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48 Example Interview Job Answers

Just like an exam, wouldn't it be great to get hold of the job interview questions beforehand and prepare good interview job answers in advance?

We can't promise you that, but we do have 48 of the most common job interview questions and some suggested answers - not a bad start!

Common Interview Questions and Good Interview Job Answers

  1. What is your past experience?
    Be prepared with all the information about your past jobs. Bring notes and your CV or resume. Referring to notes in your interview job answers shows you prepared for the interview and interviewers love this (we do - we're interviewers).

    Start with your experience as it relates to the job you're being interviewed for. Give your job title and describe your responsibilities, emphasising those similar to the job you want.

    Mention specific achievements which you know your interviewers would like you to repeat with them. For example, if the job you're being interviewed for asks for supervisory experience, mention your supervisory experience including numbers of staff and talk about your achievements. If the job asks for accurate data entry, include this in your past experience and mention your accuracy rate for example.

    Don't waffle. Keep your answer concise and relevant and you'll give good job interview answers here.

  2. Why did you leave/want to leave your last/current job?
    This can be an awkward question for some people and we've been in interviews where interviewees try to avoid answering. It's better to be straight forward and tell the truth, especially if the reason you left/are leaving might be revealed in a reference. Many companies cross-check your past experience and they won't be impressed if they catch you lying.

    If you are leaving for a negative reason such as a disciplinary, say so, but state this is an exception, that you're a better fit for the job you're applying for and are confident in your ability to do well.

    If you are able to, always give a positive reason why you're applying for this particular job in your job interview answer. Let's say there are no promotion opportunities where you are now. It's better to say "I've learned a great deal where I am but have much more to give. I'm keen to join a company where I can develop and make a larger contribution. My current employer can't offer this at the moment though I'm confident your company can, which really excites me."

  3. Tell us about yourself
    Often asked first, this kind of question is designed to get an idea about your personal life and your attitude towards the world, in general. So include your family, friends, hobbies in your interview job answer and look happy while talking about them. A frown or depressed face will give the impression that you are not happy or satisfied with your life.

    Keep your personal details brief and go on to mention your outlook on life. Do you have a motto in life worth sharing with your interviewers? Do you have a life/career goal worth mentioning? What about your key attributes - this is a good time to mention your commitment, loyalty, drive etc. Don't say too much about these as questions about your qualities might come up later, but it's worth planting the seed at this stage. Short, punchy descriptions will get the point across well.

    As with all your interview job answers, try to 'read' your interviewers. Have you said enough? If they look ready to move on, probably yes. If in doubt, you can always ask "would you like me to tell you more?" or "does that answer your question?".

  4. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
    These are common questions, sometimes phrased differently. We might ask you to describe your development needs for example or describe a skill in others you'd like to develop in yourself.

    When describing your strengths in your interview job answer, focus on those qualities which are related to the job you want, as mentioned in the job ad or job description. There is no benefit in describing yourself as a great presenter if the job doesn't require presentation skills so plan your interview job answer wisely.

    Don't avoid talking about weaknesses and don't say you have none (people still do). Instead, talk about your development needs and what steps you are taking to address them. If you are not naturally organised, talk about how you use a diary and to-do list to ensure you keep on track and complete all your tasks.

    If you're struggling with this interview job answer, here's more detailed advice on answering strength and weakness questions.

  5. How will you be of value to our corporation?

A common question used by interviewers for 2 reasons:

  1. They want to know how your experience, skills and attributes can help their organisation succeed - what's in it for them

  2. They want to see that you have prepared, know yourself, understand what they are looking for and can sell yourself

This question requires you to showcase all your abilities, experience and qualities as they relate to the job without looking pompous. Speak in detail, but don't go overboard in your interview job answer. Keep it short and precise.

More Example Job Interview Answers

Here are another 5 common job interview questions and response and another 38 sample interview questions and answers for those who want to be really prepared!

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