10 of the Most Common Interview Questions & How to Answer

One can never be too prepared for a job interview, that’s what you should always tell yourself. It’s the key to success and will put you ahead of all the other candidates.

Here’s another way you can prepare for your interview, by practicing the 10 most common interview questions asked, along with some ways to answer them.

1. “Tell me about yourself”

Talk about yourself and your career in a summary fashion. Do your best to avoid rambling and ‘going on’ about absolutely everything you’ve ever done, just focus on your achievements and what you’re most proud of.

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2. “What are your strengths?”

Focus on discussing what you’re particularly good at, and be prepared to back them up with solid evidence / instances of how you’ve used them.

Try to avoid using a load of adjectives like ‘dynamic’, ‘team player’, ‘synergy’, as they won’t portray the real you at all.

3. “What are your weaknesses?”

The first thing to never do with this question is say “I have no weaknesses”. If you do, it’ll seem like you haven’t prepared for the interview at all.

At the same time, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by ‘under-complementing’ and saying “I work way too hard”.

Try to think about a genuine weakness that you’re making an effort to fix / resolve. The interviewer will be impressed that you’re being honest with yourself and that you’re trying to improve.

4. “Why should we hire you?”

Demonstrate how driven you are to be hired for this role. If you have everything that the Hiring Manager is looking for, then point it out, immediately! Talk about the other things you can ‘bring to the table’ and what they could do for the company.

Do NOT compare yourself with the other applicants.

why-should-we-hire-you

5. “Where do you see yourself five years from now?”

Take this opportunity to talk about your goals and future plans. Speak to them as if your a person with vision.

6. “Why are you looking for a new job? / Why did you leave your previous job?”

Keep this one as positive as you can, even if you’ve had a negative experience (such as getting fired), don’t go into drama, that’s not going to impress anyone. Discuss how you want to develop yourself and your career, not get more money (definitely don’t mention that).

7. “What do you know about our company?”

This can be an incredibly easy question to answer and impress on IF you do your homework. Try and learn as much as you can about the company and their offering, have they received any awards recently? Been in the news? Who are their main players? (same previous two questions apply to them as well).

By answering this effectively and confidently, you’ll show that you really do have a genuine interest in them.

8. “What do you consider your biggest achievement to date?”

This is a tricky one and requires an answer which is relevant to the job.

Sure, talking about how you decreased the companies IT costs by 21% is interesting, but pretty irrelevant if you’ve gone in for a Sales Manager role…

Talk about how you developed a fantastic sales offering / package which increased company profits by **%, that’s going to impress them!

9. “What are your salary expectations?”

A very tricky and dangerous question to answer during an interview. If you’ve researched the position enough and are confident you could give the company what they want, then it may be worth putting a figure on the table.

Then again, if you want to avoid talking about it, then say money isn’t really a motivator and you’re just looking to develop yourself and your career. You might also try an approach that Liz Ryan (Forbes – Human Workplace) recommends, which is by saying “I’m focusing on jobs in the $50k range” Is this position in that range?”.

filthy-rich

10. “Do you have any questions for me?”

The grand finale! This one comes up almost every time unless the interviewer just forgets to ask it.

Make sure you have some questions prepared, as this will (once again) show that you have done some research and are keen to know / learn more about them and the job.

But really, ask some questions that you genuinely want answers for. You’re interested in this position, right?

Keep in mind that this is only a very small offering of interview questions that might come up. Interviewers and Hiring Managers are getting more and more creative by the day with what they ask, so make sure you go armed with good answers.

5 Ways to Scare Away Your Pre-Interview Nerves

Even the best of us have been there. We’ve fully prepped ourselves for a job interview and are on our way to it and then….the dreaded pre-interview nerves work their way into your system to wreak havoc!

You’re certainly not alone though. In a survey taken in 2013, 92% of respondents (American) stressed over one or more aspects of a job interview, with 17% feeling nervousness dealt the most stress, so you are most certainly not alone.

In today’s post, we’re going to discuss 5 of the very best ways to banish those pre-interview nerves and worries.

1. Laughter really is the best medicine

Laughing has been scientifically proven to help cure various illnesses and diseases, but it’s especially effective at reducing your cortisol levels (stress hormone) and anxiety.

Think about the last time you had a really good laugh and try to repeat whatever caused it! Was it a good movie? Something a friend said? Anything! Try to get yourself laughing a few hours before your interview to beat down those nerves.

2. Music, music, music!

Just like laughter, music can have an incredible effect on how we feel right before an interview. Music will either put you into a low-stress state or will give you a huge confidence boost or ‘pumped up’.

Choosing the right song can also help you to feel a sense of inspiration, which will help you out enormously during the interview!

listening to music

3. Eat away the nerves

Most times, nerves leave us feeling nauseous or sick and the worst possible thing you can do to exasperate this is by going into the interview on an empty stomach.

Eating the right foods before your interview will give you energy and help your brain to function correctly. It’ll also make you feel good if you eat something particularly ‘yummy’; just try to avoid sugary snacks and treats!

4. Have you done your homework?

The worst, worst, WORST thing you can do is arrive at an interview without having done any research or homework beforehand.

