Job Interview Questions and Answers

Can you work under pressure?

You can provide examples of times when you've performed well under pressure in previous or your current position. Better still, talk about a successfully completed task that was undertaken under time pressure. State how you are able to prioritise your workload and produce even better work under pressure.

Do you mind working for someone older than yourself? Younger than you? Of the opposite sex?

Your answer should be that you will work with anyone.

What interests do you have outside work?

Be careful, as your hobbies and interests can convey both positive and negative things about you, depending on the interviewer's personal viewpoints. Some interests will make you look like a loner, while others brim with positive connotations, such as team membership skills or leadership abilities. Mention only the interests that convey good attributes that support your application for this job.

Have you ever been fired?

If you were dismissed from a previous job, it is going to be hard to deny it, especially if it was a recent position. Don't try to place blame elsewhere, as it will only make you sound suspicious, but relate the facts and state how you have learned from the experience. The more honest you are, without damaging your own chances, the more likely the interviewer is to accept that you have changed.

What will your referees say about you?

There is only one response that you can give, which is to say that you expect excellent references.

6) Job conditions

How many hours are you prepared to work?

There is only one answer and that it that you will put in the hours needed to get the job done. Do ask if there are special requirements with this position that aren't mentioned in the job description, such as working evenings or weekends.

Are you prepared to relocate?

If relocation is required, this information should have been made clear in the job details. The interviewer may simply be confirming the point. If relocation is now being mentioned for the first time, then this might be a problem for you. Explain your surprise and say that you'd be prepared to relocate (even if it's not true). You can rest safe in the knowledge that you don't have to accept the job if it's offered to you.

Are you willing to travel?

Presumably this was mentioned in the job details, so you can confirm that yes, you're prepared to travel. If it wasn't previously made clear, you can ask how much travelling is involved, before saying that you'd be willing to do so. If you're secretly unhappy about the amount of travel, you can always decline a job offer if it's made.

How often are you off sick?

You can't pretend that you're not often sick if you are and it's in the records of your previous job, or if you've been out of work for a while due to illness. You can respond by saying that you are usually in good health and that the recent episode is not typical, and that you are pleased to report a good recovery.

What did you earn in your last job?

Questions about salary should be avoided at all costs, as the interviewer will use candidates' answers when deciding who to appoint. They may decide you are under or over-qualified for the job, or to offer you a lower salary than they previously planned. It is best to state that you will discuss salaries once it's decided that your experience and skills are a good match for the job. Never discuss salaries until you receive an offer, unless you have to!

What level of salary are you looking for now?

You can only lose out by answering this question before being offered a job. If you are applying for a specific vacancy you could ask them what the salary range is. If they answer with a range, state that your experience places you high on that range. Usually, it's best to delay answering, saying that you need to know more about the job and responsibilities.

7) Other Interview Questions

Difficult questions

If you cannot answer a question you might reply with "That's an interesting question-but could you please clarify it?" If still in doubt then-"How would you tackle it?"

Fantasy questions

Fantasy questions are off-the-wall, which makes them extremely difficult to answer and equally hard to prepare for. You can find lists of them online, which will at least give you an idea of what can come up. You have to answer in a way that will highlight your strengths and improve your chances of gaining the job, whilst showing you can think on your feet.

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