1. "Tell me a bit about yourself."
The first time I was asked this question I completely froze and stared blankly at my interviewer. I was not expecting this. I expected to be asked about my qualifications or my previous job experiences or even my strengths and weaknesses. “My name is Tooba and I go to UTS” long pause “I don’t know what else to say”. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.
Now let’s deconstruct the question. “Tell me a bit about yourself”. Note that the ‘a bit’, doesn’t mean you go on a lengthy tangent about your journey from adolescence to adulthood.
Talk about your education and your work experience as well as your hobbies, your interests or any volunteering you’ve done recently. These things will determine your compatibility with your potential employer and also give a nice insight to who you are as a person.
(Note: it’s probably a good idea to leave out the fact that you were obsessed with serial killers in high school – yes, it’s happened!)
2. "What do you think is your greatest weakness?"
The most obvious thing about answering this question is that you don’t want it to affect your job interview. The best way to answer this question is by mentioning an honest weakness that you are working on improving. I can guarantee that your interviewer is tired of the ‘I work too hard’ excuse.
When telling your interviewer your greatest weakness, don’t forget to make a positive out of this negative.
3. “What is your greatest strength?”
This may seem like the perfect opportunity to be modest, which a lot of people are, but the smart thing to do here is to humbly brag. More specifically, talk about strengths that the job you are applying for requires from you. Are you applying to be an Admin Assistant? Are you organised and structured to the point where your friends are low-key annoyed? Perfect, mention that – but in a positive way like ‘I have a strong work ethic. I like to plan my tasks and execute them on schedule’.
4. Why are you leaving or have left your job?
This question is extremely important. Although your job may have been the worst you have encountered in your career yet, you can’t say that to your interviewer. There are great ways to justify your resignation if you have experienced a workplace problems like ‘I wasn’t a good culture fit’, and my personal favourite ‘there was no career progression and I feel I need to move on’. Saying negative things about your previous employer could make it seem like that you will potentially say negative things about your new employer as well! Don’t take that risk.
5. Do You Have Any Questions?
Always say ‘Yes’.
Whether it’s ‘what are the daily responsibilities of this role’ or ‘Are you able to describe the culture of the company’, it’s so important to have a question or two. This makes you seem like you’re genuinely interested in the role and firm you’re being interviewed for which is crucial and not to mention, leaves an everlasting impression of you.