8 Common Interview Questions

The key to success in interviews is PREPARATION. The best way to prepare is to make a ‘bank’ of answers to interview questions. This will help you ensure that when you have an upcoming interview, you will be able to print out your answers and practise them. This will improve your chances of success!

These are generic common interview questions. You should also conduct some extra research on interview questions based around your career choice.

1. Tell me about yourself
Hint – here you will briefly talk about your background (School/ College courses if relevant) and talk about your career ambitions.

2. Why should we give you the job?
Hint – talk about any experience you have. If none, talk about your enthusiasm for this career and talk about relevant skills and qualities you have that the employer is looking for (should be listed on the job advert or person specification).

3. What are your strengths?
Hint – discuss your strengths which are suited for the role. For example, if you’re being interviewed for a Retail job, discuss people skills, communication skills etc. If the job is in Administration, discuss being organised and your IT skills.

4. What are your weaknesses?
Hint – don’t actually say ‘I’m really bad at time keeping’ or anything else that can put the interviewer off you! Be positive and constructive. Say things like ‘I don’t have much experience in retail, however, I am really keen to learn and I am very enthusiastic, so if I am employed I will be really focussed on developing myself.’

5. Tell me about a time where you have worked in a team?
Hint – be specific! Discuss what team it was, what you did and how the team was successful. You need to make yourself sound like the ultimate team player! Use the STAR interviews technique so you can be sure to give a really good answer.

6. Tell me about a time where you have achieved your goal.
Hint – this is to work out if you’re a committed person or not. If you really can’t think of a goal, you could discuss a goal that you’re close to achieving. It can be personal (such as losing weight, becoming fit or becoming a driver).

7. Tell me about a time when you have needed to communicate with a difficult person
Hint – they are asking this to judge if you have good communication skills. There are different scenarios you could use; this could be working with a difficult person when on a group project in school or college, having a difficult person in your band/ sports team or a difficult customer in a work experience placement or part-time job. You should use the STAR interview questions technique to ensure a comprehensive answer. Try to avoid being negative about the individual.

8. What are your career goals?
Hint – remember to be positive, be really keen and motivated to succeed in this area!