Preparing answers to possible questions asked at an interview.

Articles > Preparing answers to possible questions asked at an interview.

If you go into an interview knowing that you’ve covered most of the questions that can possibly be asked, you’re well on the road to success. It’ll instil confidence and help quell any nerves that may be lurking.

Questions that are asked generally fall into four categories: –

  • Motivational – these are questions which aim to discover why you applied for the job and whether your reasons are in line with the company’s ethos and values
  • Behavioural – these questions are designed to find out how you have handled and resolved issues that have come up in the work place
  • Situational – these questions are more specific and try to uncover how you would react in certain situations
  • Skill-based – employers ask skill-based questions to try and ascertain if your skills fit and what other skills you would like to add to your skill-set

Examples of Motivational Questions

  1. Why would you like to work for us?
  2. What do you see your role as and why would you like it?
  3. What do you love about your present position?
  4. What parts of your current job don’t you enjoy?
  5. Should we decide to offer you this position, what would success look like in your eyes?
  6. Why are you leaving your current job? How have you tried to make your current position work for you?
  7. What sort of work environment are you most happy in?
  8. Looking at your work environment, what actions, events or behaviour would negatively affect your motivation?
  9. If your co-workers were asked to describe you in just three words, what would they be?
  10. With regard to team work – which team motivated you to do your best work and why?
  11. Which workplace achievement are you most proud of?

Examples of Behavioural Questions

  1. Are you able to multi-task? How do you prioritise tasks?
  2. Have you worked in a job where priorities and goals change frequently? If so, how did you cope/succeed with these changing criteria?
  3. Can you think of any projects or ideas which were successful due to your efforts?
  4. Has there ever been a time when you sat back, looked at the bigger picture and recommended or implemented a change which had long term, far reaching positive effects within a company?
  5. Who was the most difficult stakeholder who’ve had to deal with (obviously without mentioned any names)? Why was this company/person so difficult and how did you resolve the issue?
  6. Have you ever made any recommendations which had a positive pushback from a stakeholder? What did you do to influence them?
  7. Have you ever made a serious error or were unable to deliver a promised result? If so, tell me what happened and what did you learn from the experience?
  8. Which would you consider to be the most rewarding team you’ve been part of and why?
  9. Have you ever suggested a new idea or initiative to your line manager? How did you put this idea into practise?
  10. Have you ever worked with multiple stakeholders to achieve a given result? What were the challenges you encountered? What were the positive solutions?
  11. Is there any constructive feedback you’ve received which you’ve used to change your work practises?
  12. Have you ever given a team member feedback? If so, how did you go about it and how was it received?

Examples of Situational Questions

  1. There are two equally important deadlines looming, how would you prioritise?
  2. You need to make a important decision in your job – what steps would you take?
  3. You’ve noticed a mistake in the initial stages of a project which is going to push you past your deadline. What do you do?
  4. One of your colleagues has a totally different working style to you. How do you handle this?
  5. You are in a meeting and make a recommendation which you feel passionate about. Your colleagues veto your proposal. How would you react?
  6. A problem arises, and your manager suggests handling in a particular way. You don’t agree with the solution. What do you do?
  7. You are unable to build a good working relationship with one of your colleagues. How do you try and solve this problem?

Examples of Skill-Based Questions

  1. What is your professional and technical skill-set?
  2. Which of these would you most like to develop?
  3. Which of your skills do you think will be of most benefit to the position available in our company?
  4. How did your skills assist you in a recent project? What was the outcome of that project?
  5. Have you ever used your professional skills or technical experience to implement a new process in the work place?
  6. Have you ever used your skill-set to challenge an existing process? If so, how did you go about it?
  7. What do you consider to be your greatest career achievement? How deep was your involvement in this achievement and how did your skills affect this positive outcome?

The above questions are just examples. You can add many of your own, depending on your skill-set and expectations. The more you prepare your answers, the more comfortable you’ll be in an interview, hopefully resulting in a positive outcome.