself. It’s best to prepare several different stories which you can tell that are interesting, impressive and relevant to the position you’re applying for. As above, when telling the story, the STAR approach is a good structure. You start with the situation/task, followed by the approach you took, and finally the result.
  5. How would your best friend describe you in 3 words?
    The best way to find some answers to this is to ask your friend and family how they would describe you in 3 words. Write down what they say and then pick your favourite three, while keeping them relevant. Try avoiding things like bright and perfectionist, while words like loyal and selfless go down well.
  6. Why do you want to work for us?
    You should already have thought about this while you were applying for the job, otherwise you probably wouldn’t have applied in the first place. Do some research about the company, do they offer interesting staff benefits and have high satisfaction levels? If you can, try asking someone who works there and ask why they enjoy their job. Don’t say things like, I like the salary, or I saw there were open positions, as this won’t make you seem interesting. Try and find some recently published articles of theirs which you can talk about. Bringing up that you read something which focussed on women in STEM and it really motivated you to do well in your degree and now you would love to join them, this can only go down well.
  7. Why are you looking to leave your current role?
    Be honest and look at how your new job would be different, if your new job would require you to work 9-5, sitting behind a desk at a computer, don’t give this as a reason if it was why you left your previous position. Did your old job not feel challenging enough or do you think they were holding you off from your potential? Maybe your new position would give you an opportunity to show yourself off, use the skills which you’ve learnt and make more of an impact.
You can prepare yourself for an interview by reading through articles or giving yourself a mock interview, so you have all the answers you might like prepared, but the best way is to find a tutor who gives you a new unbiased view and has been through many an interview. So, if you really want to boost your career forward, sign up to PushFar here.
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