It is important to not just give one line answers but actually think through the process of “how can I sell myself to this company” and that will aid you in coming up with suitable answers.
Don’t make things up that you can’t back up because you will get caught out. Also when you are answering questions, it is important not to rush your answer; the employer wants to see you at least think about the question before rushing out a response.
This question may be used to assess your personality, preparation, communication skills and ability to think on your feet. Prepare a list of what you do (your current or last job), your strengths (stick to job-focused skills), and a summary of your career history, linking your experience to the job at hand.
Respond positively – “…for better career advancement or promotion opportunities, increased responsibility, greater variety at work…”
Demonstrate your knowledge of the company and re-emphasise your suitability for the position.
This is a chance to sing your own praises – concentrating on the skills you have that are required for the position.
E.g. “I have strong sales skills, am a good team player and am very keen to be involved in the new markets you are developing in the Asian region.”
This question is designed to reveal if you have thought about the position, done some research, listened to the interviewer, and can summaries all of this information clearly.
Demonstrate your interest in the job, and your understanding of the organisation and industry. Talk about the research you did into the company’s key areas of interest, its size, its main customers or current status, making reference to your source of information.
Prepare responses that give specific examples of your strengths at previous positions that will support your job application.
No-one readily admits real weaknesses in an interview situation. It is general knowledge that this is an opportunity to turn the question into a positive. Think of something that relates to your experience of work that is plausible as a weakness but is not really a negative point. E.g. “I become very focused on the projects I am involved in”
If you have had jobs in different industries or several positions in a short period, describe the positives – that you were learning new skills, following different career paths, and travelling overseas etc. Refer to the experience you gained in the past jobs that relates to the position under discussion.
The trick with this question is to list what you have enjoyed about work that strongly relate to the key competencies of the position in question, and mention that you are looking forward to expanding your experience / scope in these areas.
This may be a testing of your discretion and professionalism. It is best to reply that you would prefer not to divulge any confidential information (sales figures, for instance), citing the fact that you are sure your interviewer would expect the same discretion from their employees.
This is an assessment of the extent of your ambition and career planning. You should demonstrate that your long term goals are appropriate for the position being discussed and your commitment to them.
Answer with a ‘yes’, and give a specific example of a time when you were under pressure and how your rose to the challenge.
These are questions designed to elicit information about the required competencies for the position. Cite experience in your past jobs, and always try to inject a positive note into your answer (e.g. that you learnt from the experience).
Always prepare a question to ask the interviewer. Ask about the position, request clarification of general information about the company, or summaries your understanding and request confirmation. If they have already answered your questions tell them (be specific) so they know that you have thought about the position in preparing for the interview.
“What do you see as being the main focus of this position?”
“Am I correct in saying that the position involves mediating between A and B departments and monitoring and developing new approaches to…?”
“I’d like to ask about the organisational structure… are the publications produced on a national basis or individually by each regional office? How are the budgets controlled and allocated?”