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Interview Tips

© Copyright 2007. Tara West 

Every interviewer and interview will be different – so too the questions that are askedIt would be impossible to plan for every question, however we have included some of the ‘common’ questions that you may encounter.  

Given that every interviewer will have different perspectives on certain matters, one answer may not fit all. 

This is why your personality, energy and vitality is also important. Coupled with your carefully worded answers you can demonstrate your ‘X Factor’ to the hiring manager.


·     Why do you feel you are suited to this job?  What skills do you have to offer us?

Advice: Your answer needs to demonstrate what skills and strengths you can bring to the position, in line with what they’re looking for.


·     Do you know what we produce / sell / offer?

Advice: Never say no.  Do your homework and make sure you know about the company.  If you have limited information state what you know and then ask them for further information.


·     Tell me about the most difficult decision you ever had to make.

Advice:  What may be difficult to you may not appear so to the interviewer. It will be important that you demonstrate how you handled the situation, not necessarily the level of difficulty you were faced with.


·     Tell me about your biggest achievements.

Advice: Don’t expand on the best and fairest award you received three years ago at your local footy club, nor the first place you received in the needlecraft section at the local show.  Focus on work-related accomplishments; and ones which relate to the position at hand.  For instance, if the job is sales-orientated, then expand on achievements which are sales orientated – such as the big contract you negotiated with a client who was ready to leave the company which increased the organisation’s revenue by 25% p.a.  If the position is team-orientated, ensure you throw in some team achievements.  Don’t forget they will have a copy of your résumé in front of them – achievements should also be listed in the résumé.


·     Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?

Advice: Don’t lean over and in a conspiratorial manner say “In your job, of course!”  (Recruiters have told us this happens!!!) You most probably won’t get hired.  Align your objectives, ensuring they relate to the company’s anticipated objectives and / or growth. If you don't know where you're headed, be truthful and say it.


·    What are your main strengths and weaknesses?

Advice: Don’t say you don’t have any weaknesses!  Every person has a weakness in one form or another.  Confidently outline your strengths.  You can turn a weakness into a positive – i.e. you can use one of your strengths to counteract the weakness.  Admitting and acknowledging that you have a weakness can actually be a positive to a hiring manager – it demonstrates that you can evaluate situations and identify any problems.


·   Describe to me a difficult problem you were faced with and how you resolved it.

Advice: This can be a difficult question and one in which you need to give an example.  Ensure you describe a situation that you resolved in a timely and efficient manner – and one which can demonstrate a quantifiable outcome or result.  If you can’t provide a quantifiable outcome, then you need to explain what could have happened had you not resolved the problem.


There are some more great questions and advice contained in The Aussie Résumé Writer.  Check it out at:


Boost your confidence at interviews!  Hire me for career / interview coaching. Click now for more information.

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Tara West is co-author in Living an Abundant Life. Other authors include inspirations such as Jack Canfield and Brian Tracy.
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