By learning about the company, you’ll be able to talk confidently about them and what they do, and by learning some common interview questions and answers, you’ll hopefully be able to answer (almost) everything they throw at you.

5. You are a boss!

Take this into account, why have you got this interview? Why are they giving you their valuable time to interview you for this job? It’s easy…because you earned it! These people want to talk to you!

Your strengths and skills have got you this interview, that’s an excellent accomplishment, whatever the job.

If taking this into account doesn’t fill you with a sense of achievement and confidence, as well as ANNIHILATING those pre-interview nerves, then I don’t know what will.

you da man

Being nervous and anxious is a part of life, which we can come face to face with at any time. However, there is absolutely no reason why you cannot get over your nerves with ease.

Heed these tips and make that interview yours!

2017’s Most Requested Skills – #HowToGetHired

So what are the top skills of 2016?

It’s nearing the end of October and according to LinkedIn and their vast data resources, there’s a good chance that you or someone you know is looking for a new job! This is the month that they see the highest amount of job applications made.

In today’s post, we’re going to be revealing the top skills of 2016 for you, as well as comparing them with last years results.

If you’re preparing yourself for a job search (or are already in one) then maybe it’s time to focus on learning / improving your knowledge of one of the following skills. Who knows, it might even land you a job!

  1. Cloud and Distributed Computingno change
  2. Statistical Analysis and Data Miningno change
  3. Web Architecture and Development Framework up 6 places
  4. Middleware and Integration Softwareup 1 place
  5. User Interface Designup 5 places
  6. Network and Information Securityup 1 place
  7. Mobile Developmentdown 1 place
  8. Data Presentationnot recorded in 2015
  9. SEO / SEM Marketingdown 5 places
  10. Storage Systems and Managementdown 2 places

2015:

  1. Cloud and Distributed Computing
  2. Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
  3. Marketing Campaign Management
  4. SEO / SEM Marketing
  5. Middleware and Integration Software
  6. Mobile Development
  7. Network and Information Security
  8. Storage Systems and Management
  9. Web Architecture and Development Frameworks
  10. User Interface Design

So as you can see, there were quite a few changes, both positive and negative.

A demand for SEO / SEM Marketers has slowed down quite a bit, with its rank being dropped from 4th to a worrying 9th. Marketing Campaign Management (seen in the 2015 list) has completely dropped off! LinkedIn says:

Demand for marketing skills is slowing because the supply of people with marketing skills has caught up with employers’ demand for people with marketing skills

Data and cloud continue to clutch the top spot, being comfortably planted at #1 for the last two years.

These skills are in such high demand because they’re at the cutting edge of technology. Employers need employees with cloud and distributed computing, statistical analysis and data mining skills to stay competitive.

Data Presentation has made a first-time appearance on the list, achieving spot #8. Statistical Analysis and Data Mining didn’t move from its second spot either:

employers need employees who can organize data so it’s easy for people to understand

User Interface Design is absolutely smashing these ranks, being placed at #14 in 2014, #10 last year and #5 this year, that’s the second largest jump on this year’s top skills list!

Data has become central to many products, which has created a need for people with user interface design skills who can make those products easy for customers to use

That’s the end of this years look at LinkedIn’s top skills of 2016 data breakdown, you can view the entire report here, which even features statistics for top skills by country (including the UK).

If you have any of these skills, then make sure you’re featuring them on your LinkedIn profile. That’s going to be the best way of telling Recruiters and Hiring Managers what you’re capable of and (more importantly) you’ll up show in their search results!

If however, you don’t have any of these skills, but some of them stand out to you and sound interesting, then why not take some time to learn about them, and invest in some paid for training / certifications.

7 signs that it’s time to quit your job…as told through GIFS

Do you even realise your stuck in a job you don’t enjoy? If you do, then you’re part of the apparently 60% (yes, 60!) of UK workers that are unhappy in their current jobs.

If you find yourself matching up with any of the below, then it’s seriously time to start thinking about moving on.

Your clock watching ‘skills’ are off the charts

clockwatching

It’s perfectly normal to regularly check the clock around an ‘important’ part of the day, be that a break, lunchtime or home time. However, if you’ve found yourself counting down the minutes till your next kitchen trip, then you’re definitely not happy in your job!

You’re (now) only interested in working for money

moneyy

Lost interest in the work you’re carrying out, and are only making the effort to get through the day for money? Well then, you dislike your job!

You dread the thought of getting into and getting out of bed…

sunday night

You should be looking forward to the upcoming working week, not looking like this poor job-hating chap above!

You despise your commute and everything about it

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I should add that before quitting your job because of your commute, you should try another form of transportation first, just in case it makes it a bit more bearable. If not, then quit your job!

Promotion? Ah, who cares….

shrugg

The thought of a promotion and a pay rise doesn’t interest you? You’re still in your job why…?

Daydreaming about more ‘exciting’ things…

ddreaming

Daydreaming for an extended period of time when in the office just screams “FIND A NEW JOB!!!”

You genuinely don’t enjoy your job!

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This one doesn’t need an explanation. Quit your job.

If you match up with any of the above, then trust me, it’s time to find yourself a new job.

If you need help with that, then why not let us do the hard work for you by registering your CV at https://www.mansell.co.uk.