Every job interview is different with the recruiter or hiring manager quizzing the candidate on their previous employment and experience. Despite this, there are a few questions that consistently crop up.
From discussing what salary a candidate would like to expect, to facing the dreaded question about where they see themselves in the next five years, it’s crucial to prepare for these expected interview questions to prevent panicking under pressure.
So, that candidates don’t get caught out, Recruitment Grapevine has compiled some helpful tips below on how to answer some of these commonly asked questions that are often tricky to answer:
Why did you leave your last role?
It’s easy to start the answer to this question revealing everything you hated about your last role – but this is the worst thing you can do. Instead, share that you didn’t want to leave, but it was necessary for you to grow your skillset and build your career. This demonstrates that you aren’t a quitter and make decisions very seriously.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
This is a question that will send a chill down any candidate’s spine, but it’s important to answer this tactically as it will give the recruiter a sense of your ambition. It’s advised to not come across too bold in your future desires, so mention targets you have that fit in with the current job role you are applying for.
What salary are you expecting?
When asked this, it’s best not to pluck out a figure from thin air or base it on what you think you are worth. The recruiter wants to see that you have done your research and uncovered what employees in the position you are applying for are currently earning. Before you enter the interview, research the job description online and find out some resonable salaries – Glassdoor is a great website for this.
Your biggest weakness?
Another bugbear for many candidates being interviewed is being asked ‘What’s your biggest weakness?’. Refrain from stating that you are perfect and have no weaknesses, instead share details of something you think you can improve on in the working environment, and how you have done so in the past. That way you will look more like a problem-solver and someone who his happy to make change.
How would your co-workers describe you?
There is no way of answering this question without sounding overly pompous and like you are bragging. Instead of listing your best character traits and attributes, lead your answer with an honest reference from a boss or colleague – that way the hiring manager knows what your co-workers really think of you.
Are you planning on having children or getting married?
Quite often this question is deemed illegal and an invasion of privacy – after all why should a hiring manager need to know if you are planning on having children in the next six months? You can, of course, refuse to answer this, in which case if you do try and switch the conversation and share any current goals you are pursuing, like a training course for example, do this to demonstrate your commitment to your career.
Tell us about yourself…
This is your opportunity to come across as natural as possible and build a real rapport with the recruiter. When this question is asked, the employer wants to find out a bit about you and what makes you tick, so share details about the marathon you’re training for or if you are a trustee for a charity.