- Why don’t you begin by telling me about yourself?
- What are your strong and weak points?
- What are your long-term goals? What would you like to be doing in 5 years time?
- Why do you wish to leave your present company?
- What sort of salary are you looking for?
- Do you have any questions?
- Additional points
There are a few standard question you are likely to be asked at the interview. By being prepared and answering them well, you will be half way along the road to getting the job (the other half being whether you actually have the ability to do the job). Remember, interviews are hard work for the interviewer too – try to be interesting and engaging and make their life easier by helping to drive the interview along
Why don’t you begin by telling me about yourself?
This is a common opening question and one that gives the interviewee a chance to introduce themselves. Answer by giving brief introduction to yourself before asking what the interviewer particularly wishes to know.
What are your strong and weak points?
The first part is easy but a word of warning – try to make the answer succinct and relevant and remember modesty is a virtue. The second part is a little harder and should be replied to with caution. Be honest but do not paint yourself black. A little humor may help here.
What are your long-term goals? What would you like to be doing in 5 years time?
The simple way to answer this question is to indicate a desire to succeed and grow by contributing to the company – but be careful not to sound over ambitious.
Why do you wish to leave your present company?
There can be a temptation to “bad mouth” your present/previous company here and tell the interviewer how bad things are. DO NOT!! Try to be honest but also try to be positive. For example, you could answer by stating that you feel that you are ready to move onto more challenging roles and would relish the chance of working in a leading company such as the one you are interviewing with.
What sort of salary are you looking for?
This question can throw a lot of people but will definitely be asked if things progress further then the first stage.
Once again honesty is the best answer. If you know the going rate and are confident in your abilities use that as a starting point. Another good response is to state what you currently earn and say that you would hope for at least that figure and hopefully a little more on top. If you do go in with a comparatively high figure ensure that you can ’back it up’ with good reasons. Do not say a figure that you think is too low just to get the job – it will cause problems in the end.
Do you have any questions?
Try to avoid asking ’me’ questions such as holiday entitlement, salary etc. Ask questions that are company related such as the direction of the company, company culture etc. You may also ask what the role you are interviewing for may lead to on the future.
Always try and be positive in response to any questions. Be confident and self-assured but not cocky. Do not discuss personal problems. Stick to job-related topics. Do not waste time with excessive small talk.
Always go well beyond simple “yes” or “no” answers and expand with appropriate details. Do not prattle but take the opportunity to show your knowledge and experience.
Be aware that you may be asked questions that are beyond your knowledge or experience. If/when the questions get to a point where you have no direct experience, you can answer with “Although I haven’t (whatever), I have done (something similar or related) and I know I could do (whatever) if given the chance.” If you do not know the answer or understand the question then say so.