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Your CV hit the spot with the recruiters and you've been invited along to meet the team in person. It's great news, but there's no doubt it can be a bit nerve-wracking — in fact, nine out of ten of us feel the fear when an interview is coming up. It's totally normal to feel butterflies beforehand — a bit like pre-exam nerves, or a case of stage fright. You've set the expectations high with that impressive CV of yours, and now it's time to show them what you're made of. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to make sure you're more prepared for your interview than you ever were for the school play.
While you can't anticipate exactly which interview questions are going to be asked, you can be fairly certain of a few, even if they're presented in different guises. Practise your answers — and have a few questions of your own ready — and you'll be getting your encore in no time. The purpose of an interview is to find out more about who you are and how you'd fit into the role. Thanks to your CV, the panel already knows you have the qualifications to do the job.
Now they want to learn more. Although job interview questions can sometimes seem a bit left-field, they're always related to the role in some way or another. Really knowing your way around the job description will help you to answer anything the panel throws at you, and prepping for the most common interview questions Interviewing for christmas date you're more likely to hit the high notes when they almost inevitably crop up. Interviewers use this one to learn about who you are as a person before delving into career questions.
Before the interview, spend time getting to know yourself. Not in a deep, meaningful Eat Pray Love kind of way — just understand where your strengths lie and how to talk about them. Study your CV. Print off a copy and make notes on it as if you were getting ready for an exam.
Highlight the parts that are most relevant to the job you're applying for, and think about how you can weave them into your answer. Think about your work history. What were your favourite things about past jobs, and what were your biggest achievements? Knowing this will help to guide the conversation. For example, if your favourite thing about your first job was the social life, your gregarious personality is something to highlight to interviewers.
Figure out your career bucket-list. Your ambitions are an important part of who you are, and talking about them at the interview will show that you're serious about your future in the industry. Write and practise a soundbite. Prepare a short, two-minute speech about who you are and rehearse it in front of the mirror. Include all the above points, relating your experience and personality traits back to the role.
Don't get too personal. Your interviewer doesn't want to hear about your family relationships, feelings about religion Interviewing for christmas date political opinions — in fact, some of these topics are actually illegal to talk about during an interview but more on that later. Keep it professional, and focus on relevant skills and experiences.
These five questions tend to come up in one form or another in almost every interview. Knowing what the interviewer is looking for — and preparing your response ahead — will help you to deliver a calm, clear and confident reply. These are the top interview questions and answers to be ready for:. This isn't about whether or not you're qualified to undertake the work — it's about how you'll fit in with the company's culture and what added value you'll bring beyond being a competent colleague.
A good answer involves an element of tooting your own horn. That can make some people feel uncomfortable, but remember that the other candidates will be doing it too, and who's going to shout about your best qualities if you don't?
Think about what you do that makes you different. Are you a social butterfly who loves arranging fun things to do? A quirky thinker who brings ideas nobody else has considered? Or someone who can think fast under the most stressful situations? Now's the time to let them know. The interviewer wants to know how you will do the job better, quicker and faster than any other candidate. Out of 10 people equally qualified, what gives you the edge? Read the job description and work out what problem the company is addressing by hiring for the role, then think about the skills and experience you have that prove you're the best person to help them solve it.
Bring real examples from your career to date, demonstrate the soft skills you'll use to your advantage, and outline how you'd approach scenarios or tasks listed in the job advert. This is to get an idea of your ambitions and your drive. Your answer needs to be realistic, and it should also reflect something you can do Interviewing for christmas date the company — so if it's UK-based with no plans to globalise, don't say "I'd love to be living overseas!
They're quite common, but sometimes gaps in a CV can be seen as a red flag.
Whether it's a gap year, a sabbatical or just bad luck, if you have a big gap there's a high chance you'll be asked about it so the interviewer can find out how reliable you are as an employee. The key is to be open, honest and natural with your answer. Talk about the reason behind your career break, what you did with the time and what you learned during it. The most important thing is to show that you made careful decisions and planned ahead, so they trust you won't suddenly decide to swan off to Thailand for six months on a whim.
The interviewer wants to hear about how your unique skills, strengths and experiences will make you the best person from the role. Remember, they're looking at you in the context of the role you've applied for, so keep it relevant. Put yourself in a position of strength by correlating your skills to the job you're applying for, what the company does or the wider industry. Before prepping your answer, learn as much you can by studying the job description and the company's website. If they're planning to open an office in Paris, now is a good time to big up your qualification in French.
