Home Business Insights & Advice Most common interview questions

Most common interview questions

by Sarah Dunsby
26th Nov 18 4:58 pm

So you looking for a job in the events industry and you applied through all the recruitment agencies around London, and now you have landed your dream job interview. We all know that Interviews are a huge source of stress for many people. Even those doing the interviewing will often admit to feeling a little nervous. There is no shortage of articles outlining how you can use breathing exercises to calm your nerves or visualisation techniques to help you feel more confident. However, the one thing you can do that will really help to boost your confidence is to prepare. Being prepared means that you will be able to anticipate the questions and formulate considered answers that will allow you to stand out amongst the candidates.

Prepare for an interview with the most common interview questions

Most interviews follow the same pattern, so you can feel confident that one or more of the following questions will pop up in your interview. Budding consultants should prepare for a case interview format. In this blog, we’ll share some of the most common interview questions you are likely to face and offer our top tips on how to answer them. While these might not be the exact questions you hear in your interview, you can be confident you’ll be asked a variation of them, starting with…

Tell me about yourself

This isn’t an invitation to tell your whole life story. This is your time to explain your work history, what drives you, and what brings you to the interview. Think of this as your personal elevator pitch. This is perhaps the easiest question to prepare for and the easiest way to make a lasting impression. Those people who haven’t prepared will immediately launch into a scattered story about their life and pepper the interviewer with irrelevant facts. Use this as an opportunity to stand out amongst the other candidates with a focused and clean answer.

What do you know about our company?

You’d be surprised how many people will walk into an interview with no knowledge of the company they are applying to work for. When an interviewer asks this question, they want to see that you’ve read beyond their Wikipedia article or the about page on their website. You don’t have to recite their history, you just need to demonstrate that you have done your research and have a solid understanding of what they do.

A common problem that some people face is that they search the news for mentions of the company and then bring this up in the interview. This should be approached with caution and you should never bring up bad news coverage as it can make things awkward. That said, showing that you are on top of the latest industry news can be a positive thing if you approach it correctly.

How did you find out about the role?

This is a seemingly innocent question on the surface, but it also presents a great opportunity to show that you are a strong candidate. If you know someone in the company, this is a great opportunity to name check them. If you saw the job posted directly on the company website, tell them what it is that made you want to check their job openings directly. And if you just saw it on a random job board, you can use this as an opportunity to explain what it was that caught your eye about the advert. As with any interview question, you can either answer it short and direct, or you can use it as an opportunity to shine.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Don’t even think about saying you want the interviewer’s job. It isn’t funny and it usually just comes across as arrogant. The interviewer wants to know that you are committed to this career path and that you are aware of the opportunities that are in front of you. Strike a balance between being realistic and showing some ambition. There’s no point in saying you want to be in charge of the company in 5 years if this is completely unrealistic. Likewise, giving the interviewer the impression that this is the end point of your career might make them think you lack ambition. If you’re at the start of your career, it’s fine to say that you aren’t sure what the future holds but that you are open to new opportunities and learning experiences.

What is your biggest weakness?

When companies ask what is your biggest weakness, they know that they aren’t going to get a truthful answer. What they are looking for is an element of self-awareness, honesty and the ability to critically assess your own performance. So, saying something like “I’m always late” isn’t a good idea, but neither is “nothing, I’m perfect”. Try to prepare an answer that shows you are self-aware but continually striving to improve yourself. For example, saying that you struggle with public speaking but have taken a course or signed up for coaching is a good way to turn a negative into a positive. However, this answer won’t work if public speaking is integral to the role. Choose your weakness wisely.

Can you tell me about a time when…?

Situational questions are an incredible opportunity to shine, provided you are prepared a number of different scenarios. Before your interview, make a list of the key competencies required for the job you are applying for and then think of 2 or 3 situations where you have put these skills to use. Outline the situation, explain what you did, and then tell them the outcome. These questions might be positive or negative, so they might ask about a time where something worked out or where something went wrong. Be prepared to describe how you have handled a number of different situations.

How do you deal with conflict?

Everyone can seem like a nice person in the context of a job interview, but in the real world, this is rarely the case. Personalities can clash, people can disagree and conflicts can arise on a daily basis. The interviewer doesn’t want to hear about how you’ve never faced any conflict at work, because this is very unlikely. Instead, think about a simple situation where you have faced a disagreement at work and share how you handled the situation. The interviewer wants to see that you have a level of maturity and that you aren’t difficult to work with. If you are applying for a management role, they might ask about how you deal with conflict above or below you, so be prepared with a number of different scenarios.

Why did you leave your last role?

Even if your last boss was an absolute nightmare and you couldn’t stand working with them anymore, this isn’t a good time to trash talk your last employer. If you were made redundant or fired, be honest with them (it’s a small world) and show them what you have learned from the experience. If you quit because you hated it, focus on the positives and what you gained from the role.

Do you have any questions?

Interviews aren’t just about grilling the candidate. It’s also a chance for you to find out if an opportunity is a good move for you. If anything in the job description is unclear, this is your chance to clear things up. Find out how the company is structured, how big the team is, what their plans for expansion are in the next year. These are all things that can make a huge difference to a job, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and find out if the opportunity is all that is seems. This is also a good opportunity to show that you are serious about the role by being prepared with your own questions and turning the tables on them.

If you’re hoping to land a job in events and want help finding the right role and preparing for the interview, get in touch with the Live Recruitment team today!

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