Interview Questions and Answers

by Waller Jamison 

When you are preparing for an interview it is crucial to consider interview questions and answers. You will never know 100% which questions will be asked, but you can have a good idea what is likely to come up. So here are some of the common yet tricky questions and some tips to help you answer them.

Tell me about yourself.

This is quite common but if you aren't careful it could get your interview off to a bad start if you start to ramble. Prepare a short elevator speech to highlight your main educational and work experiences as they relate to this job. Don't forget, it's all about what you can do for the employer.

Questions about your present, or most recent, job can be tricky and if you aren't careful you can ruin your chances by making negative or undiplomatic comments.

In an ideal world, we'd all get on brilliantly with the boss and our colleagues - and we'd love every minute of the job. If this were the case, it's very unlikely we'd ever look for another post.

In the real world, the reason you want to leave a job may well be that you don't get on with the boss or your immediate supervisor, or that the routine has become mind-numbingly boring.

However terrible your present job, the interview is not the time to discuss it. You must be professional and don't forget, if you are offered the position, the people interviewing you will be your boss and colleagues and they don't want to work with someone who will complain about them at the first opportunity.

What questions might an interviewer ask you about your present or most recent job?

  • How do you get on with your boss?
  • And how do you get on with your co-workers?
  • Why do you want to leave?
  • What do you hate about your job?
  • Tell me what you would do if . . …………?

Followed by a difficult situation you could encounter.

Think about the sort of difficulties which might arise in this job. You could be faced with a customer who isn't happy with the goods or services and is getting very angry, or perhaps you could have a colleague who isn't pulling his or her weight in the team and this is affecting everyone's performance. What would you do?

Think about potential examples and how you would deal with them effectively. You need to get the balance right. No-one likes a whistle-blower, but you have to consider the company's interests.

You might also be asked questions which need examples from your own work experience. This could be someone like: Tell me about a time you negotiated a difficult sale or Give me an example of when you solved a problem at work.

Or they could be more specific, relating directly to activities concerning your own profession.

Why are you interested in this job? The answer might be "the money and the perks", but that is not what you want to say. Come up with an answer which shows how valuable you will be to them. For example, choose a skill you know they really need and which you have and say that you look forward to the opportunity to use it.