Ace that job interview: common interview questions asked, plus bonus tips and freebies

Landing your dream job often hinges on one crucial hurdle: the dreaded job interview. It can be a nerve-wracking experience, but with the right prep, you can channel that interview anxiety into confidence. Read on for our tips and insights into common interview questions asked, as well as some dos and don’ts so you can shine through the interview process. Plus, a downloadable freebie!

Job interview tips

  • Prep thoroughly. Research the company and understand the job description.
  • Anticipate potential questions. Check out the below common interview questions asked section for guidance.
  • Practice your answers out loud. Focus on being clear, concise and enthusiastic.
  • Dress for success. First impressions matter. Choose an outfit that aligns with the company culture – whether that’s quirky and relaxed or formal and corporate.
  • Mind your body language. Project confidence through your body language. Maintain eye contact, smile and avoid fidgeting.
  • Highlight your achievements. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to showcase your skills and experiences. This involves breaking each example into:
    • S – Situation. Describe the situation your example took place in. Where was it and what was your role?
    • T – Task. Help the interviewer understand the situation, so they have a sense of what you were trying to achieve.
    • A – Action. Describe the actions you personally took (not your team) in the situation.
    • R – Results. Describe the outcome of the situation and the results of your actions. Discuss what you learned and if you would do things differently next time.
  • Ask thoughtful questions. Show initiative by prepping questions about the role, team and company.
  • Express gratitude. Thank the interviewer for their time and express your enthusiasm for the position.
Job interview tip 1

Bonus tip! Practise, practise, practise! Do mock interviews with friends or family to get valuable feedback and boost your confidence.

Common interview questions asked

Here are a few questions that tend to pop up in job interviews.

  • Tell me about yourself. This is your chance to nail that first impression. Focus on your relevant skills and experiences, and match them with the job description.
  • Why are you interested in this position? Explain your genuine passion for the role and the company. What excites you about the job?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? This is a tricky one. Choose strengths relevant to the position and be honest about your weaknesses (while showing how you’re working to improve).
  • Describe a time you faced a challenge and how you overcame it. Emphasise your problem-solving skills and what you learned.
  • Describe a time you worked as part of a team. Highlight how you worked collaboratively and what the result of that collaboration was.
  • Why should we hire you? Concisely summarise why you’re the best person for the job and how you’ll contribute to the organisation’s success.
Job interview tip 2

Bonus tip! Remember, it’s always worth expecting the unexpected. Sure, the interview panel might ask you a bunch of standard questions. However, they might also ask you a complete curveball. E.g. “If you could choose a superpower, what would it be and why?” or “What’s your favourite font?”.

Questions to ask a prospective employer

Equally, just as the interviewer is about evaluating you, you’ll also have the chance to find out if the organisation and role are a good fit for you. Asking thoughtful questions shows initiative, helps you gather info and demonstrates your soft skills. Here are some key areas to explore.

Icon: the role

The role

  • What are the biggest challenges and opportunities associated with this position?
  • What does a typical day or week look like in this role?
  • What are the key metrics used to measure success in this position?
  • What are the opportunities for growth and development in this role?
Icon: the team

The team

  • Can you describe the team’s culture and dynamics?
  • What are the team’s current priorities and projects?
  • What are the opportunities for collaboration within the organisation?
  • How will I be supported and integrated within the team?
Icon: the organisation

The organisation

  • What are the organisation’s biggest goals and challenges in the next year?
  • What are the organisation’s values – and how should I reflect them in my work?
  • What are the organisation’s future plans?

Above all, every interview is an opportunity to showcase your unique talents and passion. Remember, by following these expert tips, familiarising yourself with common interview questions asked, and practising your responses, you’ll be well on your way to acing your next interview.

Need help landing that dream job?

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Bonus freebie! Lastly, download our editable S.T.A.R. sheet to collate your experiences, practise your answers and kick-start any job interview.