Standard Job Interview Questions to Expect
Although it’s hard to pre-empt what you’ll be asked in an interview, most interview panels dedicate a portion of the questions in order to better understand facets of your character, your general skills and your ability to work with other people. Below is a sample of such questions with some thoughts to consider as you formulate your responses.
Tell us a bit about yourself. The interviewer isn’t seeking a life story here. Try to be positive, specific and stick to information about you that’s relevant to the job or the company’s goals.
What do you know about our company? This is your opportunity to show your initiative and establish your enthusiasm for both the job and the company for which you want to work. You can share what you’ve researched about the organisation and talk meaningfully about why you think you would be a good addition to the team.
What are your career goals? Employers like to see that you have ambition and a sense where you want to be in the future. Your response to this question can help to position you well for future training and career development opportunities.
What do you think are your strengths? This is where you get to shine! Talk about all those positives that make you the right person for this job. Focus on those strengths that matter most for the role for which you’re being considered.
What do you think are your weaknesses? This is an opportunity to show that you’re aware and realistic about yourself and your capabilities. It’s wise to admit to some weaknesses. Mention some aspects that may have challenged you in previous jobs and what lessons you have learned as a result.
Why are you leaving your current job? It’s important not to criticise your current or previous employers. Stick to reasons that don’t involve your skills and performance. It’s always safer to speak about wanting to work for a larger/smaller organisation that provides you with more opportunities or challenges.
What do you love about the type of work that you do? This is your chance to talk about the types of tasks/ features of a job that interest you! Talk about the things you’re passionate about regarding the work that you’ve done in the past. It’s wise to pick examples that relate to the IT job for which you’re being considered.
What’s been the most challenging issue you’ve come across in your professional life? This is where you can showcase your excellent problem solving skills. Talk about an example of a difficulty you’ve faced at work, and how you overcame it.
Talk about the most successful team situation you’ve worked in? Here is where you can highlight how you work with others and describe your insights into what makes a good team tick. Mention a project on which you have worked, where the team dynamics were harmonious and productive. It’s good to express your views about what works well in a team and what lessons you’ve learned. Prospective employers value team players.
Talk about the most disastrous team situation you’ve worked in? This question gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your values around team work and express your analytical and problem solving skills. Mention a project on which you have worked where the team dynamics were dysfunctional and nightmarish. Comment about why things were the way that they were from your perspective, and what you would do to remedy the problems.
Taking some time to think about questions and answers beforehand doesn’t just leave you better prepared - it can help you to feel more confident and relaxed during an interview, and that can go a long way to inspiring confidence about your skills in your prospective employer.