The second interview

Interviews are largely behavioural based as employers are trying to get a sense of how well you can handle certain situations, as well as exploring your strengths and weaknesses. This is a chance to sell your skills you have nicely outlined in your CV.

The most important thing is to be confident, and with confidence comes preparation. The following is a list of the 7 most common interview questions and how to answer them correctly, in order to help you prepare;

1. What is your greatest weakness?

Everyone has a weakness, so don’t say you don’t have one. Instead try turning a minor weakness – that is unrelated to the role you’re applying for- and turn it into a positive. This shows that you are engaging in self-development practices.

2. Tell me how you handled conflict with a co-worker in the past

This shows that you are self-aware and can handle a situation maturely and rationally. If you have not experienced a conflict at work, perhaps speak of a time you may have witness a conflict and how you would have handled it differently.

3. Why do you want to work here?

This is a great question that gages your enthusiasm for the role and your knowledge of the company. Research the company’s owners, their mission and/ or values and be sure to link your key skills with these organisational goals.

4. Have you ever worked in a team that produced a successful project?

Whenever an employer mentions team work, they want to get a sense of your interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team environment. Most jobs you apply for will have you working in a team, therefore it is important to state that you are a team player. Give an example of a time you and your team were involved in a successful project.

5. Why do you want to leave your current position

Never speak badly of your employers – even if you had a horrible experience. Instead mention that you want a more challenging role, more responsibility or a different experience / change of environment. Be sure to explain how your current role does not provide you with these things and how the role on offer can give you said opportunities for growth.

6. What did you like / dislike about your previous role?

This question is asked to find out what your interests are and if the responsibilities of the new role have elements you will dislike. When mentioning your dislikes, make sure that your example does not reflect one of the new role, i.e. do not say that you don’t enjoy talking on the phone if you are applying for a receptionist role. A good example would be one that reveals a positive trait, i.e. your need for urgency and your dislike for prolonged decision making.

7. Do you work well under pressure?

The interviewer wants to know how well you deal with stress. They want to hear that you remain calm, have problem solving skills and are focused when faced with a difficult situation. Be sure to describe the context, how you approached the situation, the actions you took and the positive outcome.