Have you got a job interview coming up and you want to master your responses to the questions that get sent your way? Job interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience and sometimes nerves can get the better of candidates which can lead to them being unsuccessful for the role.
At Sixth Sense Training, we love interviewing potential apprentices and discovering why they applied for the role and what they hope to achieve with an apprenticeship opportunity. In this article, we will go through some of the common questions you may receive at your next job interview and how you can respond to them successfully to make you stand out from the crowd.
Why have you applied for this job opportunity?
The interviewer wants to know why you have applied for the position. Be honest and positive and highlight some of the opportunities specified in the job vacancy. Be enthusiastic about the role and avoid giving a short sentence answer, Interviewers appreciate you taking the time to revise over the job vacancy and highlighting some of the key areas that you would be most excited about.
Some candidates mention they are looking for a new challenge or career change within an exciting opportunity. Avoid saying sentences like “I thought the job looked good.” or “I’m not sure, I just thought I would apply and see what happens.”. For any question that requires a unique response, don’t just give a short answer, explain your reasoning.
How did you hear about this job opportunity?
Interviewers and businesses are keen to know how you came across their job advert. The majority of the time you will come across new job opportunities on Indeed, through social media or even on the company website. Just be truthful, even if it was a family member or friend that told you to apply for it.
Tell us more about your latest work experience?
For an interview, you will go over some of your latest and most relevant work experience that is suitable for the job. The interviewer may ask what the daily duties you will be responsible for and how you handle certain situations that involve using your own initiative and if you can work under pressure. Now, we completely understand that not everyone has had work experience due to them being school leavers or completing college. If this is the case, they may ask if you would be willing to adapt to certain situations as well as what your strengths were during your time at school and/or college.
What skills are you bringing to the role?
Along with relevant work experience, the interviewer wants to know what skills you are bringing to the table. Be honest about your current skills and only mention the areas that you would be successful in. In some cases, interviews can include an aptitude test which will allow the interviewer to get a better understanding of your skills and personality. If this test is involved, the individual organising the interview will confirm this with you to give you time to prepare.
What are your career goals?
Interviewers are always interested in knowing your career aspirations so make sure you have an answer to this question. The majority of people will have a good idea of what they hope to achieve but that’s not always the case. Avoid saying that you want to work with another organisation in a couple of years or you just want to make as much money as you can. Instead, mention that you are committed to learning the industry and you want to gain as much experience and knowledge as possible.
Tell us about a time you…
Many interviewers want you to provide an example of you demonstrating a skill or task. Some common examples could include ‘a time you handled a difficult situation’ or ‘a time you went above and beyond to help a customer or work colleague’. A good way to prepare for these questions is to create a list and go through each situation and include an example. Revise this list and make sure you give the interviewer a legit example.
When would you be able to start?
Many job adverts will have the start date posted when you apply for the position, but that’s not always the case. Some jobs will require someone to start immediately and some might have a specific date. Interviewers completely understand that you may have to give a notice period to your current employer and that can approximately be 2-4 weeks, depending on the organisation. Make sure you give the interviewer the correct amount of notice so they can work around it and avoid any delays or confusion. If the interviewer has not confirmed a start date during the interview, this would be a very good question to ask.
What do you know about the company?
For any job interview, it is highly recommended to do your research about the company. Visit the company website on a daily basis leading up to the interview to develop a good understanding of what the company specialises in, their products, services and their company mission. If you do this and discuss your understanding at the interview, you will be demonstrating that you are committed to the opportunity and it shows the interviewer that you have prepared for the interview.
Do you have any questions for me?
Interviewing the interviewer is always a fantastic opportunity to show your interest in the role further. Some questions that you can ask the interviewer can vary from when is the start date? To how many opportunities are available? You may even ask questions about the organisation that you could be working for such as how many staff do you have? And what responsibilities do you have within the company? Asking these questions does show you are eager about the opportunity.
Now that you have gone through some of the common interview questions and you now understand how to approach them at your next interview, we wish you the very best of luck. If you would like to apply for one of our apprenticeship opportunities, click here. Or, you can view our other interview tips here.