5 common interview questions (and why they’re asked)
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There’s no doubt that a job interview can be a stressful experience, especially if it’s for a position you’re really hoping to get.
At KLC Recruitment, we run interview technique coaching sessions that help candidates prepare for the big moment. They cover aspects of the process like how to make a good first impression, strategies to overcome nerves and how to answer common interview questions. To give you a taste, we’ve put together a list of five common questions you should be ready to answer.
1. “Tell me about yourself”
While it can feel like a pointless question, the intention of such a statement is to break the ice and get the interview ball rolling.
Be prepared – it’s incredibly awkward to be stumped by a question about the one thing you should be most familiar with. Accept it for what it is – a chance to get the conversation going – and just be honest. You can talk about where you’re from, how you got to where you are today, your interests; basically anything about you. The question is open for a reason, but do keep to things that are at least vaguely relevant to the position.
A “tell me about yourself” type question is there to break the ice and begin to establish some rapport.
2. “What made you want to leave your last job?”
If you left your previous position voluntarily, new employers will likely want to know why. Don’t be afraid to be honest, but the one thing you should never do is callously badmouth your previous employer. It’s ok to explain the shortcomings of the role, the company, or the work you did there, but don’t make it personal and certainly don’t be rude about it. It’s best to make things positive – use it as a chance to explain what you’re looking for and what you value in a job and in an organisation.
3. “What are your strengths?” and “What are your weaknesses?”
It’s a rare interview where these two questions aren’t asked. Be confident when explaining what you’re good at and be humble when explaining what you’re not.
Be prepared with a few examples too – common questions have common answers, so don’t just prepare one answer for each as an interviewer might be expecting more.
4. “What’s your favourite colour?”
This specific question is probably not that common but the reason for asking it is – the random, unexpected or curveball question.
Often these kinds of questions don’t have a ‘right’ answer because the thing the interviewer is interested in seeing is not your response per se but how you respond. Do you take it in your stride? Can you think on your feet? Are you confident enough in yourself to give an answer that was impossible to have prepared? Don’t think of it as a trick – they’re not trying to catch you out. Be yourself, answer honestly and calmly, and you’ll have shown yourself to be unflappable.
Be ready for an out-there question – there’s no way to prepare for it, except for expecting it to come.
5. “What’s the most difficult thing you’ve faced and overcome in your life?”
Depending on the way the interviewer words it, this can be in relation to your professional life, personal, or either. If you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to ask. But as with the curveball question, the point is for the interviewer to get a handle of how you manage challenging situations (and perhaps to understand what you feel is challenging too).
Job interviews can be nerve wracking, but they don’t have to be if you prepare well. With the help of KLC’s interview coaching, you’ll be more than ready to take on an interview. For more information on our candidate services, get in touch with a member of the team today.