Emotions can run rampant when you walk into a job interview, with nervousness often at the top of the list! Don’t stress, nerves are natural and interviewers understand that you’re likely to feel outside your comfort zone. In addition to being well presented and punctual, you can lighten the load by thinking about interview questions and answers before you arrive. Each interview will cover different topics, but here are some of the common interview questions you’re likely to face.
Tell me about yourself
This ice-breaking question is designed to help you relax and introduce yourself to the person – or people – in the room. Use this time to explain where you live, give an overview of your experience in the industry and any hobbies or interests that relate to the job. There’s no need to go into personal details or long stories, just keep the conversation relevant to the job position and paint a picture of who you are and what motivates you.
Why are you applying for this position?
Write down a few key points on a notepad or your resume, and take them with you to the interview. Show your potential new boss you’ve researched the company, can link your experience to their position, and list some of the things you like about their values, processes and outcomes. Have you heard this business recommended by others? Do you use their services yourself and feel it would be a great learning environment? Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to work in this particular industry, and feel like you can bring a particular quality to their workplace? If you don’t have the exact skills or experience they need, let them know you’re prepared to undertake training and are interested in learning.
What skills can you bring to our company?
Don’t be afraid to look down at your notes, and refer to it with a line like ‘as you’ll see in my resume when I worked in the storeroom at Ethan’s Electrical Warehouse (for example), I learnt all about inventory, product ordering and stock control. This will be a great fit for the position doing x, y and z.’
Tell me about a conflict situation or issue you’ve handled, and how you’ve resolved it?
Workplaces have many responsibilities with today’s rules and regulations, and employers want to know you are a team player and problem solver. Before you head into an interview, make a note of a problem you overcame in your previous workplace, and draw out the positives from that experience. For example, you could turn a story into a catalyst for change, or show how you learnt from a mistake.
What are your strengths? Give us an example of a time you’ve added value or made a positive change in a previous workplace.
Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn! Whether it’s a sales target you achieved in a previous position, an award you won, a new project you helped with, or something as simple as a thank you letter or customer feedback on your work performance and behaviour. Everyone has strengths, so be sure to list ones that make you a great candidate for the job.
Do you have anything else you’d like to add?
If the interviewer hasn’t asked a particular question or explained something about the job description, speak up now. It’s also a good time to add in anything about yourself that you think may help you secure the job. For example, if you also have a successful hobby or side interest that doesn’t quite fit into the position you’re applying for, but it’s something you’re proud of, then mention it here. This is not the time to talk about wages or annual holidays though! Save that for later.
Our friendly and experienced team of Employment Consultants hope these tips will help you feel more prepared when you walk into your interview. Be sure to check out our other advice in the online Job Seeker Resource Library. Feel free to call 1800 566 066 or visit request a callback here for more information.