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18 June, 2021

Top 10 job interview questions you need to know:

If like many, you’re stepping back onto the career path, it’s probably been a while since you experienced a job interview. 

Preparation is key when attending a job interview, avoid mistakes and improve your chances of getting hired by completing several practice interviews beforehand. This is your opportunity to showcase yourself, show them your personality and demonstrate why you feel you would be ideal for their company. Being prepared will also help calm any nerves you might have and knowing you’re ready for any potential questions will give you that extra boost of confidence. Well, that’s where Mpeople Recruitment come in!

We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 job interview questions for you, as well as guiding you on how to answer these job interview questions in the best way. We’ve also included a few do’s and don’ts to help you achieve a successful interview process.

Below are the Top 10 job interview questions :

  1. Tell us a little about yourself
  2. Why do you think we should hire you?
  3. What would you say is your greatest strength?
  4. What would you say is your greatest weakness?
  5. Why Do You Want To Work For Us?
  6. What was the reason for leaving your last job?
  7. Share with us your greatest accomplishment?
  8. Describe a time when you faced a difficult work situation and how did you overcome this?
  9. Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
  10. Have you anything you want to ask us?

Tell us a little about yourself

This is one of the most common questions you will probably get asked in a job interview and one that a lot of people will struggle with. Especially if you’re not one for talking about yourself. Here’s a few Do’s and Don’ts to consider if you’re challenged with this question.

Do :

  • Focus on your work background primarily, talk about where you are professionally, where you have been within your career path.
  • Read up on the job skills and qualities that the job in question is looking for and talk about how you believe you possess those qualities. Give examples of your previous jobs to back this up.

Don’t :

  • Talk too much about your life story
  • Don’t talk about a previous job that doesn’t relate to the you’re interviewing for.

Why do you think we should hire you?

If you’re asked this question in a job interview, then you’re lucky! This question gives you a great opportunity to showcase yourself and the chance to explain to the interviewee how and why you could help their company.

Do :

  • Pinpoint specific qualities that show that you are uniquely suited for their position.
  • Research the company as a whole including their general practices to show a willingness and interest in the company
  • Include a success story that relates to qualities you have researched in their job specification.

Don’t :

  • Don’t be too modest with your answers, believe in yourself and they’ll believe in you.
  • However, don’t be too over the top as you may come across as arrogant.
  • Try not to answer with why you want the job. Discuss why you think you’re the perfect fit.

What would you say is your greatest strength?

You’ll need to look at the job specification for this one. Pick out the strengths and qualities outlined. Research what strengths the company focus on.

Do :

  • Relate an impressive work story to showcase your strengths.

Don’t :

  • Don’t make claims that you can’t back up with facts.
  • Don’t talk about strengths that are irrelevant to the job specification.

What would you say is your greatest weakness?

Although a daunting question, try not to fluster if this one comes up in a job interview. As long as you choose a weakness that isn’t highlighted in the job specification you’ll be able to word this to your advantage.

Do :

  • Make the interviewee aware that you are working on your weakness with an explanation of how you are overcoming it.
  • Express that you are aware that you have the ability to improve yourself.

Don’t :

  • Don’t highlight a weakness that is listed on the job specification. We can’t stress enough to read and re read the job specification inside and out before all job interviews.

Why Do You Want To Work For Us?

One of the main points the interviewer will want to ascertain about you during your interview is to find out what motivates you for wanting this job. Is it just for the wage slip at the end of the month? Or are you looking for a company that you can grow with? Show them that your wants match with their needs.

Do :

  • Research about the company, look on their website and social media platforms. Then pinpoint aspects of the company that appealed to you. Maybe it was a charity event they were involved in on Facebook or a collaboration they talked about on their blog.
  • Furthermore, find out what the companies needs are and relate to this by telling them how you could fulfil those needs.
  • Compliment the company and what they stand for but don’t go overboard as you may come across as disingenuous.

Don’t :

  • Whatever you do, don’t say “you need the money!” 

What was the reason for leaving your last job?

Another daunting but necessary question that more often than not gets asked at many job interviews. It is completely normal for an interviewer to ask this question, and unfortunately if the answer is that you was “let go” from your previous role – you’re still going to have to own up to it.

Do :

  • If you left on your own accord, relate the reason to something more that you were looking for that the company you’re interviewing for holds. Try to make it a characteristic that your previous employer didn’t have.
  • If the reason is that you was let go or fired, the only option is to be honest. The company you want to hire you will ask for a reference from your previous employer so it is inevitable that the truth will come out eventually. The trick is to answer this in a way that shows you are addressing the reason and then you can go on to explain how you have learned from this.
  • Tell the truth is always better than fabricating a story to benefit yourself. So use the phrases “downsizing the team” or “staff cuts” if these are the true reasons.

Don’t :

  • Don’t focus too negatively on your past company, in particular you’re previous manager.
  • If you’re looking for a new role purely for a new direction don’t say you’re tired of doing the same old thing. Instead, offer a positive reason for your change in direction.

Share with us your greatest accomplishment?

Remember to choose an accomplishment that draws in qualities and skills relevant to the job specification, that are desirable for the role you have applied for. It’s possible you’ll have several accomplishments you’d love to share, however try to pick the one with the most impact.

Do :

  • Talk about an accomplishment that exhibits how you will be a perfect fit for the company and for the position you’re interviewing for.
  • Try and show some genuine passion when you’re talking about your accomplishment.

Don’t :

  • Be too modest when speaking about your accomplishment. Anything related to what you think the company values is better than nothing. It’s not about you, it’s about them.

Describe a time when you faced a difficult work situation and how did you overcome this?

A common question that needs a success story added to it. Relate a story where you dealt with a problem successfully. Again try to relate this back to the skills and values in the job specification.

Do :

  • Choose a situation that you tackled that could possibly arise at the company you are interviewing for.
  • Use the S.T.A.R. Method (Situation, Task, Action, Result)

Don’t :

  • Don’t speak negatively about a previous co-worker or manager.

Where would you like to be in 5 years time?

A good question that will arise in many job interviews. The key is to show you are ambitious but don’t appear like you have you head in the clouds.

Do :

  • Demonstrate when you answer the question your level of commitment to the position they are interviewing you for.
  • After you have demonstrated your commitment to the role you are interviewing for, outline a realistic growth strategy that is directly tied to the role you’re in and the needs and values of the company.
  • Stress your interest in a long-term career at the company

Don’t :

  • Don’t exhibit ambition to the point of seeming like this particular job is just a “brief stepping stone” for you. You need to show commitment.
  • Don’t say you want to be CEO of the company in 5 years.
  • Don’t say “Actually I want to be in YOUR seat within the next 5 years.” to the hiring manager.

Have you anything you want to ask us?

Around 75 percent of job seekers will say “Nope, I think that’s everything” to this question. Do not reply with this answer, this question gives you a fantastic opportunity to stand out from the crowd and show your knowledge and passion for the company or organization you are interviewing for. Always have a few questions prepared and have one based around something you found during your company research phase.

Do :

  • Focus your questions on the company and what you can do for them.
  • Ask about something you’ve discovered in your company research. This will show your passion and knowledge of the company.
  • Ask if there is any reason the hiring manager wouldn’t hire you. (This can be a little daunting to ask BUT can really pay off. It allows you to address something they may be thinking in their head but haven’t brought up.)

Don’t :

  • Never say “No, I think I’m good.” Always have questions ready!
  • Don’t focus your questions on yourself and what you can get from them. (i.e.
  • Don’t ask questions that you could easily find the answer to.
  • Don’t ask about time off and benefits too early in the process.
  • Don’t ask how soon you can start applying for other positions in the company.