Job Search – What are the most common interview questions? Help from monster.co.uk

Job Search – What are the most common interview questions? Help from monster.co.uk

Although there is no set format that every job interview will follow, there are some questions that you can almost guarantee will crop up. Here’s a list of the most common questions and a guide to the kind of answers your interviewer wants to hear.

  • Tell me about yourself – This is usually the opening question and, as first impressions are key, one of the most important. Keep your answer to under five minutes, beginning with an overview of your highest qualification then running through the jobs you’ve held so far in your career. You can follow the same structure of your CV, giving examples of achievements and the skills you’ve picked up along the way. Don’t go into too much detail – your interviewer will probably take notes and ask for you to expand on any areas where they’d like more information. If you’re interviewing for your first job since leaving education, focus on the areas of your studies you most enjoyed and how that has led to you wanting this particular role.
  • What are your weaknesses? – The dreaded question, which is best handled by picking something that you have made positive steps to redress. For example, if your IT ability is not at the level it could be, state it as a weakness but tell the interviewer about training courses or time spent outside work hours you have used to improve your skills. Your initiative could actually be perceived as a strength. On no accounts say “I don’t have any weaknesses”, your interviewer won’t believe you, or “I have a tendency to work too hard”, which is seen as avoiding the question.
  • What are your strengths? – Pick the three biggest attributes that you think will get you the job and give examples of how you have used these strengths in a work situation. They could be tangible skills, such as proficiency in a particular computer language, or intangible skills such as good management. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the job description. There is usually a section listing candidate requirements, which should give you an idea of what they are looking for.

You can read more at this link
Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

  • Job Search: What Are Your Weaknesses?
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  • Monster’s Top 5 Job Search Tips
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Common Interview Questions

Common Interview Questions

Job Search – What are the most common interview questions? Help from monster.co.uk

Common Interview Questions – Although there is no set format that every job interview will follow, there are some questions that you can almost guarantee will crop up. Here’s a list of the most common questions and a guide to the kind of answers your interviewer wants to hear.

  • Tell me about yourself – This is usually the opening question and, as first impressions are key, one of the most important. Keep your answer to under five minutes, beginning with an overview of your highest qualification then running through the jobs you’ve held so far in your career. You can follow the same structure of your CV, giving examples of achievements and the skills you’ve picked up along the way. Don’t go into too much detail – your interviewer will probably take notes and ask for you to expand on any areas where they’d like more information. If you’re interviewing for your first job since leaving education, focus on the areas of your studies you most enjoyed and how that has led to you wanting this particular role.
  • What are your weaknesses? – The dreaded question, which is best handled by picking something that you have made positive steps to redress. For example, if your IT ability is not at the level it could be, state it as a weakness but tell the interviewer about training courses or time spent outside work hours you have used to improve your skills. Your initiative could actually be perceived as a strength. On no accounts say “I don’t have any weaknesses”, your interviewer won’t believe you, or “I have a tendency to work too hard”, which is seen as avoiding the question.
  • What are your strengths? – Pick the three biggest attributes that you think will get you the job and give examples of how you have used these strengths in a work situation. They could be tangible skills, such as proficiency in a particular computer language, or intangible skills such as good management. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the job description. There is usually a section listing candidate requirements, which should give you an idea of what they are looking for.

You can read more at this link

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job Search – What Is Your Passion?

Job Search – What Is Your Passion?

One of the things that I emphasize to clients who talk to me about career development and job search, is the need to understand yourself and what you need to feel fulfilled. Lots of people look for roles, and indeed take on roles, that meet, not their own needs but what they think they should want. Top of the list of what they think they should want, of course, is usually money.

Now Let us not be naive – money is important to most of us. But to take a job that meets no other criteria, can be the first step on the road to disaster. For example, you are being paid really well, but all your life you have known you loathed the idea of being stuck behind a desk all day.  They offered you this desk-bound job with lots of money attached. And now there you are stuck behind your desk and feeling frustrated every day; your morale is low and so, increasingly, is the quality of your work.

You need to understand what you want and what you don’t want from a job. Though, of course, at the end of day, there may have to be some compromises. You may have to take on something you didn’t really want just to keep a roof over the heads of yourself and your family, but understand what you have done and that will help you to manage the consequences.

It helps, as well, to understand what you really care about in job search when it comes to interviews. You may well be asked what you are passionate about – what really matters to you? This is a great question, if you are well prepared for it. Your answer doesn’t have to be work-related of course, but do make sure it is work compatible. Now, is not the time say that your passion is for something that is going to mean travelling to the other side of the world for weeks at a time, taking you away from your work.

Be honest. but think about what is going to present you in a reasonable light at your interview. And make sure that you can back up your statement with information about your past experience and future intentions. Do not declare a passion for something, really knowing very little about it. You might just be unfortunate enough to be interviewed by someone who shares your declared interest and and sees straight through your pretense.

But having and showing passion, and the energy associated, with it is attractive to a prospective employer. It makes you more interesting not just to them but to the world at large.

So, what is your passion?

