Best responses

May 2011

Successful job interviewAttending a job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience if you are unprepared. Jobsite and BCSRecruit.com have created a list of typical interview questions and best responses.

1. Tell me about yourself

  • Keep your answer to one or two minutes; don’t ramble.
  • Do not go back to childhood experiences, just give a brief outline of where you are from and where you want to be going.
  • Use your CV introduction as a starting base.
  • Say only positive statements.

2. What do you know about our company?

  • Show that you have done your research. Know what their products are, how big the company is, roughly what their annual revenue is, what reputation it has within the industry and on the street.
  • Know the company’s history, image, goal, and philosophy,
  • Show an informed interest that allows the interviewer to tell you some more detailed aspects about the company.

3. Why do you want to work for us?

  • Don’t talk about what you want; first talk about their needs and what you can do for them.
  • You wish to be part of their company: identify its strengths.
  • You relish the challenge of solving their company’s problems.
  • You can make a definite contribution to specific company goals.

4. What would you do for us? What can you do for us that someone else can’t?

  • Talk about successful past experience where you have helped an employer solve a problem and relate this to the job being offered.
  • Stay positive and don’t be seen to criticise other candidates.

5. Which aspects of our position do you find the most attractive? Least attractive?

  • List three or more attractive factors and only one, minor unattractive factor. Aspects to pick up on could include; office location, company reputation, the chance to work with esteemed colleagues, training opportunities, etc.

6. Why should we hire you?

  • Because of the knowledge, experience, abilities and skills you possess. Be very positive and confident in your reply, not vague.

7. What do you look for in a job?

  • An opportunity to use my skills, to perform and to be recognised.
  • The opportunity to develop further skills; throughout life we should be constantly learning.
  • Relate your answer to the job for which you are applying, e.g. ‘I enjoy a challenge and I believe this position would offer me that.’

8. What is your management style?

  • For example ‘management by coaching and development (MBCD)’ where managers see themselves primarily as employee trainers. ‘Open door’ is also a good one.

9. Are you a good manager? Give an example. Why do you feel you have top managerial potential?

  • Keep your answers achievement and task oriented.
  • Emphasise management skills – planning, organising, leadership, interpersonal, and so on.
  • Describe relevant personal traits.

10. What did you look for when you hired people in the past?

  • Skills, initiative, adaptability, team players.