6 Common Interview Questions and Answers

by Heat Recruitment

While a job interview can often seem daunting, by taking time to prepare fully it can be an opportunity to talk about all your achievements and successes. To help your preparations our team have pulled together six of the most common interview questions.

1. “Can you tell me about yourself.”

What the hiring manager is really asking…

“How do your experience and aspirations relate to this job?”

How to respond:

Before the interview have a careful read through the job description, key roles and responsibilities. Note down when your previous work experience has related to job and make sure you highlight how this makes you a perfect fit for the role.

2.“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

What the hiring manager is really asking…

“Does this position fit into your long-term career goals? Do you even have long-term career goals?”

How to respond:

Do NOT say you don’t know (even if you don’t)! You can talk about skills you want to develop, maybe mention about moving into a management role or atleast taking on more responsibility.

Show the employer you’ve thought about your career path and that your goals match with the job you are interviewing for.


Interview Preparation Guide

3.“What’s your greatest weakness?”

What the hiring manager is really asking…

“Are you self-aware?”

How to respond:

Do NOT say you don’t have one or the great cliché of “I am a perfectionist and work too hard”

The best way to answer is with honest feedback that you received in the past that you have improved upon. For example, maybe a former employer told you that you needed to work on your presentation skills. – Explain that you have been made aware of the weakness and you have consciously improved on this.

Also – avoid the deal breakers: “I don’t work well with others” OR “I’m often late”.  

 4. “What motivates you to perform?”

What the hiring manager is really asking…

“Are you a hard worker?”

How to respond:

The perfect employee is motivated internally and motivates themselves.  Tell the hiring manager that you are motivated when working toward a goal.

“I love building a leading team: sharing the vision, establishing goals, training the team, and watching the results.”

Provide a specific example that supports your response.

5. “Tell me about a time that you failed.”

What the hiring manager is really asking…

“How do you respond to failure? Do you learn from your mistakes? Are you resilient?”

How to respond:

Alike the “greatest weakness” question, it is put in to allow the employer to understand you.  Demonstrate how you’ve turned a negative experience into a learning experience and taken something positive out the situation.

6. “Why do you want to work here?”

What the hiring manager is really asking…

“Are you genuinely interested in the job?”

How to respond:

Here you need to highlight why you and the company are the perfect match. Not just technically but ethically.

This is your chance to show the preparation you have done prior to the interview. Discuss what you have learned about them.  Not just how many people work there, but their mission statement, culture and reputation. Align yourself with these.

Hopefully, these questions will help in your next interview. We have put together a whole toolbox for interview preparation and CV building.

Interview Tips and Example Questions

Questions Not to Ask