View all graduate jobs To make sure the employer knows you're prepared and interested in the role make sure you have some questions ready to ask at the end of the interview Your interview is going well. You've answered all the recruiters questions confidently and the session is coming to a close.
One of the final things you'll be asked will be, 'Do you have any questions for me? Having a list of questions to ask an interviewer makes you look interested, enthusiastic and engaged - all qualities that the employer will be looking for. It also gives you one final chance to further highlight your relevant qualities and experience. Try to come up with at least four or five questions to ask the interviewer.
That way, if one or two of them are answered during the earlier discussion, you have backups in place. Avoid asking questions that focus too much on what the organisation can do for you. Save questions about salary and holiday allowance for when you've got a job offer.
Also, stay away from questions that require a yes or no answer, as you're likely to find this information on the company's website. While it's ok to ask your interviewer to clarify certain points, avoid asking about anything that has previously been covered. You don't want them to think that you haven't been paying attention.
If you need some inspiration here are some good questions to ask at an interview… Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of the role? Asking this question enables you to learn as much about the role as possible. The interviewer's response will provide insight into what skills and experience are needed, and will also help you decide if the role is right for you.
The answer will give you an idea of what the employer's expectations are, so if you're offered the job there should be no surprises when you start. How could I impress you in the first three months? This is a good question to ask at the end of a job interview because it shows potential employers that you're eager to make a positive contribution to the organisation.
Pay close attention to the recruiter's response as it will tell you how they want you to perform and will highlight particular areas of the job you should be focusing on during the first few weeks of employment. What kinds of problems do you deal with?
What kinds of decisions do you make? How does your job affect your general lifestyle? What are some common career paths in this field? What kinds of accomplishments tend to be valued and rewarded in this field? What related fields would you recommend I also look into? How did you become interested in this field? How did you begin your career? How do most people get into this field? What are common entry-level jobs? What steps would you recommend I take to prepare to enter this field?
How relevant is your undergraduate major to your work? What kind of education, training, or background does your job require? Can you recommend trade journals, magazines or professional associations which would be helpful for my professional development? If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself?
Why do you want to work for us? Why are you interested in this position? Illegal interview questions. How to give an elevator pitch. Do you have any questions for me? Is there anything else we should know about you? When can you start? Tell me about yourself.
How you respond to this question will set the tone for the rest of the interview, and if you give a bad answer it also has the potential to ruin your chances of getting the job. Interviewers are looking to get to know you as a person and what interests you, and they might want to see how you react to being asked an unstructured question. Interviewers ask this question because they want to get a feel for your skills, your personality, and what you can do to help their business.
What is your greatest strength? Talking about your greatest strengths gives interviewers a look into your personality, what you value as an employee, and what you think gives you an advantage over other applicants. This not only helps my professional interpersonal relationships, but it also carries into my skills as a marketer. This is one of the most dreaded common interview questions because it feels like a trick question.
I write down all my appointments and projects and note how much time each commitment will take. I then block out a few hours of unscheduled time in order to give myself room to catch up or handle unexpected tasks. Once I complete these steps, I can see how much room I have in my schedule. If I say no, I try to either recommend someone else who could help them, offer to assist with the part of the project that I do have time for, or tell them to circle back with me in a week or two or whenever my schedule clears up.
They just want to know what valuable strengths and experiences you have and how they could benefit the company. For example, many people want to be able to use their patios to do outdoor cooking and entertaining, and my experience with kitchen design will help me create comfortable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing spaces for those purposes. Similarly, my years in landscape design have given me strong skills in creating attractive, practical, and maintainable outdoor spaces.
In addition, my 18 years of design experience have given me great practice understanding what clients are actually looking for and coming up with solutions to meet both their visions and their budgets. This is one of those gray interview questions that can throw you for a loop after going through a list of black-and-white ones.
This question demands a bit of introspection, a dash of eloquence, and a whole lot of intuition about what the interviewer is looking to hear. Whenever I get bogged down in the day-to-day grind, I just think about the moment I get to give my clients the data reports that show how the strategy I created caused their engagement, sales, or followers to go up.
