Typical Questions Asked During an Interview

Typical Questions Asked During an Interview

The thought of accepting a HR call for interview on any recent job application can be a little daunting for the vast majority of people. Whether starting out on a new career, changing employer or returning to work after a lengthy time away can leave one with a feeling of apprehension.

The first step to making a good impression in the interview is good preparation. Researching a list of potential questions that the interviewee may ask can be beneficial to helping with responding confidently during the interview. Providing solid answers to potential questions, with relevant examples in previous experiences, can provide real insight into the required personality type for the role. The answers can also demonstrate the abilities and experiences that have been acquired to date.

There is a vast amount of information online. Search Google for standard interview questions and also how to frame answers.  Some companies use competency based interview questions, which ask questions about specific competencies being sought in the advertised job. 

Potential questions that can be asked in an interview may include:

  • –  Why did you apply for this job?
  • –  What do you know about this company?
  • –  Where do you see yourself in two to three years?
  • –  Describe yourself?
  • –  What has been your biggest achievement to date?
  • –  What are some of your key strengths and weaknesses? When listing a weakness, always turn it around by offering it as a recent experience. For example, if confidence levels are not their best when giving presentations. This answer could be backed up by saying that increasing self-development is part of a one year personal plan to improve confidence levels, by taking a course in presentation skills.
  • –  Do you work best on your own or in a team environment?
  • –  If there are any gaps in the curriculum vitae, interviewees may ask why. Provide them with an honest answer, whether it was raising family, undertaking a course, etc.
  • –  How would your colleagues describe you?
  • –  How do you deal with criticism?
  • –  Why should we give you this job?

Prior to the interview it can be helpful to do some deep breathing. This can be refreshing and grounding before entering the meeting. Also, browse over the curriculum vitae to memorise specific details, including dates. Remember to hydrate and eat a light snack, even if the nerves are playing havoc.

During the interview it is important to answer all questions with honesty and clarity. If unsure about the question being asked, it is appropriate to ask for a little clarity. Maintain a friendly manner, good posture and good eye-contact with each interviewee throughout the interview.

Finally, when the interview concludes, thank each interviewee for the opportunity of the interview with a firm handshake. Leave the building following the meeting, don’t hang around. Check personal correspondence daily to ensure that replies to potential notifications are prompt, and hopefully allow enough time to prepare for the interview.

How to Prepare for an Interview

How to Prepare for an Interview

Preparation for a job interview can unnerve almost anyone. The thought of it is worse than actually doing it. It can cause a sleepless night before the meeting. Preparation is important to help overcome any feelings of anxiousness. Many people find that once the meeting begins, the nerves calm and the brain refocuses again to give a good performance.

These simple tips can help to achieve a greater level of ease and confidence to undertake any interview:

  • –  Research the organisation, including their products/services, staff, history, etc.
  • –  Know the job specification in detail. Fully understand what each requirement entails.
  • –  Interview questions will ask about experience relevant to the role details in the job advertisement – so prepare some examples of how skills were put into practice.
  • –  Use a framework such as ‘STAR’, which can help to answer questions the following questions. What was the Situation? What was the Task being presented? What Actions were undertaken? What Results were achieved?
  • –  Practice a trial interview with a close colleague. Ask them for their constructive and honest feedback, particularly on communication skills, posture and appearance.
  • –  Plan an appropriate outfit for the meeting. Visualise being dressed for the role.
  • –  Prepare examples of past experiences, relevant to the role, including answers that highlight key strengths and weaknesses.
  • –  Keep answers brief and relevant to the questions, don’t ramble.
  • –  Delete any social media content that may damage the application. HR professional can browse online to find out more personal details.
  • –  Research frequently asked questions in an interview, relevant for the job.
  • –  Plan the route at least the day before the interview. Know where the car-park is and where the location of the interview is within the building. This will ease further stress, and ensure that there is time to relax and breathe before for the meeting.

Show the panel of interviewees plenty of interest and motivation toward the potential new role, and personal commitment to continuous learning on the job by being prepared. First impressions count, so make a strong start and even stronger finish. 

What Employers Want in An Employee and Why

What Do Employers Ask for in An Employee and Why?

This is an important question to ask yourself when you are writing your CV, your Cover Letter and preparing for an interview. Knowing what is desired will guide you to writing your best CV and communicating your most important traits and activities well.


Are You a Problem Solver?

This will be asked in a number of indirect ways in the interview and it’s a question in the employer’s mind when they screen your CV. Of course, many different problems will come up in work so it’s essential they hire an employee that finds solutions. Make sure your CV communicates the problems that arose, the actions you took and the results of your actions. Furthermore, practice articulating stories of problems you’ve solved in work for the interview when you’ll invariably be prompted to speak on problem solving.


Can You Deal with Managing Many Tasks?

You are very likely to be asked to show evidence of how you prioritise work in an interview, and for good reason – the position you are applying for most likely will leave the successful applicant in situations with a lot of tasks assigned to them with different deadlines. Many of us aren’t particularly good at this so I recommend reading the article below on how to prioritise tasks in work. This information is quite intuitive, so you’ll have shown good management of work already. The Eisenhower box below will reinforce what you already knew about prioritising and allow you to discuss clearly how you conceptualise prioritising workload and how you have done it in the past.



Do You Have a Willingness to Ask Questions?

Why do employers like to see you asking questions in an interview? Wanting to know more about what the job entails or more about information gained doing research on the company. They want someone that’s going to proactively learn on the job by asking questions. An employee that seeks out information is preferred to an employee that just takes in what is taught. Asking questions shows you are actively learning, thinking about what is being taught and voicing any problems you might have which all leads to you producing a higher quality of work.



This blog is about learning what the employer wants in an employee so that you can work on the attributes that pleases employers so that you can show evidence of these characteristics in future interviews and get that position you are searching for. If you research and practice your ability to prioritise and manage work, increase your propensity to ask questions and to work on providing solutions to problems, you will be in a great position to perform your next job as well as you can!


If you haven’t read our last blog on how to gain experience when you have none, you can read that here: