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Popular interview questions and how to answer them

Joanna Belmar our consultant managing the role
Posted by Joanna Belmar
Published on 16 February 2017

Although every job interview is different, there are a few questions that will come up time and time again. Yet they can still leave even the most experienced of interviewees stumped. Here’s our guide to some of the most popular interview questions and how you can tackle them…

Why are you looking to leave your current position?

Don’t say anything negative about your current, or most recent, employer – no matter how you may feel. It’ll come across as unprofessional and may leave a sour taste. Avoid sounding too vague or disinterested as it may give the impression that you’re not serious about a new job and may drop out further along in the process.

Consider talking about your career plans or goals and how you’re looking for a new opportunity to help achieve these. This will help demonstrate that you’re someone who makes intelligent career decisions and is looking to change jobs for all of the right reasons – not just because you’re bored.

What do you like most about your current position?

Don’t talk too much about the ‘softer’ aspects of your job that may not be available with this new role, such as flexible working, holiday allowance or other benefits. Not only does it take the focus off your key responsibilities and projects, it may also be of concern to the interviewer if they can’t offer the same.

Instead, take this as an opportunity to discuss some of your achievements in your current position – the key projects you’ve worked on, the role you’ve played and the aspects of your day-to-day responsibilities you enjoy the most. If you’re a team player, talk about the people you work with and highlight particular members of the team that have made a difference.

What do you dislike about your current position?

Take the opportunity to turn negatives about your current role into positives, and reasons why you’re looking for something new. Are you looking for more of a challenge or a faster pace of work? You may want to be able to manage a team or receive training and development that isn’t currently available.

What’s your biggest weakness?

Don’t be afraid of this question. Rather than a way to trip you up, it allows interviewers to get an idea of your attitude and self-awareness. Think about your answer and consider any areas you’d like to work on – whether through training or support on the job. Just resist answering with the clichés such as ‘I’m a perfectionist’, or ‘I work too hard’ – they’ve all been heard before!

Why are you here today? Why did you choose to apply for this role?

Here is where you can demonstrate that you’ve really done your homework, and talk enthusiastically about your career plans and goals. Are there any key reasons why you’ve chosen to interview for this role? What do you know about the company, their mission and values? Talk through how the role (and company) fits with your career aspirations and the opportunities it will bring. It’s also a great chance to share anything positive you’ve heard about the company in the press and from friends and contacts too.

Your Quanta consultant will work with you to ensure you’re fully prepared and have everything you need ahead of an interview. To find out more about how we can help you, contact us or register with Quanta today.