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Top tips for answering interview questions!

No matter how much experience you have, interviews can seem daunting. Showing yourself off while a panel are judging you and throwing questions at you can be a challenge for even the most confident of candidates. However if you are well prepared and practice common interview questions you could stand yourself in the best possible stead for securing the job.

Interview questions you are likely to come across

Before attending any interview, make sure that you have done your research - not only about the job but about the company you are interviewing for too. Know who is who on the panel (LinkedIn is very useful) and know who the company's competitors are and what makes them unique.

Why do you want this job?

This question appears in many interviews. Obviously don’t tell them you want it because you need a job, or because it's handy to home. Show how you have the skills they are looking for and why you want to work for their company. You need to convince them that you're a great match.

What are your weaknesses?

Now is not the time to try to be funny! Give a weakness that does not directly relate to the job or mention a small weakness that might, but show how you have worked on it and overcome it.

What do you want for your salary?

Be careful! Put a range on it rather than a figure, and base this on what other companies are offering for the same position. Salary should be decided when there is a job offer, not at interview stage.

Unconventional interview questions

Increasingly, interviewers are asking questions to see how quickly you can think, test your maths skills and assess your problem solving abilities. For example:

  • You are stranded on a desert island. You have 60 seconds to choose people of ten professions to come with you. Who do you choose? Go! (asked by Google)
  • Sell me an invisible pen (asked by Procter and Gamble)
  • Given the numbers 1 to 1,000, what is the minimum number of guesses needed to find a specific number if you are given the hint "higher" or "lower" for each guess you make? (asked by Facebook)
  • What do wood and alcohol have in common? (asked by Guardsmark)

Interviews are tricky - from what to wear to what to ask, they can be a stressful experience. A good starting point is to prepare answers to common interview questions. If they do ask you something unconventional or something that you are not expecting, just take a few seconds and think about the answer. Remember they invited you to the interview because they are interested in you. Try to relax and show off your competence!

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