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Most popular interview questions

Questions Asked

Most important of all is to listen, listen, listen and do not interrupt the interviewer, as this is rude and arrogant.


  • Make your answers to questions as positive as possible and try not to give "yes" or "no" answers unless it is appropriate.


  • Turn potentially negative questions into positive answers. For example, if the company needs you to use a software package that you haven't used for two years, don't say "I haven't used it for two years" as this will make the interviewer think that you "can't" use the package.   


What you should say if asked whether you have worked with this package is a very positive "yes, I worked with this package for over three years at Fred Bloggs & Co".   This is a truthful answer and gives the interviewer a positive impression of you.


  • It is easy to lose the attention of the interviewer if you give too much detail when asked to describe an accomplishment or project.   Give a brief overview of the subject and then ask "would you like me to elaborate".


  • If you are asked a question that throws you or makes you feel uncomfortable, do not become defensive or arrogant to cover your feelings.   Instead say, "I'm not sure" or "I will give that some thought" and then take your time to respond openly.



Have good reasons for leaving each position.   Don't say "I wanted more money", "I was bored" or "I was headhunted" as these will make the interviewer question your stability for their company. Unless you were made redundant or have relocated, growth and opportunity should be the key reasons for change.


There will always be questions put to you at your interview and you need to make sure that you have the answers.   The most common questions are listed below, so take time to think and rehearse how you will deal with them on your interview.



Questions Employers Ask


  • Tell me about yourself.

  • Name five attributes that have led you to be successful in your career.    

  • What area of your skills or experience have you targeted for improvement?    

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?    

  • Of all the roles you have covered, which do you enjoy the most and why?    

  • Which tasks do you like the least?    

  • If you are faced with three job offers at the same time, what will make you decide which one to take?

  • What do you like about this company and/or the position?    

  • What do you think is the greatest challenge for this company?    

  • What can your contribution bring to this company?     

  • Where do you find your best working relationships, with management, subordinates or colleagues?    

  • Are you a team player?       

  • How do you respond to authority?    

  • What are the things you have liked in your bosses and why? 

  • What are the things you have disliked in your bosses and why?    

  • How do you react to negative feedback or comments?  

  • How do you evaluate your own performance?      

  • How do you evaluate the performance of others?     

  • What mistakes have you made in your working life?      

  • What did you learn from these mistakes?    

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?



Questions you could ask


Asking relevant questions like the ones listed below, confirms your interest in the company and shows you are organised and can plan ahead. Make sure you've done solid research on the company beforehand and don't ask questions where the answers can easily be found on the company's website - that will just confirm to your interviewer that you haven't done any research.


  • How long has the company been established?   

  • What would the daily duties involve for the position?   

  • Why has the position become available?      

  • When will the position start?  

  • How many people are being considered for the position?    

  • Will there be a shortlist and a further round of interviews?    

  • When will you be making a decision on the position?


It is impressive if you show more interest in the role, who you will be working for and whether there are peak times when longer hours need to be worked than discussing money and how the company can benefit you.


Telephone Interviews

Some companies use this method to shortlist the candidates they want to interview. You need to be as prepared for a phone interview as a face to face interview.


  • Always make sure you have privacy when taking part in a telephone interview, be calm, positive and don't forget to smile as you can hear a smile over the phone.  

  • After the interview, if you are going through an employment agency, phone your Consultant as soon as you can to provide your feedback and if you have decided that this is the job for you, make sure your Consultant is aware of this.


Otherwise, take time to digest the information you have received at the interview and analyse how you performed at the meeting - as this will help you improve your technique in the future.



Some organisations require candidates to attend assessment centres where there may be a mixture of practical tests, interviews, presentations, group exercises and psychometric tests. If you attend an assessment try to relax as much as possible on the day, don't panic if you don't perform well on a task but do make sure you turn up on time and show enthusiasm.



Key interview points


  • Don't hesitate or repeat questions when answering the interviewer as this stalling technique can be interpreted that you are not sure what answer to give or that you may not be telling the whole truth.


  • Don't over elaborate explanations because it can be confusing, just remain calm and concise.    


  • Never, ever, make derogatory comments about previous employers' as this is highly unprofessional. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.     


  • Don't try to completely change who you are. It may be that you are not right for that role or that company and the interview process is also there for you to evaluate the prospective employer.     


  • Respond positively if you are told aspects of the job that don't appeal to you. You will have plenty of time after the interview to weigh up all the pros and cons of the post and there is no point in rejecting an opportunity before you have received an offer and had time to think it over.       

  • If you show too much interest in salary or discuss wages and rises too early on, it can show greed and insufficient interest in the company and/or position.     


  • Never become involved in conversations on controversial subjects and if the interviewer asks leading questions on such matters, diplomatically steer the conversation back to the job role and company.


  • Make sure that the interviewer knows why they should hire you by focusing on your accomplishments, providing honest and persuasive answers.     


  • When leaving the interview, always shake hands with good eye contact, thank the interviewer for their time, tell them that you are very interested in the position (if this is the case) and that you look forward to hearing from them.

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