10 classic interview questions

The question hangs in the air, a mug is set down on a desk, a clock ticks. But not if you’ve rehearsed your answers to these questions:

1. Tell me about yourself

The interviewer doesn’t want to know if you’re a cat person. Talk briefly about your achievements to date.  

2. Why do you want to work for us?

A little research and you’ll be able to talk compellingly about the business and how you can impact on it.

3. Give an example of where you've been able to use your leadership skills

Even if you’re not in a management role, you must cite an example where you took the reins. See ‘competency based questions’ for more info. 

4. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Talk about strengths that satisfy the selection criteria and allude to weaknesses irrelevant to the role.

5. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Research the company structure to pitch your aspirations more realistically than ‘I want to be on the board by then.’

6. What is your greatest achievement?

Use the selection criteria to identify which of your achievements called for skills the interviewer is interested in.

7. Why should we hire you?

Describe the skills and experience you’ve gained that qualify you to fulfill the duties listed on the job description.

8. Are you a team player?

You need to provide examples to back up your emphatic ‘yes’.  

9. What are your salary expectations?

Check out Michael Page’s salary surveys to find out what you’re worth in the current market.

10. Do you have any questions for us?

Use this opportunity to build rapport, referring back to a key point in the interview and developing it.