Common interview questions and answers

By Anush Pervez

Tell me about yourself


This is one of the most familiar and common opening questions you’ll be faced with in an interview. Partly due to the fact that the interviewer will want to know more about you but also because they will want to gauge how you will react.


With an interview question like this, you are in control and should definitely take advantage of the situation. It’s important to remember that this question isn’t asking for your full life story, but more about the skills, qualifications and experiences you’ve gained along the years that will make you a great fit for the role that you’re interviewing for. 


A good answer should be around 3-4 minutes long and summarise exactly what you’ve achieved as well as the qualifications and experiences that are related to both the field of work you’re looking at getting into as well as the role itself.

What are your weaknesses?


The most important part of this interview question is to realise that you do actually have some. Everybody has weaknesses and things that they can improve about themselves. As such, make sure you make it apparent that you have known weaknesses but also express how you hope to/are making an effort to overcome them.


Why should you get this job?


This is without a doubt, a personal pitch of yourself! You must keep in mind that there will be at least a handful of candidates that you’re competing against for this position. With this in mind, it’s important for you to give the best you can with this question. If possible, drop in extra points about yourself that other candidates may not have mentioned to give yourself the best chance at coming out on top.


What are your salary expectations?


You should always have an answer to this question prepared at the back of your head when preparing for your interview. It’s important to do your research properly to ensure you don’t sell yourself short. Look into the average salary for someone in the industry and take area and experience/skills into consideration. However, if you get asked this question in the first stage of the interview process, there’s no need to begin negotiations. It’s usually enough to give a broad salary range to move on to the next question.


How to respond to interview questions


Whatever answers you go with, don’t crash under pressure and begin to improvise or answer in the spur of the moment. It’ll never come out as well as you hoped. It doesn’t need to be scripted but knowing the motivations behind wanting the job and what your strengths and weaknesses are should be a standard part of your preparation process and just as important as your pre-interview research.


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