Getting an interview for the job you want to be hired for is the first step in employment. For many it can be a daunting task; what will they ask you, how will I respond, what will the questions be like?
You will never know the exact questions your prospective employer is going to ask, but you can prepare for some pretty common ones that are standard for many job interviews. The trick is to know how to answer these common questions in a way that makes you stand out from the other applicants.
With our years of experience as a leading London recruitment agency, we know the top questions you will face and how to answer them, so we'll let you in on these secrets.
Why do you want this job?
It's an obvious question, but it seems to throw candidates immediately off their game. Why is that? Think back to when you first saw the advert for the job and what your feelings were? Were you excited? Positive? Couldn’t wait to get started? You have to find a way to convey that to your prospective employers and sound professional at the same time. Don’t fall into the trap of making it all about you however. You should tell the interviewer how your skills can benefit the company, and be specific about these skills.
Tell us about yourself
Where do you start when someone asks you this? Assume they don’t want details of your childhood, and don’t just go over your CV. When interviewers ask you this, what they are really saying is that they want some background to fill out the CV you have offered them. It really isn’t a trick question. Imagine if you were interviewing a candidate and you wanted to know more about them. What are their interests outside of work? What do they do socially? Do they have any passions or other academic qualifications that could help in the position that they are applying for? Don’t waffle - have a clear answer in your head that is a true representation of yourself.
Why should we hire you?
Don’t just go through your CV at this point, the interviewer has already read it, and don’t mention the other candidates, as you know nothing about them. Instead, acknowledge the qualifications on your CV that have brought you to this point, and touch on other qualities that you cannot mention in the CV. For instance, you might be exceptional at keeping calm under intense pressure, or you may be able to communicate well with all walks of life. Describe these ‘softer’ skills that you cannot easily place on your CV to round out your overall character.
What is your greatest strength?
Many people do not really know what their greatest strength is, so it is a good idea to ask work colleagues or friends. It is not enough to say that you always give ‘100%’ or that you are a ‘hard worker’, these answers are boring and have been heard many times before. What interviewers want is the truth. What is your USP? Ask around. One woman in our office who really couldn’t think of anything and asked her colleagues was surprised when they all said that she brought an energy and brightness to the team that galvanised them into action.
What is your greatest weakness?
Here’s not the time to spill over into confessional mode and tell the interviewer your darkest secrets. What they are looking for is that you are humble enough to know what you suck at, and that you are taking steps to tackle it. The point is also to be truthful. Don’t make up something trivial just to look good - people are not stupid and they will smell a rat a mile away. Be honest, state the problem, and how you are dealing with it. For instance, you can be a control freak at times, but you are learning to delegate tasks to members of your team.
If you want more tips gain a top PA job in London, a permanent office support role, or an exciting office manager opportunity, explore the Love Success blog today!
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