Interview preparation is important. Allow yourself enough time to familiarize yourself with typical interview questions and answers. It’s a good idea to practice and perfect your preparation over several days before the interview.

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When preparing for an interview your top priority is to orient yourself to the questions, and rehearse your answers. This rehearsal is useful as a memory aid, particularly when spoken aloud. Speaking aloud assists the memory process and also allows you to hear your own answer and correct mistakes.

Common Interview questions and answers

The top interview questions and answers are:

Question: What are your greatest strengths?

Answer: Focus on a key strength, like time management, meeting deadlines, sales performance, or another skill where you can demonstrate superior ability.

Question: What’s your greatest weakness?

Answer: Target a non-essential skill for this answer. Non-essential skills had minimal impact on your assessment.

Question: Can you describe a problem at work, and how you solved it?

Answer: Use an example which demonstrates essential skills related to the job, and give your answer in “story form” to make sure the interviewer can see the problem, and how you solved.

Question: Why should we hire you?

Answer: The best approach to answering this question is to provide solid examples of managing key essential skills, experience, and advanced skills in key areas.

Question: Why did you leave/are you leaving your current job?

Answer: Obviously, there may be multiple possible reasons for your answers to this question. Give an honest reason, like looking for a better job, more career opportunities, better working conditions, or no opportunities with your present employer. 

If you were fired from a job: Do not lie about being fired from a job. Give an accurate account of the circumstances, without denigrating your former employer.

Question: Can you tell us something about yourself?

Answer: Think about this answer, and rehearse your reply. You don’t have to give a lengthy answer, but you do have to provide useful information and give an accurate picture of your work and current career priorities.

If you’re one of those people who’s usually not good at interviews

Many people are not great performers at interviews. A combination of interview nerves and lack of familiarity with interview questions is the main reason, but some people need job interview help in the form of training. 

This interview help is usually available from local trainers, recruiters, and employment centers. Trainers can provide a lot of useful job interview tips, and help you rehearse your interview performance.

Also take the time to browse tips for interviews in your specific field of work. These interview tips can be particularly useful and help you understand what is required in your response to these questions.

When you’re practicing for interviews

During interview practice, you will notice that at least a few questions seem to be difficult. Work on these questions, and try to prepare answers which are simple and will deliver useful value for you during the interview.

Don’t get self-conscious, get busy. With better preparation and a bit of confidence in your answers, you will find that you perform much better in any interview.