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

  • Job Search: What Are Your Weaknesses?
  • Job Search – Six Top Salary Tips
  • Monster’s Top 5 Job Search Tips

What Is Your Passion?

Job Search – What Is Your Passion?

What is your passion? One of the things that I emphasize to clients who talk to me about career development and job search, is the need to understand yourself and what you need to feel fulfilled. Lots of people look for roles, and indeed take on roles, that meet, not their own needs but what they think they should want. Top of the list of what they think they should want, of course, is usually money.

Now Let us not be naive – money is important to most of us. But to take a job that meets no other criteria, can be the first step on the road to disaster. For example, you are being paid really well, but all your life you have known you loathed the idea of being stuck behind a desk all day.  They offered you this desk-bound job with lots of money attached. And now there you are stuck behind your desk and feeling frustrated every day; your morale is low and so, increasingly, is the quality of your work.

You need to understand what you want and what you don’t want from a job. Though, of course, at the end of day, there may have to be some compromises. You may have to take on something you didn’t really want just to keep a roof over the heads of yourself and your family, but understand what you have done and that will help you to manage the consequences.

It helps, as well, to understand what you really care about in job search when it comes to interviews. You may well be asked what you are passionate about – what really matters to you? This is a great question, if you are well prepared for it. Your answer doesn’t have to be work-related of course, but do make sure it is work compatible. Now, is not the time say that your passion is for something that is going to mean travelling to the other side of the world for weeks at a time, taking you away from your work.

Be honest. but think about what is going to present you in a reasonable light at your interview. And make sure that you can back up your statement with information about your past experience and future intentions. Do not declare a passion for something, really knowing very little about it. You might just be unfortunate enough to be interviewed by someone who shares your declared interest and and sees straight through your pretense.

But having and showing passion, and the energy associated, with it is attractive to a prospective employer. It makes you more interesting not just to them but to the world at large.

So, what is your passion? Need help finding it? Get in touch!

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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How to answer questions in an interview!

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When you are looking for work, getting an invitation to an interview is wonderful, particularly right now.  It is an achievement!

Now you need to prepare for the next stage – time to start thinking about questions you might get asked.

First, remember to keep a balanced approach!  The panel want you to succeed.  There is nothing recruiters like better than to have the candidates they select for interview, do well.

You will probably be asked a range of different kinds of questions.  Some may be simple to answer and others much more challenging;  tough questions are not asked to make you feel uncomfortable but they are meant to test you.

Sometimes, you may be put under pressure just to see how well you cope with stressful situations.  If you have applied for a high pressure job then you should expect this!  So stay calm and show them how well you would cope.

Many interviewers start the interview with “getting to know you” factual questions about your experience.  These are usually intended to put you at your ease and help you give your best.

You may well be asked why you applied for the role and you need to prepare a credible answer.  It should show you have some real interest in the organization and in the role.

Also, you may be asked why the organization should hire you.  This is your opportunity to set out your wares.  Again prepare for this.  You should make sure your answer is compatible with your application form.   It is often wise to check your application form just before the interview – just to make sure you keep your answers consistent.

You may be asked why you left your last position.  Be honest but have a care – it is never wise to be critical of a previous employer. The same thing applies, if you are asked to describe your worst boss; again have a care and give a balanced view.  Show how you have learned from experience!

If you are asked about your weaknesses, be honest and be brief.  Concentrate on a minor shortcoming that doesn’t have a profound effect on job performance.  For example, I mention that I have a tendency, in my enthusiasm, to over commit and take on too much work.  But I go on to explain that I’ve learned to pace myself.

If the role has a management or leadership element, you may be asked for an example of something you handled well.  Have some challenging examples ready to quote.

In general, where you can, use your experience in your answers as evidence of what you bring with you.

If you are asked what you are looking for in a role, have an answer ready that shows a real taste for the work and some enthusiasm.

If you are asked what you are looking financially, ask what the salary range is for the position. But be ready in case you aren’t given the information you need. Read salary surveys, government data and association reports in advance so you have an idea of what comparable jobs pay right now. That way, you can give a response that’s in line with current standards.

Remember in all your answers to treat the panel with respect; stay calm, polite and do not patronise them.

Whatever questions they ask, stay away from politics and religion in your answers!

When they are asking questions, listen carefully and take a deep breath before answering – think before your speak.  If there is something you don’t understand, then ask for clarification.

At the end of the interview, you will probably be asked if you have any questions.  These days you are expected to say yes.  Have something prepared about the role and how it might develop.  Again show a real interest in this role, these people and this organization.

Above all remember that the interviewers hope to see good candidates.  They will be willing you on to do well.

  • So you have an interview – how will you make your mark? (leavingthepublicsector.net)
  • Writing your CV! Part 1 The Basics (leavingthepublicsector.net)
  • Writing your CV! Part 2 Making Choices (leavingthepublicsector.net)
  • Writing your CV! Part 3 Pondering on CVs; language,confidentiality, competencies and referees! (leavingthepublicsector.net)

Wendy Mason works as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger. She has managed or advised on many different kinds of transition and she has worked with all kinds of people going through personal change. If you would like her help, email her at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439