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Nervous about an upcoming interview? Here are the top 10 most common interview questions: practice with a friend to develop your answers and become more comfortable.
1. Why do you want this job?
One of the most predictable questions and very important! You need to demonstrate that you have researched the employer and tie your knowledge of them into the skills and interests that led you to apply.
For example, an interviewee with a small public relations agency might say: "I'm always ready to take on responsibility and feel this will come more quickly with a firm of this size. A small firm also gives the chance to build closer working relationships with clients and colleagues and I've found through my past work experience that this makes an organisation more effective as well as more satisfying to work in."
Try to find some specific feature on which the employer prides themselves: their training, their client base, their individuality, their public image, etc. This may not always be possible with very small organisations but you may be able to pick up something of this nature from the interviewer.
2. Have you got any questions?
At the end of the interview, it is likely that you will be given the chance to put your own questions to the interviewer.
- Keep them brief: there may be other interviewees waiting.
- Ask about the work itself, training and career development: not about holidays, pensions, and season ticket loans!
- Prepare some questions in advance: it is OK to write these down and to refer to your notes to remind yourself of what you wanted to ask.
It often happens that, during the interview, all the points that you had noted down to ask about will be covered before you get to this stage. In this situation, you can respond as follows:
Interviewer: Well, that seems to have covered everything: is there anything you would like to ask me?
Interviewee: Thank you: I'd made a note to ask about your appraisal system and the study arrangements for professional exams, but we went over those earlier and I really feel you've covered everything that I need to know at this moment.
You can also use this opportunity to tell the interviewer anything about yourself that they have not raised during the interview but which you feel is important to your application. Don't feel you have to wait until this point to ask questions – if the chance to ask a question seems to arise naturally in the course of the interview, take it! Remember that a traditional interview is a conversation – with a purpose.
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