By Career Advice

So you’ve made it to interview stage – great!  Here are some tips on how to answer some of the toughest interview questions an employer might throw your way.

Why Are You Ready To Leave Your Current Job?

When asked this question, it’s best to give a couple of reasons as to why you’re wanting to leave your current position. Stay away from negative comments about the company you’re leaving, or particular people within the organisation. This is unprofessional. Instead, keep your response positive.

A much better approach is to talk about how you’re ready for your next challenge, your desire to take on more (or perhaps less) responsibility, or your need for a career change.

Do You Believe You Are Overqualified For This Job?

This is the type of question that can very easily catch you off-guard – and the reason why employers might ask it! Be prepared so you can answer the question without hesitation and show confidence in your abilities.

A great way to answer this question is to talk about how your experience and qualifications will bring a better return for their investment. You can also talk about how you might expect to be given additional responsibilities that could make further use of your skillset. Let the employer see how they’re going to benefit from hiring you versus someone with less experience.

5 Tough Interview Questions & How Best To Answer Them

What Salary Are You Expecting For This Role?

This can be a touchy subject, and when asked this question it’s very tempting to just say a figure or range and move on with the next question. But often the employer is trying to weed out those people who have unrealistic salary expectations, so be careful how you answer.

Giving a low salary might make you seem out of touch with the industry standard; whereas if you give a high salary you might outprice yourself and ruin any further chances to negotiate. Do your homework before the interview so you know the typical salary for someone with your skills and experience.

And when asked this question at interview, it’s best to put it back on the employer – ask them what they believe the salary range is for the role. Then ask them how they think your particular skills and experience might rate compared to the average requirements for the role. Their answer will help you better gauge where you might fit within the salary range they are offering.

What Is Your Dream Job?

This is your chance to sell your natural abilities that fit the job you’re being interviewed for. A good way to do this is to break it down into 3 parts … the skills you’re hoping to use (highlight the skills you’re particularly good at and enjoy using the most), what interests you and keeps you engaged (think big picture and try to relate it to the job at hand or industry), and what you value (what really motivates you and how will this fit with the culture of the company).

What Is Your Biggest Weakness?

Most people hate being asked this question and interviewers love it! Really what the employer is asking you here is, ‘Should we be worried about anything?’ You need to have the courage to fess up and be truthful, but the key here is to give your answer a positive spin.

Stay away from mentioning weaknesses that could be disruptive to your new job. Instead, emphasise a weakness that you are actively working on improving or changing. Another good way to respond to this question is to give an activity you enjoy doing versus an activity you don’t enjoy doing, framing your answer this way, “if I were given a choice between doing ……. and ……., I would prefer ……..” This way you’re not being negative.

We hope you find these tips useful for your next interview. Are there other interview questions you’d like us to help you with? Post your comments below and we’ll cover them off in a separate blog post.

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