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​WINNING ANSWERS TO COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

  • Publish Date: Posted 14 days ago

Interviews can feature a range of different questions all designed to give a potential employer as much information as possible about your skills, experience, background and you as a person.

Whilst it would be difficult to predict exactly which questions are going to come up during an interview, there are several commonly asked questions which, on the surface, may seem very simple but if answered correctly can help you secure that dream role.

Tell me about yourself

What the interviewer is looking for:

Your ability to tell them concisely why you are a good fit for the role on offer and how you might fit into the existing team.

Best answer:

Keep it relevant – they are looking for a potted history of your work history and achievements to date as well as why you are looking to make a move.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

What the interviewer is looking for:

Nobody is perfect and it is important that candidates and employees can realistically appraise their own skills and abilities.

Best answer:

Evidence your strengths with genuine examples and select a weakness which demonstrates how you have made – or intend to make – improvements in this area.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

What the interviewer is looking for:

An idea of your goals and ambitions and how you can grow with the role available; they want you to demonstrate a commitment to the company and what you realistically hope to achieve with them.

Best answer:

Marry up your own personal career ambitions with the objectives of the company and indicate how you can see yourself progressing within the role and how your contribution will be of benefit to your employer.

Are you a team player?

What the interviewer is looking for:

That you can demonstrate that you know the importance of teamwork and can understand how your contribution benefits and impacts on your colleagues.

Best answer:

Describe a specific situation where you can illustrate the value of teamwork –for example, where people had to come together from different departments, had a particular problem to solve or implemented a solution to an ongoing challenge. Ensure you can talk about your role within the team and the benefits of working with others.

Why should we hire you?

What the interviewer is looking for:

Someone who understands the skills and attributes that they have and can relate these to the position available.

Best answer:

You need to stand out from the other candidates so focus on specific skills and experience which will demonstrate not only your ability to deliver in your role but give the interviewer an insight into your character, values and enthusiasm for the opportunity.

Why do you want to leave your current employer?

What the interviewer is looking for:

A well-thought through, reasonable response as to why you have decided the time is right to make the move. This is not the time to bad-mouth your current employer – many industries can be quite close knit and it won’t do you any favours.

Best answer:

Focus upon your professional ambitions and desire for a new challenge – ensure that these are realistic and relevant to the stage that you are at in your career. Also bear in mind that how these fit with the length of time in your current job – have you changed roles frequently or have you been with one company for a considerable length of time?

Is there anything you would like to ask me?

What the interviewer is looking for:

Someone who has given consideration to the company that they are looking to join and the potential role available.

Best answer:

Focus upon the future of the business, how the role you would be doing could develop and what contribution you will be making. Try to avoid asking questions about salary and benefits – whilst relevant you don’t want to come across as someone who is more interested in the perks than the role itself.

Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment of temporary, interim and permanent finance professionals. With offices in Leeds and Sheffield our highly experienced team of consultants recruit for positions throughout Yorkshire and beyond. CONTACT US today and see how we can help.