Interviews can be as simple as you like them to be; it all comes down to the preparation. You’ll notice that the same questions will come up time and time again, with the occasional curve ball being thrown in for good measure.

We’ve gathered a list of some of the most common interview questions to help get you off to the best start possible.

Your skills

Typical questions:

 

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Name something of note you have done in your current position
  • Why should we hire you?

The purpose of this section is to figure out whether or not you can actually do the job. If you really want to impress, you should focus on your strengths and explain how they can be beneficial to the company. Detailing things such as teamwork, problem solving and having a positive attitude can all work in your favour.

A popular question will be focussed around your weaknesses. This can be tricky, but try and mention just one and turn it into a positive. Mention how you’ve worked on it and overcome the issue to benefit both you and the company.

The employer

Typical questions:

 

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • How much do you know about the company?
  • Why should we employ you over someone else?

In this section the interviewer wants to figure out exactly how much you know about the company and what made you apply for the role. Keep a sharp mind here because they want to know if you’ve done your homework and understand the company inside and out. You should be aware of the company size, what they do, it’s history and goals, plus a number of other things.

When you are speaking with your potential employer, try and shift the focus onto what you can do for the company rather than what they can do for you.

The job

Typical questions:

 

  • What do you expect your typical work day to involve?
  • What do you think your main tasks and responsibilities will be?
  • What challenges would you set yourself?

The interviewer is trying to figure out how much you know about the job and whether or not you would be suitable for the position. This is an important stage in the interview process because this could ultimately decide your fate. Preparation is key here, so read the job description thoroughly and research the company.

Your ambitions

Typical questions:

 

  • What are your goals?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Which tasks give you the most satisfaction?

How far are you willing to go in your career? What will it take to achieve that? This is your opportunity to show how enthusiastic you can be and what kind of work environment best suits you. Using this information they can identify the best conditions for yourself as well as seeing what your short and long-term goals are.

Your experience

Typical questions:

 

  • Why are you looking to change jobs?
  • Run me through a typical day in your current / previous job
  • What experience have you gained which would help you in this role?

The interviewer is trying to decipher what you did in your previous roles and how those experiences can benefit the company. When talking about these positions you should try to focus on the positives, as well as making a note of all the relevants tasks and responsibilities you carried out.

Your personality

Typical questions:

 

  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What would be your ideal Saturday?
  • What was the last film you saw?

The questions here are designed to give the interviewer a more rounded opinion of you. They want to know what kind of person you are and how self-aware you are, which is a good trait to have because it shows that you know what areas you are good at and where you can potentially improve.

With regards to your interests, the interviewer wants to know how active you are in your spare time. Are you the type of person who tries to get the most out of life? This is important because it shows that you are always trying to push yourself and achieve more.

Outside of the box

Typical questions:

 

  • Which house would you belong to in the Harry Potter series?
  • If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

These questions may appear a touch unorthodox, but they actually provide some valuable insight for the interviewer. It allows them to see how you’d react under pressure and come up with an answer on the spot. This is your chance to be a little creative and have some fun, so don’t hold back.
Just remember that there is no ‘good answer’ but try and prepare for this as best you can regardless.