Job Interview: The Three Most Important Questions…

Job interviews can be extremely nerve-wracking, but in order to ensure that you get the best chance of succeeding you should ensure to prepare for three main questions; by ensuring you are prepared for these will allow you to answer questions more naturally, through simply being able to refer back mentally to the preparation. Obviously, it is impossible to predict the exact questions you will be asked. The interviewer may not even know precisely, but they will be looking to establish three main things, these are:

  • Have you got the skills, expertise and experience to perform the job?
  • Are you enthusiastic and interested in the job and the company?
  • Will you fit into the team, culture and company?

The chances of being asked these questions exactly are slim; different angles and questions may be used and if the interviewer doesn’t get the answer he or she wants from the question it may be asked again in a slightly different way. But, behind these questions, they are really looking to delve into the three main areas as stated above.

Here is what’s behind these three main areas and how to answer them in the most positive and effective way:

    Have you got the skills, expertise and experience to perform the job?

Think about the key skills you may need for the position you have applied for and assess your level of expertise and experience within that context and shape your answer to fit around that role. Do not just state irrelevant skills, try and make them fit into this role. Once you have prepared for this question, you will find answering different interview questions easier without getting sidetracked. Always try and go back to your key skills, expertise and experience when answering different questions, such as:

  • Tell me about yourself…
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why do you think you are right for this job?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What do you think your main challenges will be

Are you enthusiastic and interested in the job and the company?

Every employer needs to see that you are interested in the job and that you’re excited about the prospect of working there. The best way to demonstrate this is to do a lot of research; from this you should ensure that you understand the company’s strategy, current performance, structure, market position and products – just as much as you can find! To do this, head straight to their website; there is normally an ‘about us’ section. This is definitely the best place to start. This is usually done before you apply for the job, but if you apply through a recruitment agency, the chances are you won’t know the company’s name straight away but as soon as you do take a look at what they do.

From doing your homework, you will be able to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job and the company. You can develop this and think about your own personal ambitions, or your goals for the next five years, etc. and how they would fit into the company. You can then use these use these insights to answer questions such as:

  • What do you know about our company?
  • What do you think our company is aiming to achieve?
  • What do you know about our products and services?
  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • Why do you think this job is right for you?
  • What motivates you?

Will you fit into the team, culture and company?

Your personality, style and how you as a person would fit into the team and culture of the company can be a key area the interviewer looks at. All companies have different cultures which translate into different ways of behaving and working; therefore it is important to make sure you fit in and don’t feel out of place – this is just as important for the company as it is for you.

Through doing your research prior to the interview you may get a sense of the culture of the company but it can be tricky to get detailed knowledge of this through their website. If you are able to get this sense, try and compare it to your personality traits, style and behaviours. If you can’t find much about this website, try and ask your recruitment consultant for more information and an inside view into the company – chances are they will be able to give you a lot more information than a website could about the culture of the company anyway!

Through finding this information out, you will be more likely to answer questions such as:

  • How would you describe yourself?
  • How would you describe your style of work?
  • How would your colleagues describe you?
  • What makes you fit into our company?
  • What makes you a good team leader?
  • If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

 If you ensure to cover all these areas prior to your interview you will gain the best chances of succeeding – and if you don’t get the job for various other reasons, use the interview as experience; use it as a way to develop and increase your skills in order to better your chances next time!

Related Dovetail articles:
The Counter Offer
Interview preparation – do your research
How to stand out in an interview
What to wear to an interview
Great interview questions
How to write the perfect CV

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