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Top tips to answer 5 of the most common interview questions

Rene Garcia
Do you have an interview coming up? Then it’s time to get yourself fully prepared!

Here are the five most common interview questions that you can bet your last pound you will be asked when applying for an IT role.

1. Why would you like this job?
This is one of the most guaranteed and important questions you will ever be asked at an interview. Here, you need to prove that you have researched the business and combine your knowledge of them with the skills and interests that led you to apply for the job in the first place. 
Top tip: try to find a specific feature on which the employer prides themselves in such as their training programmes, their client base, individuality or public image and answer with it in mind.

2. What are your weaknesses?
The classic answer here is to state a strength that is disguised as a weakness like “I’m too much of a perfectionist”. However, because these answers have been given too much over the years, they’ve become a little cliché.
A good strategy is to answer the question with a weakness you’ve been working on to improve. For example, if you lack confidence when talking to people, you could tell them you’ve been working to boost this while at work by contributing to team meetings.

Never deny that you have any weaknesses because everyone has them.

3. Explain a situation where you led a team
This is a competency-based question which gives the interviewer the ability to evaluate how well you relate to other people and what role you take in a group. 
Try to outline the situation, your role, and the task of the group while describing any problems that you came up against and how you tackled them. Be sure to inform them of the end result and what you learned from it. 

4. What do you want to be doing in five years’ time?
Here you should avoid general or vague answers and be more specific. Interviewers want to know what you want.
A good answer would be: “I would like to gradually take on more responsibility and work to become an IT team leader.”

5. Do you have any questions?
Towards the end of the interview your interviewer is sure to ask you if you have any questions. It’s important to keep your questions brief and try to ask about what the work itself entails and career development and NOT pensions, holidays and season tickets!

However, don’t feel like you have to wait until this point to ask your questions, if the chance comes up, ask throughout the interview. Making an interview into more of a conversation makes it easier for all parties.

While preparing for an interview does bring with it a number of advantages, it’s also important not to sound as though you are reading from a script. Have the main points in your mind but stay flexible when questioned as that should provide you with the best chances of success. There are no definitive right and wrong answers during an interview, but it is possible to create a good impression by providing well thought-out and concise answers.

Read our related blog: 3 ways to answer "Why should we hire you" in a job interview
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