Like all good presentations, the key to confidence and success at interview is preparation. Develop a response to each of these questions here and give yourself a great start.
Tell me about yourself?
Have a brief chronological history prepared. Keep it to about two minutes. Highlight your virtues and make it interesting and relevant to the job.
What do you know about our organisation?
Make sure you have prepared properly for the interview and can discuss products, services, people, and history. Avoid the website trap, there are plenty of places to get information. Employers do not like regurgitated web content, it screams unimaginative and lazy.
What do you look for in a job?
If you have a career plan this will take care of this question. Context your answer in terms of your realistic future job needs. Reflect on the type of organisation culture that you like to work in and share that with the interviewer.
How long would it take you to contribute?
Use this question as an opportunity to state your past accomplishments and to demonstrate how your skills relate to their specific requirements. Draw on examples of past work which demonstrate that you have been able to solve problems or create value for your employers. Every interviewer wants you to show that you can deliver results and will go beyond the basic requirements of the job.
Why are you leaving your current role?
Mention more responsibilities, new skills, change of environment, interest in working in the company, career progression, and new challenges. Stay positive at all times.
Outline achievements in your current role?
Give your answers in terms of measurable results and not broad descriptions. Pick three only.
How well do you work under pressure?
Questions like these are best answered with a specific example from recent working history. It helps if you can relate these to the new organisation too. When someone asks you a question looking for an example of your past experience, use “I” and not “We” statements. The latter suggests you were on the periphery, rather than at the centre of the task or achievement.
If you had a choice of job, what would you do?
Again, if you have a career plan mapped out this question will answer itself. It is best to respond to this in terms of the type of company or job that you seek. You might for example wish to work with a company strong on recognition or one that prioritises the development of its employees.
Why do you want to work with our organisation?
You really need to prepare well for this question. It seems simple but is loaded with opportunity to impress or distress your interviewer.
What are your goals?
Relate these to the job you are applying for. Show that you have thought about it and align to the new organisation wherever possible.
What are your strong points?
Present at least three. Relate them to the company and the position. Back up your choices with examples from your recent working past, as any good interviewer will drill down on your answers.
What are your weak points?
Know these and answer quickly. It is a sign of maturity. Highlight areas in which you genuinely feel a need for personal development. Show how you have been able to learn from past mistakes or feedback from previous managers.
What are your long-term objectives?
The interviewer’s concern in the current employment market is that you want the position they are seeking to hire into and that you are not just buying time until you find something better.
What do you know about the position you applied for?
The best answer to this question is to be able to describe the problem that the company currently has by not having someone in the role. It is an answer model that applies for absolutely every position. If they are missing a line manager, who is covering the role? What is not being done as a consequence? What is the impact on the customer? In this way you present yourself as not just a candidate but as a solution to the problem.