Most Interview questions fall into one of four categories. ‘Personal History’, ‘What do you know about the job?’’ Why would you be good for the job?’ and ‘Why do you want the job?’
What Do You Know About the Company / Job?
If you have followed the advice outlined in ‘Before the Interview’, you will be prepared for this question. This is often the first question asked and well prepared candidates can make an immediate strong impact.
Why Do You Want the Job?
Although the question is asking you what you want from the role, try to choose aspects which will further demonstrate your aptitude for the role. For example, “I understand the role has a large ‘logistical’ element, which I really enjoy. When I worked at xxxxx I did a lot of event logistics/AV/Conference Production and it was my favorite part of the role.”
It is important to focus on aspects of the role that you would enjoy rather than salary, benefits, location etc. Employers generally hire candidates who demonstrate a genuine interest in undertaking the job in question.
Interviewers will often take time to talk through your entire employment history. It is important to be positive about previous employment and employers. This is an ideal opportunity to ‘talk up’ the most relevant parts of your job history and emphasis how much you enjoyed them.
‘Strengths’ is obviously a ‘Why would you be good for the job?’ question. The temptation with this question is to supply a long list of ‘empty adjectives’ such as “I am punctual, reliable, enthusiastic” etc. While these are all very noble characteristics, they usually will not demonstrate your ability to successfully undertake a particular role.
Go back to the job spec and choose three strengths which are particularly relevant to the role. For example, if the role requires fast typing speeds, you could answer, “My main strength is typing. When I worked for Jones and Jones, I typed for eighty percent of the day. This gave me great keyboard skills and now means that I can get through a very high volume of work accurately”. Questions which fall into the ‘Why would you be good for the role?’ Category should be handled in this way. To add weight to your answers, make sure you have prepared good solid examples of where you have successfully undertaken similar experiences in the past.
Choose weaknesses which are not relevant to the role. If possible, try to identify weaknesses which could be strengths in a work situation. For example, “I drive my family mad because I am such an organised person” -is something that could easily be used to your advantage.