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Jobseekers: be prepared for the tough questions

Published on: 9 Feb 2019


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Landing the perfect job is harder than ever in the current climate, and while getting through to the interview stage is a great sign, it's still not time to relax.

We all know that interview jitters can make it difficult to come up with great responses on the spot, so make sure you know what's coming. The best way to prepare yourself for a difficult interview is to anticipate the questions your interviewers will ask you and have the perfect answers ready in advance.

Here are a few typical questions and advice on how best to answer them:

Q. Why do you want to work here?

Make sure you do a little background research about the company you're applying to so that you can show you know what you're getting yourself into. You need to demonstrate not only that you'll fit in, but also that you understand its core values.

Q. How does your experience prepare you for this position?

You'll need to rack your brains to think of all the ways you've demonstrated the skills your interviewers will want to see from you in previous jobs. You need to show that you're capable of performing the duties that will be required of you, and the best way to do this is by showing that you've done them before. Make sure you use the best examples you have in every case.

Q. What obstacles have you overcome in your previous roles?

Many interviewers will want you to provide examples of obstacles and dilemmas you have faced in the past and to explain how you have overcome them. Everyone stumbles every once in a while; there's no point pretending that you're perfect. What your interviewers want to see is that you can recognise problems when they arise, take steps to solve them, and learn from any mistakes you do make.

Q. Why did you leave your last position?

Whether you've already left your old place of work or you're simply looking to move on, your new potential employers will want to know why. Most employers will be looking for candidates who are prepared to stay with the company for at least a little while, and of course if you've been fired or let go, it's important to be honest about it. Don't hide the truth, but be proactive about assuring your interviewers that you can be with them for the long haul.

Of course, there are many more questions that your interviewers may ask of you; the best thing you can do is make sure you know your CV inside and out, and be clued up on the position you're applying for.