Job interview questions and the answers UK employers want to hear

Preparing for a job interview? Get some practice in with these common job interview questions and answers UK.

Tell me about yourself.

This is the most common of all interview questions, but it catches many people off guard. Prepare a short, professional statement that gives an overview of your relevant work experience and explains why you are applying for this job.

Why do you want this job?

Discuss what interests you about the industry. Be passionate and relate the requirements of the role with your own skills and interests. Make sure that you explain why you are interested in working for that company in particular.

Where you see yourself in 5 years?

Employers will appreciate an honest answer rather than the standard 'working here'. If you're not sure, tell them so - in today's economic climate it's hard to predict where you'll be in one year never mind five! Come across as ambitious and determined, even if you're not sure which direction you are heading.

What are your greatest strengths?

There's lots of good answers to this question. Don't just rhyme off the key words that you think that employers will be looking for (hard working, reliable...), try to show some real insight and self knowledge.

What are your weaknesses?

Don't say 'none'. Everyone has weaknesses and the only thing that you are demonstrating to employers with this answer is dishonesty. Reveal one weakness, but make sure it's not one that impacts negatively on your ability to do the job. An artist could admit to being disorganised, a writer could admit to being shy, a salesperson could admit to being a loudmouth... just remember to explain how you can overcome this problem.

Why should we hire you?

Don't be too cocky - it suggests that you're not a team player. Say that you don't know the other candidates, but you do know that you will excel at this job.

What are your salary expectations?

Do a bit of research and state a salary range rather than a specific figure. A number will suggest that you're only concerned about the money; a range will suggest you're reasonable and have good market awareness. Make it clear that while money is always important, job satisfaction is the most important.

Are you willing to travel/work overtime/nights/weekends?

Be totally honest. Having a healthy work/life balance is good quality in an employee.

Describe a time when you have shown leadership skills/worked under pressure/handled a difficult situation.

Identify a few of the qualities that the employer will be looking for and prepare an example. Explain the situation, your action and the resolution.

Do you have any questions for me?

Always have at least two questions prepared. Don't ask about salary, holidays or office formalities - there'll be time for these if you get a job offer. Focus on the scope of the role, what your priorities will be and how your success will be measured.

These are the job interview questions and the answers UK employers want to hear!


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