Preparing for a job interview

When you’re invited for an interview, it means they liked your CV and want to know more. This is where you get to talk, in more detail, about your skills, qualities and past experience. Your aim is to impress them so they decide to employ you.

There are certain general questions that most interviews will ask – you need to prepare for these in advance. You need to research the company so you can answer your questions in relation to them and what they need. You want to talk clearly and confidently. Dress appropriately.

Prepare a list of 10 questions that you could be asked in an interview. 5 can be general questions, 5 should relate to your CV and your chosen job e.g. In your CV you mentioned that you have good IT skills. Where did you learn this? eg. In our job advert, we asked that you be able to work under pressure. Can you give us an example of when you’ve done that before.

Once you have completed this, answer the questions, fully, as you would in a real interview. You want to make yourself look good!

Interview Questions

There are general questions you will be asked in most interviews you attend.

They want to know more about you. They will ask you for more information on points from your CV:

  • Your skills and qualities you have listed
  • Your past experience
  • Your qualifications (if applicable)
  • Your attitude towards work situations e.g. problem solving or working under pressure
  • Your knowledge of their company

Example Questions

  • Why do you want this job?
  • What qualities do you think this job requires?
  • Why do you want to work for this organisation?
  • What have you got to contribute?
  • How long have you been looking for a new job?
  • What do you know about this organisation?
  • What interests you about this organisation?
  • What are you looking for in a new job?
  • What sorts of jobs are you considering at the moment?
  • What did you do on a day to day basis?
  • What do you not like about the job?
  • How did you make a difference to your last organisation?
  • What was your greatest success and how did you achieve it?
  • What has been your biggest failure?
  • How did you progress in your last job?
  • How do you handle criticism?
  • How do you work with others?
  • Are you accepted into a team quickly?
  • What motivates you?
  • Are you competitive?
  • What are you like under pressure?
  • What are your career goals?
  • How did you get on with your last manager/colleagues?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult person at a work/school.
  • What proactive steps have you taken to make your workplace more efficient and productive? Specifically describe a policy, project or system you created or initiated.
  • Describe a high pressure situation you had to handle at work. Tell me what happened, who was involved and what you did in terms of problem solving.
  • Some situations require us to express ideas or opinions in a very tactful and careful way. Tell me about a time when you were successful in this type of situation.