Are you ready to excel in your next job interview?
When getting ready for an interview, rehearsing interview questions to expect should be a priority. This is because some of the questions you will be asked are common interview questions. Your potential employer will, therefore, expect you to answer them smoothly and without hesitation.
The good news is that you do not have to memorize all the questions and answers. However, you will need to prepare in advance so that you know what to expect during the interview.
So what are the most common interview questions that you should expect? Ms Lucy Karwigi, our interview coach who guides professionals on interview skills and a mock interview session, mentions these as the common interview questions you should expect:
Most Common Interview Questions and Answers
1. Tell me about yourself
This is one of the most common interview questions.
Your answer to this question is your opportunity to share why you are the best fit for the position.
Talk a little bit about your current role, then give some background as to how you got there and experience you have that’s relevant. Finally, go into why you want this opportunity and why you would be perfect for the role.
“My name is Naomi Muthoni Mwangi. I am a Certified Public Accountant and a Bachelor of Commerce graduate with 3 years experience working as an Accountant.
In my recent position, I was responsible for the maintenance of all financial records in the company, collecting and monitoring revenue, processing payments as well as preparing accurate and timely financial reports.
I enjoy working in the Accounting industry particularly because, even as there are challenges that come with it, there is the constant need to handle multiple things at a time and meet deadlines. This has translated into my every day activities making me more reliable in everything I set myself to do.
I have a great concern for detail and when I commit to perform a certain task; I always deliver within the set time. I am now looking to work in an Accounting environment where I can work with a team and continue to build on my skills.”
2. What is your greatest achievement?
Consider this question an invitation to do some bragging about what you have achieved in your career that can benefit this new employer. By asking this question, the interviewers are inviting you to share an achievement/accomplishment which provides proof that you are the best candidate for this job.
A great way to do so is by using the STAR method: situation, task, action, results. Set up the situation and the task that you were required to complete to provide the interviewer with background context, then describe what you did (the action) and what you achieved (the result).
If you are not able to quantify your achievements, focus on other accomplishments you had. Completing an important project in time, introducing a new system or being named the employee of the year also make for good achievements.
Example 1. “In my most recent position as a Sales Representative at XYZ Company, I was able to successfully drive sales and as a result, achieve a turnover of KSh 1.5 million. I was also commended for being the top Sales Rep of the year.”
Example 2. “When working as a Sales Assistant at ABC Boutique, I noticed a customer feeling anxious about her body and having a hard time selecting a perfect dress. I could tell she was about to tear up. I walked over to the customer, started up a conversation and assured her that we would find her perfect dress.
After about 20 minutes of laughing and trying out the dresses I recommended, she was able to find what she was looking for. Not only did I manage to boost her confidence, but I also retained her as a return customer, and increased walk-ins from her referrals.”
3. What words would you use to best describe yourself?
Can you describe yourself in a few words? Or in three adjectives as some interviewers prefer to ask? This is a common interview question you should expect, that allows you to look for words that tell more about who you are as a professional.
“I would describe myself as someone who is good at what she does, goal-oriented, customer-focused, accountable and a highly motivated self-starter. When working with me, you can be assured there won’t be a need for micromanaging.”
4. Why do you want to leave your current employer?
This can be a tough interview question.
The interviewer wants to know why you want to work for their company. When asked about why you are moving on from your current position, stick with the facts, be direct and focus your answer on the future, especially if your departure wasn’t under the best circumstances.
Answer (Watch Below)
5. What are your salary expectations?
One of the most common questions asked in a job interview is the one about salary. The employer wants to know what you expect to earn. It seems like a simple question, but your answer can knock you out of competition for the position if you overprice yourself. If you underprice yourself, you may get shortchanged with a lower offer.
Experienced professional: “According to the research I have done and duties listed in the advertisement, similar positions pay a salary of X to Z. With my skills and experience, I expect a salary ranging between Y and Z”.
Fresh Graduate: “In regards to the research I have done, similar positions pay between X and Y. I would like to receive a starting salary in this range.”
Do you have an upcoming interview?
Would you like to convince the interviewer that you the best candidate and get the job?
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