To me, there is nothing like getting to partner with someone to help their business thrive, so visualizing that moment of success keeps me going. Working on a team is essential to almost every job, and the interviewer wants to know you can get along with others. When you respond, you need to give an answer that goes deeper than just saying that you like working with other people.
This question is a test of two things: your self-awareness and what non-career characteristics you find valuable in yourself and others. This question is a test of your self-awareness and an honest appraisal of how the world sees you, not just how you see yourself. Being on the job hunt while you still have a job is, in general, a pretty great position to be in.
To answer this question, avoid negative talk about your current job. Always bring it back to the skills and value you can add to the company. Because of this, I decided it was time to try something new and find a position that only needs me to teach one or two subjects instead of three. Your interviewer is looking for an answer that has to do with meeting goals, the quality of your work, overcoming difficult challenges, and impressive accomplishments.
Even if you measure success by material wealth or power, leave those out of your answer. For the best answers, research the company to see what they value and align your answer accordingly. Both options would be letting down the client in some way, so you need both in order to be successful. One of the most poignant examples of success by this definition in my career was a few years ago when I was working with a nonprofit that had programs for senior citizens. They needed a website that was well designed and looked professional, but it also needed to be easy for elderly people to use.
This meant I had to figure out a way to make fonts bigger, buttons more obvious, and layouts more intuitive than I normally would while still following good design principles. It was a fun challenge, and I was able to deliver a website that I was proud of and the client was pleased with. It consistently got high praise from the users as easy to understand and use and even won an award for excellent design and user experience. You can answer this question a couple of ways, but it helps to think about how you want to frame your answer.
Things to consider include your preference for working independently or collaboratively, the pace of the work environment, and whether you like a strict routine or prefer to adapt on the fly. But you can state that certain responsibilities of your job are best performed independently, before bringing it to the rest of your team.
As I do this, there are a few tasks that I find are best done alone in a quiet space, but most of the time, I love collaborating on projects with others. Even when I complete a task alone, I like to present it to the rest of my team to get their input. Because of this, I thrived in a position where I worked in a room full of my colleagues but also had access to quiet workspaces when I needed them.
I also love working on more than one project at a time, within reason, as the variety keeps me motivated. Instead, focus on your motivations for working hard, whether that be tackling a new challenge or being super reliable. Keep the position in mind and consider using some similar language from the job description to describe your work ethic. The best advice for this prompt is to know a coherent, natural story of your career. The end of your story should be your explanation of how this position fits in perfectly with your career goals.
I started out as mainly a fact-checker, but I worked my way up to getting to report a few lower-level stories each month, and since it was a small station, I got to be a part of a wide variety of tasks and projects. I worked there for two years, and when I left, I walked away with a strong understanding of how news stations operate.
From there, I moved to a position as a full-time reporter at a slightly larger station in Kansas City, Missouri , where I covered business and educational stories. Working on such diverse stories allowed me to build relationships with a number of people within those industries, and my boss even applauded me on how much deeper I was going with my stories than others before I had.
In my third year working there, I wrote a story about a new apartment complex that was going into an abandoned, turn-of-the-century hotel. That story was the most visited page on our website for a year. Now, I believe I can put that passion to work for your magazine in this position as a writer for the history section. That information can sometimes get lost in the rest of the interview, so take advantage of this opportunity.
As usual, whenever you can, end with what you and your skills would do for the company. Even our CFO has asked my opinion on a number of occasions. Even seemingly unproductive hobbies can be framed in a positive way. For example, instead of saying you play video games for 8 hours straight every night, mention how you enjoy solving puzzles and playing collaborative strategy games.
Or instead of binging shows like The Crown, talk about your interest in 20th-century history. I still have a lot of training to do, but our goal is to go on a weekend backpacking and climbing trip to Yosemite sometime next year. Talking about people you admire professionally says a lot about you as a job candidate. I spent a lot of time learning from her not only in the classroom but also as we worked through my projects and business plans. She is the one who taught me the importance of communication in business and worked with me to hone my speaking, writing and negotiating skills.
