1) “Tell us a little about yourself…”
You could say “Well I started my career around 10 years ago, working as a Facilities Assistant at ABC Company…”
This is your chance to capture the attention of the interviewer. Start by giving a little rundown of your work history, picking up on key achievements and demonstrating how your career has developed. Preparing your answer in advance means you’ll deliver it with more confidence, and make a great first impression.
2) “What made you decide to apply for the role?”
You could say “I’ve wanted to progress to a management position for the past year, and this looked like the ideal opportunity…”
Recruiters want to find out why you’re interested in their business, and also see what your expectations and understanding is of the role you’ve applied for. Here you should pick up on points from the job description that most interested you, and also show your passion and interest in learning more about their business.
3) “Tell us about your experience and how it relates to the role?”
You could say “I’ve worked as a department manager for the past five years, I’ve learnt a lot about team development, something I know you’re looking for in this role…”
Remember that the recruiter has seen your CV, so there’s no need to recap your whole history and responsibilities. Instead pick out key areas you have excelled in, demonstrating each skill with a great example. Throughout your answer remember they want to know how each experience relates to the role so try to keep linking each point back.
4) “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
You could say “I feel sometimes I take on too much. I just want to do the best job possible, and I’ll go out of my way to make that happen…”
It’s a clichéd question, but an essential one for recruiters who want to see how well you know your abilities. Highlight each strength with an example, as the examples will be much more memorable when you have left the interview room. In terms of weaknesses, this is always a tricky question, so be honest but not too critical.
Pick a trait that can be interpreted as both a strength and a weakness, so you can put a positive spin on your answer.
5) “Tell us about a challenging situation and how you’ve dealt with it.”
You could say “I was challenged in my most recent role to cut costs by 5%…I instigated and led a number of cost-saving initiatives, without harming the level of service.”
Take time to think about a time when you’ve really had to step up at work, perhaps deal with a difficult employee or a sensitive situation. When you’re talking about the outcome ensure you focus on your role in the process, and how you resolved the situation.
6) “Tell us about an achievement in your career that you’re really proud of…”
You could say “When I was initially hired morale and motivation in the department was very low, I put a rewards system in place…”
We’re not good at boasting about our achievements, but here is your chance to really sell yourself.
It could be a break through with a member of your team, or perhaps you hit a target you initially felt was unachievable. Your answer to this question is a great opportunity to set yourself apart from other candidates.
7) “What do you know about our business?”
You could say “I can see that your marketplace is really competitive and currently everyone seems to be focussed on delivering better service…”
Do your research! Interviewers are asking this question as they want to know how interested you are in the company and the role. The web is an amazing thing, you can learn about the business, but also competitors and the industry in general to ensure you can talk knowledgeably and with genuine interest.
9) “What are your career goals?”
You could say “I want to grow within a company, so I’m looking for a role that long term I can climb the career ladder to senior management.”
Be honest here, interviewers want to find out how you see your career developing, and more importantly whether you see it with their business. It’s great for both you and your potential new employer to know what you want in the future, so they can be sure they can offer you what you’re looking for.
8) “What are your salary expectations?”
You could say “I’m really interested in the role, so I would be willing to negotiate if I was lucky enough to be offered it…”
It’s always an awkward question, but interviewers want to make sure they can meet your expectations before they make any offers. Don’t bring up the question yourself, this can be discussed if a job offer is made. If the question is raised, give a wide salary bracket that would be acceptable, but always say that it’s negotiable and focus more on how much you’d like the position.
10) “Do you have any questions?”
You could say “On your website you talk about training programmes for new employees, could you tell me a bit more about that…?”
The answer to this question should always be yes! You should prepare a few questions in advance, just in case the answers to a couple get covered throughout the interview. The interviewee is wanting to see how interested you are in the role, and will make judgements about you based on the questions you ask.
So good luck for your interview, remember you can never be too prepared!
Maxwell Stephens provide clients with a facilities recruitment UK service that will guide you through the complete process. We are always on hand to support and advise you, should you encounter a problem and endeavour to do whatever we can to rectify any concern or query that you may have.