Answering job interview questions can be very intimidating. You worry that one wrong answer can be the difference between landing the job and going home feeling defeated.
So when the interviewer asks important questions, it is easy for your mind to go blank. Suddenly you can’t remember any situation you’ve ever had at work.
Here are some popular interview questions that might require a little more preparation than others.
Don’t feel like you can’t brag about what you have done well. Explain how the achievement came about, whether it was at work or while you were studying. If you can, go into detail about how hard you worked, what you did to accomplish it and what kind of impact it had.
It is difficult to say negative things in interviews, because you want to sell yourself. But elaborate how you learnt from it. Explain a time you didn’t quite finish something, or your work didn’t have the impact you had hoped. Then say how determined you are now to learn and adapt.
It seems unnatural to tell an interviewer your weaknesses. Don’t go into detail about how you are notorious for sleeping in and don’t say your weakness is that you are *too* passionate. Think of weaknesses you are able to address in a new role. Perhaps your weakness is time management. Come up with a solution and tell your employer how you plan to manage your time better.
Think about mistakes you made that you overcame. Even better if you can explain how you learnt from it. An employer wants to see you can acknowledge your mistakes. You need to show you can learn and adapt, they are not trying to catch you out.
If you are leaving a job, don’t complain about your current employer. It shows a lack of loyalty and it is better to show potential new employers that you won’t just stop working somewhere when you don’t like it anymore. You can express a want for new challenges, more opportunities or simply because you want more hours.
Have a clear career plan in mind, even if you can only talk about the next few years. Not everyone knows what they are going to do, but don’t show lack of motivation or drive. Employers will not be impressed if you don’t know your next steps, because they can’t be sure how long you will stick around.
You don’t want it to seem like you’re going for hundreds of other opportunities and you’d be fine without the job. But you also don’t want to seem like you have no motivation and you won’t apply for anywhere else, because they will question how much you really want to work. Suggest you’d look at other alternatives, but that you’re really passionate about this role and it would be something you’d keep aiming for.