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Here is a list of 10 commonly asked interview questions.
1. Tell me about yourself.
Keep it short and to the point and clearly summarise your strengths, skills, key qualifications, and relevant experience. It’s also an opportunity to disclose some of your interests and hobbies – these human factors can help build rapport between you and the interviewer, which is a great first step.
2. What motivated you to apply for this position?
Read over the position description, key selection criteria, and review the organisation’s website to get a better understanding of the company culture and values. Make sure you go prepared with some reasons why you applied that align with what the organisation is specifically looking for. Do your beliefs, interests and passions align with that of the company? What sets this role apart from others you’ve considered?
3. What do you know about the organisation?
Building on question 2, this is a good time to highlight your excitement and enthusiasm to work for this particular organisation. Employers want to know if you have done your research and are genuinely interested in working for them. Get an understanding of the industry, culture, and values but don’t get too caught up in your research! You may mention some organisational highlights or key milestones.
4. What are your strengths?
Think of three strengths you have that would add real value to the organisation and the position you’re applying for and provide examples, either from your previous work experience or perhaps from school, volunteering or other contexts like sporting teams. It’s not enough to just mention a strength without providing an example, everyone can say they’re a good communicator but what makes communication one of your strengths? Remember, don’t forget to align your strengths with what the employers are looking for.
5. What are your weaknesses?
The interviewer simply wants to know if you’re self-aware and open to learning and developing your skills. We all have weaknesses (things we’re working on), what’s one thing you’re working on? Think of one thing to share but make sure you emphasise that it’s something you’re working on. Whilst it might be tempting to choose a round-about answer that you think will win you interview points...such as ‘I always take on too much work and don’t know how to say no’...it’s much more important to show your growth mindset and that you are actively working towards an area of improvement.
6. What do you think it takes to be successful in this position?
The answer to this question is hidden in the position description and key selection criteria. Read through both thoroughly and note down three things that the organisation finds important to be successful in the position. A common follow up question will require you to provide examples of the things you have identified, so come ready with some examples.
7. What has been your most rewarding accomplishment?
It’s a good idea to share an accomplishment that aligns with the role you’re applying for. If for example teamwork is highlighted in the position description, think of a time you accomplished something in a team and share that example. Whatever you share ensure your answer is genuine.
8. What are your goals for the future?
The interviewer is trying to get a gauge on your ambition and if your goals align with the company and role. Think about what your future short-term and long-term career goals are and how the role you’re applying for can help you achieve these goals.
9. Tell me about a time... (Behavioural questions)
Behavioural questions focus on your past experiences by asking you to discuss specific times when you have displayed a particular skill or attribute. When structuring your responses, the STAR acronym can help guide answers.
- S – Situation. Think of a situation that is relevant and in context, include any challenges you had.
- T – Task. Describe your role.
- A – Action. Highlight what you did, include processes, technical skills, and soft skills you used in your actions.
- R – Result. Provide details on the outcome, this should be specific and focus on the impact of your actions. This section should also relate closely back to the question.
Remember – while you should aim to use work examples, it’s OK to use examples that are not employment related. For example, your teamwork skills may be best described by a STAR response around a school, TAFE, or university project.
10. Do you have any questions for us?
This is a great opportunity for you to ask some thoughtful questions that will help you decide if the job and/or company are right for you.
Here are some examples to get you thinking about what questions would be right for you:
- What would a typical day in this position look like?
- What is the most challenging part of the position?
- Can you please tell me a bit about the team and the team culture?
- What have people in this role previously enjoyed about it?
You can also ask the panel if they have got all the information they needed off you—sometimes they might have one or two more things they’d like to hear more on.
And finally, it’s important to remember that it’s OK to ask for a question to be repeated or explained further. Many hiring managers will appreciate someone who wants to do a great job at an interview, and everyone knows nerves can be high! Breathe, take your time and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or time to collect your thoughts. Good-luck!
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Last reviewed 15 November 2021.