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4 more common job interview questions (and how you should answer them)

16/10/2019
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We’ve previously listed some of the most common job questions you’re likely to be asked in a job interview, along with tips on how to answer them. 

Now we’ve come up with some more frequently asked questions, and the important things to consider before you answer.

Practicing the answers to the most common questions in a job interview can give you the edge you need
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Where do you see yourself in five years?

This is one of the most dreaded questions among interviewees. If you have longterm, realistic career goals then that’s great, but for a lot of people - particularly when interviewing for a new job - the future holds a lot of uncertainty. 

Think about where you were five years ago - did you picture yourself in the exact position you’re now sitting in?

The benefit of course is that most hiring managers actually do understand that you might not have a plan set in stone, and in fact many would agree that allowing for flexibility in your life can be extremely beneficial. 

So rather than worrying about laying out your life plan in front of the interviewer, lead with your hopes about the future of the role that you’re interview for. You could discuss the impact that new technologies or procedures have already had within the industry and your thoughts on where they could lead, and emphasise the potential within this new role to learn more about upcoming projects.

For example, you could answer with:
“Having seen the development that this company has undertaken over the last few years I’m sure that the next five will see several more extremely interesting changes. I hope to become an integral part of this through taking on challenging roles in new projects and developing new skills.”

The aim is to show that you are ambitious, without coming across as arrogant. Suggest your hope for progression, without picking out your future office.You can even tell the interviewer that you don’t have any specific goals, as long as you ensure they know that you hope to grow along with the company.

Explain how you worked well with someone you disagreed with
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What’s a time you disagreed with a decision that was made at work?

Even in your dream job, there’s always going to be a decision that you don’t agree with. But this isn’t the opportunity to complain about an old boss or coworker, or to suggest - even subtly - how much smarter you are than them. 

The interviewer wants to know how you deal with authority and difference of opinion. Try to stay positive and professional. Explain how there were merits to both sides (even if you didn’t see it that way at the time) and how you dealt with it appropriately. If you made a persuasive argument that changed someone’s mind, then mention how you were able to put your view across in a thoughtful and clear way. If you had to go along with the decision that was made, then emphasise how you remained a team player and did your best to make the chosen solution work.

Everyone has ways of coping with pressure and stress - make sure you know what yours are
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How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?

This is another opportunity where they’re looking for a positive approach to a workplace issue, and not a chance for you to complain about your last job. Mentioning how stressful you found a previous role will not put you in a good light - the interviewer doesn’t know what the atmosphere was like in your old job and may be wondering how you would cope working for them. 

Conversely, don’t lean back and claim that you’ve never found any job stressful. While you may think it makes you look like the perfect, calm employee, it may just make you seem as though you don’t take on responsibilities or work hard enough. 

Every job has its pressures, so consider a positive approach you’ve had to a stressful situation. Talk about any stress-reducing tactics you have, such as breaking down a task in to simpler chunks or developing time-management skills, or even just taking a few deep breaths to calm yourself before diving into a major task.

Remember to prepare your own questions - what do you need to know about your potential new job?
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Do you have any questions for us?

ALWAYS prepare a few questions to ask them. This demonstrates that you’re still interested in the role or the company and aren’t just wasting their time.

Aside from that, this isn’t a one way street. The interview isn’t just for the interviewer to find out more about you, it’s your chance to determine if this is a job that you will enjoy and a company you will fit well in. After all, if you get the job then you’re likely to be spending much of your time there. So don’t be afraid of being cheeky, ask them everything you want to know.

Plan your questions before the interview. It’s highly likely that they’ll run through the key points of the job and the company when the interview begins - and you may have the chance to ask a few questions throughout the interview. So have a few ready to go, including some less obvious ones eg. “How did you get your start in this industry?”, “What’s the best part of working here?” or “Do you expect the main responsibilities for this position to change in the next year?”.

For some more ideas, take a look at our previous article on 5 questions to ask at the end of your job interview.

Tags: Engineering
Recent Comments
Hi, I am going for an interview this coming week for a role of Senior Investment Analyst. I have accounting experience but nothing on investments though I have theoretical skills. Please help to provide typical interview questions and answers that may help me to pass the interview. Thank you. Stanley Sungi
Stanley Sungi, 18 October 2019
Hi, I am going for an interview this coming week for a role of Senior Investment Analyst. I have accounting experience but nothing on investments though I have theoretical skills. Please help to provide typical interview questions and answers that may help me to pass the interview. Thank you. Stanley Sungi
Stanley Sungi, 18 October 2019
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