Common Interview Questions

A perfect CV does not necessarily mean you will get the job right away. There is also the interview process - this step is crucial if you want to get that job successfully. It certainly helps to know what questions will be asked in advance. Here are 5 of the most common interview questions that will come up, and the proven ways to answer them effectively.

Tell Me About Yourself

The interviewer might appear to ask this as a first question to get the ball rolling, or for interview formality, but remember that first impressions can make or break a job interview. There will be other questions and this is not the only one that will be asked, so keep it short and interesting. The interviewer, when asking this question, is looking for a little bit of your history, specifically your educational and work history. Feel free to add in your work achievements and any experience that may be relevant to the position you are applying for. The interviewer may ask additional questions while looking at your CV, so prepare yourself to ask questions related to your personal profile, or anything unusual in your CV, like if you left a company early, or if you left school an undergraduate.

Why Should We Hire You?

This is not a haughty personal question, but presents a question to you to convince the interviewer what you are made of. This is your chance to show off strengths and qualities that are needed in the job. You may read the job description first to get the gist, then connect and point out concrete examples, achievements and successes from your CV's education and career sections to impress the interviewer of your capacity to do the job well. An example can be anything from supervising or mentoring co-workers to leading projects that are a great success and provide an invaluable contribution to your company.

What Are Your Weaknesses?

The interviewer will most likely use this question towards the end of the interview. If you are used to talking about your good side, highlighting achievements and work ethics, you should also be prepared to discuss your weaknesses. Admit to any weaknesses, after all, we are all human and are certainly not perfect, but make sure to explain it thoroughly and turn it around to a positive tone. If your CV shows only a bit of experience for a specific job, state that you lack experience but are willing to work hard to gain some understanding and ultimately perform better as time goes by. You may be lacking in skills, but tell them that you are taking a short course for it. Management skills can be compensated with a "can-do" attitude and if you show willingness to learn and lead a small team for a project it can turn a negative into a positive.

Why Do You Want This Job?

Or it may take on another form, "why do you need this job?" This question may reveal more about your drive and determination, so make the most of it and do not view it as a negative question. It does not hurt to use a bit of flattery as well. A great way to prepare for this question is to do your homework on the company that you will be working for. Use the internet to view to the company's website, browse through it and read the About Us page. Go to any of their stores and get a feel for the atmosphere they exude. Get to know more about what they services or products they offer. The company's title or brand logo may also give away what they stand for or what they are all about. Somewhere along the way, your own ideals and career goals will connect and fit right in. After that, you will be able to answer this question well, incorporating the company's vision with your career aims, and maybe impressing the interviewer.

Give Me An Example When...

This can take many different twists and turns, but the most common ones are "....used initiative to solve a work problem, pacified a difficult client, used teamwork to achieve success..." and so on. This question can be a curve ball and totally surprise you, but there is a trick to answering any type of question like this with ease and confidence. Provide an insight into a personal experience, no matter how small it is, or if it happened in work, home or school. It has to make sense and answer the question posed by the interviewer. If you can talk about a unique experience, that will be better. Prepare your thoughts and be mentally prepared to recall any experiences relevant to the question, then pick the best one for you. You may also use your CV in this case, drawing the example right from educational or work history listed there.