Common job interview questions and how to respond to them
Common job interview questions and how to respond to them

Common job interview questions and how to respond to them

In this article we aim to look at the most common questions you will be asked during an important Job interview and what you should consider when answering them. There is nothing worse than being caught off guard by an interview question and stuttering out some ramblings that dont make sense. So it is always best to try and think of good answers for expected questions. Each different company and job type will lead to specific questions but in this article we are going to look at some common questions that crop up.

Can you tell me about yourself?

This is an extremely common question and can be expected in almost all job interviews. So why is it asked? Well most interviewers think they can tell a lot about the interviewee from how they respond to this.

Apparently they first response you give to this question is how you see yourself and your defining characteristic. For example if you respond with "I get on with everyone", then you will be seen as sociable and extraverted. If you answer with "I am career minded and focussed" then the interviewer will see you as ambitious. The answers will be viewed as positive or negative depending on the job type.

If you have trouble answering this question, then it can be seen that you arent very interested in the job and arent prepared for business situations.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

This is another classic that comes up in a lot of interview situations. The interviewer will be most likely checking that the job you are applying for fits in with the career path you see yourself on. They want to know if you are going to work hard and stick around. It is not a good idea to tell the interviewer that you want to work with animals if you are applying for an accounting job. This sends a message that you will not be around for long and will probably leave to try and pursue your long term interests. There are two ways of looking at this, one is maybe keep this radical career plan to yourself and give them an answer they want to hear or the sensible option would be to consider if this job is even right for you and not something that is tied into what you aim to do in the future.

How do you balance your work and life?

With this question, the interviewer wants to establish that you will be focussed at work and will be organised in your out of work time. They want to know whether you have set plans for taking children to school or if you have social pursuits that will be interfering with work. The best way to answer these questions are to be honest, but demonstrate how you are organised and can handle these situations.

What did you do during your gap in employment?

Most people will have some gaps in their CVs where they will have been between work . The interviewer will be looking for an answer that shows you havent wasted this time and have done something constructive. Not everyone will have been to Africa, volunteering to build schools so you will need to provide an answer that makes you appear to have gained something. Learning new skills, (i.e programming languages), travelling and taking in culture, reflected over your desired career path are all good examples of using your time constructively.

These are only some of the common questions that will crop up during interviews. Look for further articles where we will look at more expected questions and how to prepare for them.


This article was written on behalf of Martin Ward Anderson who offer recruitment services for

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