Career advice

Nine common interview questions

It’s really important for interviewers that they cover the basics before getting into some more creative chat with you. If you fail to prepare for the ‘classic’ interview questions, you won’t impress. 
We’ve listed the ones we feel are most important below. So start rehearsing your answers!

1. Tell me about yourself

While this sounds like a fairly general enquiry, don’t start relaying your life story. Keep it relevant; talk about your degree and what you’d like to do with the knowledge and experience you’ve gained at university or list any major achievements to date.

2. Why do you want to work here?

Research the company prior to the interview so you can talk compellingly about why this is the business for you. It’s all about value alignment.

3. Give an example of where you've been able to use your leadership skills

This is more of a competency-based question, but is likely to crop up in some form or another. Consider group tasks you’ve taken charge of while at university like presentations etc. 

4. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Highlight your strengths that match up to the role requirements here and when you mention a weakness (they usually prefer that you have something), make sure you demonstrate how you’ve rectified a weakness in the past or learnt from a mistake. 

5. Where do you see yourself in five years?

If you’re interviewing for a graduate scheme, the hiring manager might like to hear that you wish to be an established member of the team by then, helping to mentor future graduates who join the business and sharing your experience and knowledge with them. 

6. What is your greatest achievement?

Similarly to when you describe your strengths, use the selection criteria for the role – your greatest achievement should align with this. 

7. Why should we hire you?

This is where you really need to sell yourself to the hiring manager – tell them what you think you can bring to the team and be sure to mention the skills they require.

8. Are you a team player?

Of course you are. But make sure you give an example of how.  

9. Do you have any questions for us?

Never say no. Even if the interviewer has covered off all the points you wanted to query, think of something to ask or ask them to go into more detail. Otherwise, you’ll appear uninterested.