Five Questions You Will Be Asked in an Interview – Guaranteed!
So you are about to go into your first ever interview. We know this can be a daunting prospect, but if you are well prepared with some idea of the questions an employer will ask, it will make the whole ‘getting-a-job thing’ a lot easier.
AFL SportsReady employs over 650 trainees each year, which equates to around 3000 interviews. We consider ourselves to be interview experts and we can guarantee you will be asked the following FIVE questions in your interview. We have also prepared some helpful hints on the types of responses employers are looking for. We have done the research for you!
1. Tell me about yourself?
This may seem like a simple question but if you don’t prepare for it properly you may find yourself rambling on about the stuff employers don’t need to hear about. No one cares about Mittens, your fluffy cat. So get straight to the point, what makes you – YOU!
Employers are looking for your 30-second elevator pitch, and want a snapshot of your professional history to date. If you don’t have your pitch perfectly memorised, rehearse it until it seems casual and natural. Keep it concise, if you notice your interviewer looking at their watch after you have given your life story, you have probably shared too much. Try to keep it employment-related, but if you don’t have a vast employment history, you can speak about your personal qualities and how they will relate to the role. You can also discuss your passions, but just make sure they relate back to the company and or the role.
Typically, you will be in competition with a number of other shortlisted candidates, so above all else keep it interesting and give your interviewers a reason to remember your name, setting you apart from the rest of the pack.
KEY TAKEAWAY: prepare and rehearse a 30-second elevator pitch.
2. What are your strengths?
No doubt you will be asked this classic from the interview101 vault. This is an open invitation to brag about how good you are. Make it count, because it’s an opportunity to impress the interviewers with your skills and expertise that you bring to the table.
Most importantly, be accurate, truthful and don’t go over the top. Just focus on your top three strengths relevant to the role and elaborate on each one. A good tip is to research the job description to find out what the employer is looking for and match your strengths to this. Remember to sell yourself, in a professional way.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Keep your strengths relevant to the role.
3. What are your weaknesses?
Is this a trap? Why would you volunteer information that could discount you from being offered the job? No need to worry, it’s not a trick, employers just want to get a gauge of your honesty and self-awareness. This is also an opportunity to turn a frown – upside down. No one is perfect, employers already know there will be things you can improve on, but they want to know if you have taken the steps to correct your deficiencies. So, discuss your struggles and more importantly what you have done / or can do to overcome them. Don’t mention a weakness that is key to the role for example attention to detail or communication skills.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Volunteer a weakness, but try to turn it around into a strength you are currently working on.
4. Why do you want to work here?
Research. Research. Research. There is no getting around it.
Time to put your online stalking skills to good use. Before you enter the interview room, you need to know the company backward. What are the company’s vision, their values? Do they align with your own personal principals? They do now! Get to know their products and services and express what drives you, to want to work for them. Companies want to hire people who show an interest in what they do, so it’s important to list the key factors as to what you like about the organisation and why.
Don’t just trot out the classic, “I’m passionate about……blah”, most of your competitors will use this one and you will sound just like them. This question is the perfect opportunity to set yourself apart from the rest and show the interviewer why you would be perfect for the role and what qualities you will bring to their team.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Did we mention research?
5. What are your career goals?
It’s great to talk about your career progression and where you want to take your career in the future, but what employers are really looking for here is a commitment to the role you are currently interviewing for. Employers love to hire young ambitious professionals. Typically they are hard workers and do everything they can to further the company’s objectives, albeit for personal motivations. The trick is to find the balance of being seen as an ambitious ‘go-getter’, while demonstrating a commitment to the role.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Balance your response between ambition and commitment to the role.
So there you have it, the top five guaranteed questions you will be asked in interviews and how to answer them. Think of the whole recruitment process like this: every employer that interviews staff has a problem that needs solving: “Tasks needs to be completed and I’ve got no one to do them”. If you present yourself as the ‘solution to their problem’, it will help you to become the preferred candidate and secure the role.
Remember, great interviewers, don’t just get by with charm and charisma. They are well researched with prepared responses. Do ‘future you’ a favour, and give yourself the best opportunity to nail your interview.
You got this.