I still keep in contact with her, and she still sends me resources with advice on how to continue strengthening my communication style and techniques. My other most prominent mentor actually happened to be my first boss. He took me under his wing and gave me projects that would allow me to use my strengths and improve my weak areas. It was because of him and his willingness to train me as a leader that I got my first management role.
To give a good answer, you have to show off your ability to handle situations and problems as a manager , while talking about real experiences. To balance this, I like to provide clear directions, complete with goals, parameters, and timelines, and then release my team or employee to figure out how to meet those. This also provides accountability for reaching deadlines.
My approach may change slightly depending on the employee and the project, but my overarching goal is to serve my employees by providing them with the training, resources, and help they need to be successful without me holding their hand. A large part of the interview is meant for the hiring manager to learn how you would work as a member of their team, so you should prepare to answer personal questions like this one. This question is meant to help the interviewer learn more about you, what you value in life, and what motivates you.
Just thinking about that gets me fired up and motivated to work hard every day. Skip the party tricks and deeply personal answers. Boring can be perfectly fine if framed the right way. Even the most ordinary hobbies can involve important professional skills. I was that kid who was excited about getting to go to the library or a random museum because I just found everything about the world around me fascinating.
I also work to stay up-to-date on the latest research and techniques by reading industry journals, and I love learning from doctors and other nurses with different levels of experience or areas of expertise. This passion for learning has helped me to stay on top of the latest best practices and not let myself get lax or apathetic as I get into a groove in my job.
Honesty reigns supreme for this question. That passion and belief are what drove me to art school in the first place because I wanted to learn how to share the beauty I saw in the world with others. Now, as an art teacher , I work to instill those principles into the children I teach.
Interviewers hope to learn about your organizational skills , time management, ability to handle stress, work values, and industry knowledge with this question. There are a few ways to go about your answer. You can mention what you do to stay organized charts, lists, etc. Talking about previous experience with tight deadlines is also good, especially if this position is deadline-driven. Because of this, I had to quickly and accurately prioritize my work for each week, day, and even hour.
I also added important deadlines for projects I was working on. This system helped me to be a reliable and trustworthy administrative assistant , as I never received a complaint about something being late or missing. Interviewers ask questions like this because they want to know how pressure affects you and what you do to handle it.
Employers want people who work well in stressful situations and solve problems instead of avoiding them. Many people are inclined to avoid this reality of the profession and push through, but I handle stress on the job by recognizing its existence and embracing it. For example, in a previous role, I was working for a public hospital, and we were incredibly busy with calls every single night.
After the Fourth of July weekend, we had to handle triple the number of accidents as usual, and I felt completely overwhelmed. Instead of ignoring my stress, I accepted it and decided to take my two days off to recharge with activities I enjoyed, like camping and fishing, as opposed to handling errands. I think the key to being good at a high-stress job is making sure to take the time to relax and recharge.
Failures happen, but the hiring manager wants to know that you can overcome them with poise. I was managing a team of eight retail associates and found myself taking on a lot more work than I was used to. I was working almost every day to ensure my team was putting forth their best work, but this ended up draining me really quickly.
By three months in, I had grown to resent the position that I had been so thrilled to receive because I had given absolutely all of myself without ever taking a break. This led my management quality to slip, and eventually, my boss had a serious talk with me about getting my act together. I felt like a complete failure, but I knew I had to solve it. I analyzed the situation and realized that my exhaustion was impacting my performance as a supervisor.
I ended up altering my schedule to factor in adequate time for myself, and it improved my management abilities tenfold. To be successful with this question, you need a strategy. When choosing a challenge to discuss, be discerning about what scenarios will portray you as a professional and prepared candidate.
Since she was one of the co-workers that I interacted with the most, I decided the best way to move forward would be to have an honest and open discussion with her. She completely understood once I brought my concerns to her attention and agreed to start listening to my ideas more.
