Commonly Asked Job Interview Questions And How To Answer Them

The questions asked at your job interview are a way of getting a few key points of information: who you are, how employing you will benefit the organisation, why you left your old job, and what your salary expectations are. Keep this in mind during your interview, and you’ll answer each question well.

Tell us about yourself

Your interviewer wants a short and succinct summary of your skills and experience that are relevant to the job. Skills and experience are more important than education, but that said, if you’re new in the game, you can touch on your recently completed qualifications. Avoid talking about things that aren’t relevant to the job, like what you enjoy doing on weekends.

Why do you want to work for us?

Your interviewer is looking for someone who has a passion for the type of work they’re offering and will stick around. In order to impress, try linking your skills, experience and career goals with what the company does.

Why should we hire you?

This is your chance to go into a little more depth about your skills and experience. Be specific about results you’ve achieved and give examples. You want to demonstrate to your interviewer how you might achieve similar results while working for them. If you have any particular skills and experience that are truly unique and make you stand out from the other candidates, here’s your opportunity to bring them up.

Why are you leaving your job?

Your interviewer is not asking you this question in the same way your best friend did over last night’s dinner. The interviewer doesn’t want to hear about how mean your old boss was or how you didn’t get the promotion you deserved, and they won’t be sympathetic. Instead, focus on the opportunities that await you in the new role, and what you plan to achieve.

Why did you like and dislike about your previous job?

If you were an employer, would you hire someone with a positive view on life or a negative one? This question is asked to gauge how optimistic and adaptable you are. Paint your former role in a positive light if you want to make yourself look good.  

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Make sure you enter the room with more strengths in mind than weaknesses. When discussing strengths, be specific and describe how your met key performance indicators for your previous role. When giving weakness, demonstrate that you’ve thought carefully about how to get around the said weakness, or paint it in a positive light. As a general rule of thumb, avoid bragging and just be honest.

What are your salary expectations?

What the employer really wants to know is how cheaply they can get you for. Don’t sell yourself short. Think of a range based on your experience and qualifications, and state that the amount is negotiable based on job description and package. 

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