The top 5 most common interview questions

Wednesday 8. 2018

Interviews are always a lot easier if you know what you’re walking into. Luckily for you, there are a fair few common interview questions that you can expect in most scenarios. Knowing what they are, and more importantly how to answer them helps build your confidence and think of an impressive response.

Of course, you can still expect an abundance of questions in an interview situation and there might be some in place to throw you off the mark. Nevertheless most interviewers follow a standardised style for the first few questions. This means that if you know what to expect, you can get your interview off to a solid start with some confident and well thought through answers. What comes thereafter should follow suit meaning that a bit of basic know-how might just be the key to securing the job of your dreams. Ever committed to finding you exactly that, the team here at TMI Resourcing have put together the 5 most common interview questions you can expect, and how to answer them.

The top 5 interview questions

Answering questions in detail not only presents you as confident and interesting, but also helps time go faster. Because let’s face it, interviews aren’t our favourite things. We’ve advised on how to answer them, but it’s worth drafting what you personally want to say. Remember – tailoring your questions to the company that you’re interviewing for is always a good idea.  

Number one: tell me a little about yourself

This is an interviewer’s favourite question but can leave us in total panic mode. Since this is often the first question that will be asked in an interview, it can make or break your first impression. Therefore, no matter how much you don’t want to answer this one – it’s important that you do (and do so to a high standard). But, how do you talk about yourself? What do you say that’s appropriate in an interview setting but that isn’t boring?

How to answer: we would always recommend giving a mini biography. Starting at the beginning of your career as you see it. This could be from university, from school or from your first job. Giving an interviewer a brief indication of who you are in the working world can help prompt them to visualise you in their team. You should round off this question with some hobbies or interests to show that you know how to balance your social life and working ethic.

Number two: what are your strengths?

Another ‘favourite’ of the interview questions is ‘what are your strengths’ as employers like to see what you can offer to their business. With this question, you don’t want to turn it into a vanity fest but you also don’t want to shy away from what you can achieve. It can be hard to strike the right balance but if you can find it effectively then this question can prove to be a winner for you.

How to answer: as mentioned above, you don’t want to sell yourself short but you also don’t want to go OTT. We’d recommend mentioning 2-3 strengths of yours and then applying them to your potential job. E.g. “I’m very organised which means I am great at managing my time effectively and meeting deadlines.”

Number three: what are your weaknesses?

Like yin and yang, number two and number three often go hand in hand. This question can catch a lot of interviewees out as you hardly want to talk yourself down to your prospective employer. What this interview question is all about however, is showing that you can identify your downfalls and turn them into positives, or at least actively challenge them.

How to answer: we would recommend only offering 1 or 2 weaknesses as you don’t want to fall into the trap of talking an employer out of hiring you. Our TMI top tip would be to pick a weakness, but turn it into a strength. For example, “I’m often very meticulous, although this means that I can take longer to complete a task it does ensure that the task is of the utmost quality.”

Number four: why do you want to work for us?

This is the question for what you need to do your research. Having a bit of background knowledge of the company in which you are interviewing for is always a good idea. You should be truthful about why you want to work for the company and tie this in with their reputation to make a lasting impression.

How to answer: as mentioned briefly above, you should be honest with your answer. Why do you want this career, or to work for this company? Once you can answer this you should then think about populating your answer with reasons that tie in with the company. E.g. “I want to work in social media as I’ve always had a keen interest in the way it works. As your company is one of the top social media agencies in Manchester, I think it would be a great place for me to progress in this career.”

Number five: why should we hire you?

This is another tricky question. Designed by interviewers to put you under slight pressure but also to help with their decision making processes. This is a similar question to number two, wherein you want to sell yourself without coming across as overbearing.

How to answer: answer the question through honing in on personal qualities that will make you a unique asset to the business. E.g. “I have always been a passionate writer, so I believe that my strong communication skills will come in handy when copywriting.” You may even want to bring in an example here to back up what you’re saying, such as a small portfolio.

Every interview is different and you can never be sure of what interview questions will head your way. Accredited favourites however, these 5 are often likely to pop up at some stage. Take some time to practice responses for these and you’ll be well on your way to nailing it.

 

For more on all things recruitment, head over to our blog. Or to start your recruitment journey with TMI Resourcing, get in touch with us here.