Predicting the interview questions…

interviewSo, you sent off your well-crafted CV and application letter for that dream job and lo and behold you get the call to attend an interview! Wow, that’s exciting, now what to you do?

Well, as we have alluded to in previous posts, preparation is the key to success at interviews, so what questions will they ask me and how will I know what to say?

You will no doubt be delighted to hear that eighty per cent of interview questions are unoriginal, predictable and answers are able to be rehearsed.

Questions are generally based on the information you provide in your CV or application and the position for which you are applying. Add to that a review of standard questions that are frequently asked in interviews and you can reliably predict many of the questions you will be asked. The benefit of this is that you are able to plan and practice answers to these questions, significantly increasing your likelihood of a positive outcome.

The questions asked generally fulfil a number of purposes – some are ‘warm up’ questions to get you relaxed, settled and talking, other are designed to obtain factual information to enable the interviewer to assess your suitability – personally (will they fit in with the team and me?) and professionally (do they have the skills to do the job?).

Note – see our previous post – The only 3 things they really want to find out at interview

Interviewers will also use other types of question to dig deeper and to find out whether candidates really do possess the attributes necessary to be successful – most common of these are scenario and competence based questions.

In scenario questions you will be presented with a hypothetical situation and asked how you would handle it – “you have an irate guest in the lobby who is complaining about the quality of food in the restaurant – how do you calm him down and ensure a positive outcome for the guest and the hotel?

In competence based questions you may be asked to describe real world situations that you have been in – describe the situation and then how you handled it – “Give an example of how you successfully introduced change into a project. How did you do it and what were the outcomes?”

Make sure you know both your strengths and weaknesses – Have at least five strong points to emphasise your skills, achievements and character and at least five weaknesses and how these can be turned into positives when discussed.

In future posts we will run through a list of some typical and common interview questions and the responses that these questions are trying to elicit.

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