Common Interview Questions and Answers
How to answer common interview questions
From the ordinary to the weird and wacky and sometimes tough interview questions to answer, this series covers the common interview questions an employer might ask. We start by looking at the most basic interview questions and answers and then work our way through to some more tough interview questions and answers.
For each question, we’ve got the interview tips and tricks to help you nail your answer – breaking down the reasons why employers might choose to ask it, possible responses, as well as what to avoid when answering these interview opening questions. To find out the best answers to common job interview questions, follow the links below!
Do you have an upcoming video interview? Learn about how video interviews differ from traditional interviews, and how to ace them!
Industry specific interview questions and answers
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1. Tell me about yourself
A common interview question to prepare for. Candidates often wonder, what does the interviewer really want to know?
For employers, this is one of the most common interview questions to ask candidates.
Highlight your key skills and experience and don’t just read from your CV.
Avoid listing information and talking for the sake of talking.
How to answer what can you tell me about yourself
2. Why do you want to work for us?
Employers want to find out the motivations behind your graduate job application – not just because you stumbled across it on a jobs board.
This common interview question provides an ideal opportunity for you to demonstrate why and how you would be a perfect fit for the company.
Our graduate recruitment experts have provided example answers to help you prepare for these questions in an interview.
How to answer why do you want to work for us
3. What are your salary expectations?
Choosing the best way to respond to this job interview question requires careful consideration.
Avoid sounding unrealistic however ensure you do not seem indifferent.
We explore answering this interview question looking at ‘what is your salary expectation’ sample answer, how to answer the salary question in an email, as well as how to answer your desired salary on online.
How to answer what are your salary expectations
4. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
This interview question is to test self-awareness, skillset, composure and communication skills.
We examined this interview question and learned how to answer without sounding smug or giving a cliché answer.
Check out ‘what is your greatest strength’ and ‘what is your greatest weakness’ sample answers and things you should avoid when answering one of the most common interview questions for graduates.
How to answer what are your strengths and weaknesses
5. What is your greatest achievement?
It is critical that you carefully consider how you answer questions like this – you don’t want to sound boastful, but still demonstrate your accomplishment in a way that makes you stand out from other candidates.
Click the link below to find out why employers ask this interview question, as well as professional and non-professional greatest achievement examples and answers to help you construct your own answer to the interview question.
How to answer what is your greatest achievement
6. Do you have any questions for me?
The chance to ask questions at the end of your interview is your opportunity to find out details of the role you’ve been wanting to know.
Perhaps you’ve been wondering what the company culture is like, or would like to find out about the day-to-day responsibilities of the job.
It is the best time to find out if the role is right for you.
Plan your interview questions to ask employers, to ensure you sound interested and keen to learn more about the company you’re interviewing at.
How to answer do you have any questions for me
7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A graduate job interview question like this requires careful consideration. Be sure that your 5-year plan aligns with the company’s 5-year goals.
You need to demonstrate commitment and ambition to the employer.
We examine some example answers to the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Watch our short video to get some tips on how to respond.
How to answer where do you see yourself in 5 years
8. Why should we hire you?
It may seem like a straightforward job interview questions for graduates, ‘Why should we hire you?’ can actually be one of the toughest questions to answer. You need to sell yourself whilst trying not to sound arrogant.
To decide how best to answer it, it’s important to reflect on why this common interview question is actually being asked. We have constructed best example answers to help you with your interview preparation.
How to answer why should we hire you
9. What are your hobbies and interests?
We look at ‘what are your hobbies’ with example answers. Choose hobbies and interests that are work-appropriate and not too vague, this shows other passions and skills to potential employers.
We dive into why employers ask this common interview question, the difference between hobbies and interests, example answers and what to avoid when answering.
How to answer what are your hobbies and interests
10. Are you interviewing anywhere else?
Employers ask this to find out whether you’re interviewing with any of their competitors and to gauge how fast they will have to respond if they were to offer you the role.
Check out these ‘are you applying for other jobs’ best answers. We have broken down this interview question and provided examples based on whether you are interviewing for jobs in other industries, interviewing for competitors, or not interviewing anywhere else at all.
How to answer are you interviewing anywhere else
11. How do you handle stress?
Employers want to know that you can handle stress in a professional and constructive manner.
Consider different variations of this common interview question. E.g – ‘what stress management techniques do you use?’ or ‘please give an example of a stressful situation you have been in’.
How to answer how do you handle stress
12. Describe yourself in 3 words
Attempting to describe your personality in a graduate job interview can be tricky – especially when you’re limited to just a few words.
Choose from our list of words to describe yourself in a graduate job interview, select the words that describe your working style, personality and priorities in the very best light!
How to answer describe yourself in 3 words
13. What motivates you at work?
Another common job interview question is ‘what motivates you at work?’ This can catch graduates off-guard – so it’s important to make sure you are fully prepared to answer it.
Find out the best way to answer this interview question, example answers and what to avoid when answering.
How to answer what motivates you at work?
14. What makes you unique?
In a graduate job interview, employers will be looking for information to help them make a decision on whether or not they should hire you.
‘What makes you unique?’ is the perfect interview question to help them differentiate between you and other candidates.
We look at a variety of example answers and ways to explore what sets you apart from the hundreds of other candidates applying for the same job as you!
How to answer what makes you unique?
15. Why do you want to leave your current job?
Employers ask this interview question to gain an understanding of the reasons behind your job search, and your incentives for leaving your current graduate job.
Click the link below for top advice on how to answer from graduate recruitment experts.
We reveal multiple example answers as well as a list of reasons for leaving a job, and much more!
How to answer why do you want to leave your current job
Tips for a successful face-to-face interview
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The STAR technique
If you’ve been through all of our killer interview answers for those tricky interview questions, you will have realised there is a pattern we follow for our job interview question and answer samples… The STAR interview technique! This is a highly effective way of answering graduate job interview questions. The situation, task, action, result format can be used to answer competency-based interview questions, by drawing upon real examples and tangible results. Find out how to use the STAR technique in a graduate job interview: