An overlooked, yet fundamental truth about the employment process is that Recruitment Managers are essentially looking to work with people they will get on with.
It is because of this, that any company or firm will typically ask you different variations of the same questions. Your ability to land the role rests on how well you answer the below questions.
Here are 4 of the most common interview questions and how to go about answering them, avoiding common pitfalls:
“Are you leaving your current position for a particular reason?”
This question trips a lot of people up because it can get you into a negative mindset or a rant against your present (or previous) job. The interviewer only wants to know that you aren’t leaving purely for money and that you don’t have trouble getting along with people.
Where possible, explain to the interviewer that your career move is about career growth and an appetite to succeed.
“Tell me about yourself”
Many candidates make the mistake of going off on a tangent about their family life, or their personal hobby’s. As well, being nervous can make candidates start to ramble, perhaps revealing things about them in a negative light. Be careful to not discuss your personal life too loosely with someone you just met.
The best response to this question is to pick out the most interesting or pivotal points on your CV and explain why these things make you a good fit for the role. While it’s good to appear somewhat relaxed, remember to be concise with your response.
“What is your biggest weakness?”
This question is definitely the trickiest, as it’s hard to give an honest weakness that still presents you in a competent light.
For example, stating that one of your weaknesses is that you are so hard working you cannot find time for your home life can sound rehearsed and insincere. However, telling the recruiter that you have a short concentration span and can lose interest in repetitive tasks (while this may be true) sounds like you will be a lazy employee that is hard to motivate.
A smart answer to this question is to choose a flaw that is small and show that you are working on it. This will show that not only are you self-aware, you are also working on bettering yourself, a trait of any great employee.
“Tell me about a time you ………..”
While this may sound like a simple enough question, but it can be hard to share a relevant and meaningful situation. You can structure your answer in this way: “This is the attribute I’m going to establish; this is my story demonstrating it; and this is how my story demonstrates this attribute.”
A flawless response to this question tells the interviewer what you did and why you did it, illustrating your thought process and problem solving ability. A good idea is to prepare some scenarios before the interview, that demonstrate a variety of desirable attributes about yourself. Remember to explain your thought process behind your actions as you explain them.