Typical interview Questions

These are some frequently asked questions; you may be asked all, some or possibly only a few of them. Just go through these and repare in writing the answers you would like to give.

What are your strengths?: Identify areas where you perform best, try to match these with the skills required for the job / professional programme (that you have applied for).

What are your weaknesses?: Stick to minor factual problems which can be remedied by adding a positive rider to your answer. “I suppose I didn’t try hard enough, but I intend to have a good try at it”.

How would you describe yourself?: Concentrate on the description of the person being sought and try to put forward a picture of yourself to match as close to that as possible. But you need to be honest; make the most of your good points but don’t make them unbelievable.

“Do you have plans for additional education:” Here the interviewer is trying to find out whether you see this line of work as part of a long-term commitment as opposed to stop-gap measure. If you do have plans for additional education, be specific about what you want to learn and how an employer could possibly benefit. What were your favourite subjects and why? : This should be easy. Just make sure that you make your response relevant to the job that you applied for. Also, make some reference to the more broadly based skills that you have, such as problem-solving, communicating or writing effectively.

Why do you want to work for us? / Why do you want this Job?: Your answer must contain genuine, positive reasons backed up by supportive evidence. Your answer could be one of many such as:
• I enjoy meeting people.
• I think it might be interesting work.
• I like tackling a challenge.

On their own these statements lack credibility; their meaningfulness comes when you back them up with something substantial. Give some examples of challenges you have tackled recently.

Other questions that could be asked include.
• How do you get on with your school friends/teachers?
• What did you like the most/least about your periods of work experience?
• Where do you see yourself five years from now?
• Who has been the greatest influence in your life and why?
• What do you think has been your greatest achievement?
• What is the greatest hurdle that you have crossed?

In answering questions on any of the above or related areas, remember to concentrate on the positive, if you have experienced difficulties then own up to them, show how you have overcome them, learnt from them, ideally, take advantage of mock interviews to evaluate your preparation. In the absence of a formal mock interview, you can always ask friends or relatives to act as interviewers but this is very much the second-best option since they may feel silly or embarrassed. But you can compensate by developing your powers of selfobservation. Consciously practise other ways of standing or speaking by reviewing through a mirror image and tape recorder. Being videoed under mock interview conditions is, of course, an unbeatable learning experience.

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