How to answer those tough interview questions

There are always certain job interview questions that catch you off-guard. Here’s how to answer five of the most common.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Interviewers ask this question to understand your career ambition, long-term interest in your field and whether this job aligns with your aspirations. To answer this question, find the commonalities between your career ambitions and this job.

What are your weaknesses?

This question is asked to determine how self-aware you are and whether you act to overcome your shortfalls. Think of a real-life weakness, but make sure it’s a nice-to-have skill not a key requirement of the job. In the interview, explain the steps you’re taking to overcome your weakness.

Tell me about yourself

Start your answer with a brief overview of your educational and professional background. Then mention the relevant skills and expertise that make you suitable for this job. Finally, succinctly explain why you want this role.

Why are you the best person for the job?

Focus on your top three or four strengths, with an example to support each. Link these to the competencies required in the job so that you form a picture in the interviewer’s mind of you excelling in the role.

What is your salary expectation?

Before the interview, research typical salaries for your job in a current Salary Guide. You can then confidently tell your interviewer your salary expectations, backed up by evidence.

Alex Jones is Senior Regional Director at Hays Office Support.