Competency-based interview questions draw on real-life scenarios to find out more about your knowledge, skill set and workplace behaviour. They usually start with "tell us about a time when While you can't anticipate which competency-based questions you'll be asked, you can use a strategy to answer them well. Use the STAR technique:. Try to be as specific as possible.
If you can mention some solid sales figures, you'll definitely impress your interviewers. It would be naive to pretend that money is irrelevant when you're job hunting. Talking about earnings can be really uncomfortable, but it's part and parcel of the interview process.
Your interviewers will want to know how much you made at the past positions on your CV, especially your most recent role. This is all part of the salary negotiation process — they want to know how much you'll accept. Unfortunately it can put you in a sticky situation, as it's likely they'll look to offer you something close to Interviewing for christmas date last position — even if it was underpaid.
There's also the risk they'll back off if they think they can't afford you, not knowing that you're willing to take a pay cut for the right role if that's the case. If you're currently underpaid, say something along the lines of: "I've always felt that salary history is a private matter. If you're making a lot more than the salary range and are willing to take the cut, address it head on after revealing — or being asked about — your current salary. Explain your reasons for taking the drop to reassure your interviewers that you're serious and won't regret the decision later.
For example, "I'm passionate about working in this industry so a drop in salary is a small sacrifice" or "this role has different responsibilities than my current one and I feel the compensation you're offering is appropriate. Should you choose to disclose, it's important to be honest. It's easy for them to find out the truth when they call your references, and an early fib won't get you off to a great start. You can't prep an answer for every question, and there are bound to be a few surprises on the big day. The best way to deal with them is to have a good knowledge base to draw from. Memorise the job description.
Every question will have something to do with the role, and knowing what it involves makes it easier to connect the question back to it. Bring along a printed copy to glance at if you lose your train of thought. Know what they want to hear. The five essential points to get across in an interview should make their way into your answers. You don't have to cover all of them every time, but try to relate each question back to one or two of them and it'll give your statements more focus. Understand your own motives.
Have a good think before the interview about why you really want the job. Maybe it's because you're looking forward to more responsibility, or because the company ethos resonates with you. If they ask, you'll be able to tell them. Read through your CV.
Check your CV for any inconsistencies or employment gaps that a recruiter might spot. This way you won't be caught off guard if they ask you about them. Keep calm. Take a deep breath and a moment to think before every answer, and talk in a calm and measured way. There's no rush — slower Interviewing for christmas date is a of confidence and helps the interviewer follow your train of thought. Break down the question. Long questions are easy to fumble, so break it down into smaller parts.
If the question is really confusing, smile and ask the interviewer if they could repeat, clarify or reword it. Be ready to show off. Unexpected questions are a chance to show how you react under pressure. Don't be modest. If you have something really amazing to say, go for it. Likewise, if you don't know the answer, don't be afraid to say so. You can always offer to find out and come back to them with a follow-up.
There's nothing more anticlimactic than ending a good back and forth with a shrug and a "not really", but that's what often happens when interviewers turn the tables. Have at least five questions to ask in an interview prepped Interviewing for christmas date you'll come across as genuinely interested in the position and engaged in the process. Just like how your CV can't capture your personality, the job description can't cover the day-to-day reality of the job.
Now is the perfect time to clarify any points you're not sure about. Pay attention during the interview so you're not asking questions that have already been answered. It's a good idea to bring a pen and paper with you to jot down questions as and when you think of them. That way you can concentrate on answering the interviewer without worrying you'll forget what you want to ask by the end.
Remember: job interviews go two ways. It's not just about whether you're the right fit for the company, but if they're the right fit for you. Asking a question or two about the organisational culture will give you an idea about whether it's a good place to work. You might want to ask:. During your interview preparationyou will have read a lot of information about your client and the wider industry as a whole — thanks Google.
Show your knowledge by dropping in a question about current events, for example:. While interviewers can sometimes get creative with their questions — like Google's famous brain teasers — there are a few restrictions on what they can ask. For example, you should never be asked about:. These questions are illegal because they could be used to discriminate against you. No company wants to leave itself open to legal action, so it's highly unlikely you'll be asked them. However, if these illegal interview questions do come up during your chat, keep calm.
Politely ask why you're being asked the question to find out if it has a direct bearing on the role. If it doesn't, explain that you would prefer not to answer. Getting a job offer comes down to more than whether you're capable of carrying out certain tasks — it's about showing how you fit into the culture, demonstrating in interest and presenting your achievements and skills in a way the interviewer connects with.
Now that you know how to prepare for the main interview questions and answershead over to our Job Interview Advice hub for more tips on landing that job. Job interview questions: the ultimate guide.Interviewing for christmas date
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