There following interview questions are so common that you’ll undoubtedly have faced them in the past… but that doesn’t mean they should be taken lightly! Use our advice below to beat the cliché.
What is your biggest flaw?
This question is so over-used that the usual way of flipping it into something great has become stale. Rather than saying “My biggest flaw is that I am a perfectionist, and can’t settle until something is done right”. Say “I used to be a huge perfectionist, but found it near-impossible to finish tasks with that frame of mind. I decided to take constructive criticism from other team members, meaning not only was the work done to a great standard – it was finished quicker.”.
This avoids using the cliché, but still shows a positive from a negative.
Why you want to leave your current job?
Here is the ‘I hate my boss’ trap that you must avoid. Don’t slate the company, your boss or you old colleagues. You run a huge risk of leaving a very bad taste in the employers mouth. If you are leaving due to serious complications, this will no doubt be brought up in reference checks. The best thing you can do here is explain the situations with as much truth as possible, but in a good frame.
For example, if you are leaving your job due to an act of gross misconduct – fighting with a colleague perhaps – you could say “ The disagreement stemmed from a malicious comment made at my expense, when I was in a vulnerable situation. My emotions overrode my rationality at the time.”
Opinions may differ on this subject – some may wish to lie to cover up the situation or plead innocence, blaming the other parties, however as the event will most likely be revealed in the end anyway, honestly is the best policy.
What salary are you looking for?
Your response to this question could potentially either devalue or humiliate you.
You could either se the responsibilities and duties in the job description, against your current role (assuming they’re similar) to gauge the salary needed, research into usual salaries for the company, or salaries for similar roles in other companies.
For example, if you’re an administrator earning £15,000 per year, and the job you’re applying for is more advanced than the role you’re in (but you’re fully competent) you would expect to be paid above your current salary, but less than the next rank up – again, use your research to gauge.
What do you think about “X” ?
Here’s a really tricky one – when the employer asks your opinion on something you have no idea about! Example: “How do you feel about the GHDT?” or “what are you opinions on the recent changes to SHF legislations?”
If you’re completely clueless, say it. Unless you can really successfully blag a question, you’ll just make yourself look a fool. Your reply could be along the lines of: “I don’t think I’ve come across that organisation – will I be required to know more about them for this role?”
What does the future hold for you?
Here’s where the interviewer has a chance to discover whether you’ll stick around. A bad answer would be that you’re hoping to move abroad in the near future, or that you’d ideally like to own your own business. A good answer would show commitment to the company, for example:
“I’d love to fully immerse myself in this role, learning as much as possible. I would embrace any opportunities to progress within the company”.