Example Answer: I had been working in my last position as an elementary private school teacher for five years. It was an absolutely excellent experience that enabled me to become better at my job. However, I ended up looking for a new teaching opportunity elsewhere because I wanted to try out a new kind of working environment. After spending most of my career working in private schools, I wanted the chance to put my skills to use at a public school.
Start answering this question by giving the interviewer some context; what was the situation that led to your accomplishment? Next, present your exact task and the actions you took to achieve your big accomplishment. Focus on the value that your accomplishment provided for your employer. I worked for the company for a total of seven years at that time and had managed an estimated ten million dollars worth of accounts.
How will they benefit if they hire you? What will you improve for them? What will become easier, more efficient, or more profitable? Otherwise your answer will not impress them. Why do you want to work here? You want to make them feel like you chose them for a reason. The bottom line is: The typical employer looks to hire someone who will want to work for them in particular, not just someone who wants to work any job they can find.
Why did you leave your last job? There are a lot of good answers to this interview question. Here are some guidelines: If you chose to leave on your own terms, stay positive and focus on what you wanted to gain from the decision, rather than bad-mouthing or focusing on negatives you wanted to avoid. And if you were fired or laid off, be upfront and clear.
What is your greatest weakness? I recommend picking something skill-based, not personality-based. Those things will get you rejected in the interview. For example, if the job involves data entry with Excel spreadsheets all day, you do not want to say Excel is your weakness. Or that you struggle to pay attention to details. Do: Name a real weakness Pick something skill-based, not personality-based.
For the first few years of my career, I focused entirely on email marketing. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? No company wants this. In five years I see myself taking on more responsibilities, either through management or higher-level individual contributions. You can read career goal examples here. Employers want to see if you can own up to your mistakes, be accountable, and also learn and improve from the experience. That last piece is key if you want to give a good answer to this question.
You really need to be concise and show you can tell a clear story. An employee was acting out and I confronted him in front of everybody. It made the situation worse and caused a lot of distraction for everyone on the floor. I failed to lead properly in this situation, and spoke to my manager the next day to discuss what I could have done better. We both agreed that I should have handled this privately with the employee by asking them to step inside my office.
If I had done this instead of reacting the way I did, the situation would have turned out much better. From that point onward, I am always conscious of whether a discussion with a team member should occur in public or behind closed doors, and it made me a better leader.
How do you make decisions? How did you handle it and what did you decide? One of our largest clients was having an issue with our latest software update and I had to decide between doing a fresh install on their system or trying to troubleshoot.
The fresh install would come with downtime, but it was a known variable. Whereas, if we took troubleshooting steps, it could resolve the problem eventually, but the company would be working with multiple software bugs and issues for an unknown period. I spoke to our representative from their company, and also spoke to the Account Manager within our firm who had originally brought this client on, since he had the closest relationship with the firm.
Based on this information, I felt the best way to resolve the situation was to do a complete reinstall of the software, causing 30 minutes of downtime, but solving the problem that day. I also spoke to our billing team to provide a special discount to help offset the lost revenue our software caused, which the company appreciated and thanked me for. I also weigh the risks of each possible decision. If one decision has a good potential outcome but comes with too much risk for the company, then it may not be the right choice.
Would you like me to give an example? What is your greatest achievement? And this is one of those cases. However, there are plenty of scenarios where your biggest achievement might show other traits instead. What are your leadership experiences? So before any interview, think about one or two recent leadership experiences , ideally from work situations. Did you lead any meetings or projects? Did you train or mentor anyone? Did you spearhead a new initiative at work?
How would you describe yourself? Example answer: I would describe myself as careful and hard-working. What are you passionate about? Employers like to hire a candidate who has interests, passions, etc. The question is very open-ended. I recommend naming one single area. This keeps everything simple and makes it easier to prepare. So pick one topic that gets you really excited. It can be mission-oriented, like solving a crisis or helping the world.