Five questions that are often asked during job interviews

  1. What is your greatest success ?
    In answering this question, it’s good to choose the professional achievement that’s the most relevant to the position you’re applying for. In describing your success, stress your role, whether somebody helped you, what difficulties you faced along the way and how you managed to deal with them. Your answer should show what determined the success of the whole undertaking (e.g. your organizational skills, or the ability to work under time pressure). If you can’t boast of a professional success, choose an example from your private live, or e.g. from your studies.
  2. What is your greatest failure ?
    During a job interview, everybody wants to show their best side. So it’s no surprise that a question about your greatest failure can cause you a lot of difficulty. But the only people who never make mistakes are those who don’t work, and who don’t take up challenges. The recruiter is trying to find out whether, when a failure happens, the candidate was able to respond appropriately and draw conclusions for the future. Try to talk as much as possible about how you acted in this situation, while at the same time avoiding putting the blame on others.
  3. Why should we hire you for this position ?
    To answer this question, you have to know perfectly the description of the job you’re applying for, and be aware of what competences and skills are desirable for it. If your experience thus far and your predispositions fit with what the company is looking for, answering this question shouldn’t cause you any difficulty. It’s enough to align your knowledge about the expectations for the ideal candidate for the position with the arguments that confirm that you meet the requirements. Remember to present the benefits that the company gains from hiring you. It’s also worth stressing your motivation for working in this particular firm.

  4. What do you expect from your supervisor ?
    The purpose of this question is to confirm whether the candidate fits with the company’s organizational culture and whether they’ll be able to work effectively with their future supervisor. Every manager has a different style, which is why it’s so important that before the interview stage ends, it’s compared with the candidate’s preferences. If the supervisor likes to have everything under tight control, and the candidate needs a lot of autonomy, the relationship won’t work for either side. So it’s important to speak openly about your preferences, and the factors that can determine your satisfaction with a working relationship. Concentrate on issues such as: professional relationships, the approach to employee development, substantive skills. Remember not to describe the faults of your previous supervisors. When you think about their weaknesses, you can present the image of a supervisor who’s the opposite, whom you’d like to work with.
  5. Financial expectations ?
    Before you go to an interview, get to know the data on salaries for the position you’re applying for. It’s important for you to compare the information you gather with the range of duties for the position and your experience and competences. Prepare a range of expected salaries, both gross and net. Before you answer this question, during the meeting you should get full information from the recruiter about the range of duties for the position, so that if you need to you can check and confirm your initial assumptions.