The top 10 interview questions and how to answer them

9 Mar 2021

Let’s face it - interviews are scary.

The best way to make them less daunting is to properly prepare.

There are certain questions that often crop up. Once you know them and have worked on your answers, your confidence will grow.

Here are 10 of the most asked questions at interviews:


1. Tell us about yourself

This is often the first question so do your best to make a good first impression. Introduce yourself and talk about what you do now and your work history. If you haven’t worked before you could talk about any volunteering experience, hobbies, qualifications, or family support you provide.


2. What do you know about the company?

Make sure you have researched the organisation and know what it does, and the products or services it offers. The best place to start is the company’s own website.


3. Why do you want to work here?

Show the interviewer how much you want to join the company. Focus on parts of the job you would like, interesting aspects about the company that appeal to you and why you would be a good fit.

Example: I’d really like to work for your company as we share the same values. The products/services you offer really interest me.

4. What are your greatest strengths/skills?

This is a great chance to promote yourself. You should explain three or four of your best points, particularly if they are related to the job description. You should include facts like:

·       Being a good team worker

·       Being organised,

·       A natural leader,

·       or fantastic communicator.

Example: I’m very well organised, I plan my day by reviewing my priorities and developing an action list of the things I need to achieve. Here are some other examples.

5. What are your weaknesses?

Choose and describe a weakness but explain how you are working to improve on it.

Try not to mention anything which could hinder your ability to do the job you’re after.

Example: I can be nervous about giving presentations but have been practising at home in front of my family.


6. What has been your greatest achievement?

Think about something that has made you feel proud such as winning an award, organising an event, an idea which saved money, or recent praise at work, or from a friend, for something you’ve done. Explain what you achieved and the impact it had.


7. Tell us about a time you coped well in a difficult situation

Remember a time there was a crisis or other issue and talk through what it was, how you coped and what you did to help resolve it. It shows the interviewer how you react to stressful situations and if you can remain calm under pressure.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Think about your career hopes for the future and give an answer which shows that you would work hard in the role and would plan to stay at the company.

Example: I would like to have completed your staff training program and be given more responsibility within my remit.

9. Why should we hire you?

This question gives you a chance to sell yourself, tell them how great you are and what you can do for the company. Think about what you have to offer that other people don’t, such as any relevant training or transferrable skills you can bring to the role.

10. Do you have any questions?

The interview will usually end with this and it’s good for you to have some questions ready. You could ask about a typical day at the company or find out why the role has become vacant.

Here are some other examples.

Sometimes interviewers may throw in an odd question such as ‘what type of brands or companies do you like’. Remember there is no right answer - they just want to see how you react.

Finally, don't memorise your answers word for word but remember the key points you want to make. Show the interviewer why you want the job, why you would be good at it, and how well you could fit in.

And good luck!

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