Got called down for an interview? To get you started on your preparation, these are the most basic interview question can be applied to almost any type of job you are applying for.
Tell me about yourself
For the length of the answer, make it 100 words or less. Your interviewer does not have all the time in the world to hear you keep talking about yourself. As for the content of the answer, include 1-2 points about you as a person (maybe even something interesting to get them engaged) and about 3-4 points targeting the requirements of the job you have applied for.
What do you know about the company?
Please read up on the company you are applying for. Not knowing anything about the company, especially if it is well- known in the working world, can cause you to lose the job opportunity or at least result in you leaving a bad impression on the employer. That being said, try to not memorise word for word what is on the company’s website. It may come across as too tailored. Just talk about the company as a whole and maybe something about the department that you have applied for to show interest about the job.
Why do you want this job?
The reason can vary for different groups of people. It highly depends on what kind of job you have applied for, whether you are applying for a part time job, an internship, entry level, managerial, change of industries, etc. Find a reason that suits you, your past experience and the role of the job you have applied for.
For example, when applying for an internship, you could say that this job is able to fulfil my queries about the working environment and allow me to experience it first-hand by being able to observe how the office functions on a day- to- day basis.
What are your strengths?
This can be a little tricky to answer. The way you phrase your answer can greatly impact your first impression to the interviewer. It may come across as too pushy and show off, but if done right, it can further secure your hold on the job.
It is best to make use of your past experience to support your points. Experiences can be from leadership roles in school (can be applied to people relations, leading a team, prioritisation, time management, etc.). It can also be from difficulties faced in your previous job (can be linked to problem solver, prioritisation, leadership, responsibility, etc.).
What are your weaknesses?
Alike the previous question, this question can cost your entire interview. It is best to give some thought to this question before the interview. Also, saying nothing is definitely not an option!
There are a few ways to go about this question. One is to give something that may not be highly relevant to the job. For example, saying that you tend to become bored when you are stuck doing a routine when applying for a managerial role or may be a little blunt when applying for an administrative role.
Another way is to say that you are currently working on the issue to reduce the negative impact it may have on you as a potential employee of the company. This may even help you in letting the interviewer view you as somebody who is self- reflective and able to accept change for the better.
There is no way to fully prepare yourself for an interview. The best way to prepare yourself, ironically, is going for more interviews. Yes, you may screw up the first time, but such experiences will set you up for better opportunities in the future. Hopefully this has helped you. Good Luck!