Job interviews generally follow a set format and there will be some key questions that are asked within the majority of interviews. On this basis, it is important to be prepared and have answers ready for questions. In general an individual will have been invited to an interview after submitting an application form and therefore the prospective employer will know an amount about the candidate. The opening of an interview will usually begin with a prospective employer asking a candidate to give a brief overview of themselves. This will allow the candidate to explain their educational history and also their career history.

How this is structured will be dependent upon each person but in general it should focus on education, career and any other interesting points that would add value to an interview. For example any sporting activities showing leadership or any volunteering completed by a candidate could be of interest. A question that an employer could ask a candidate is how the candidate feels they differ and are a better than other candidates. This is a very difficult question to answer but essentially the candidate should focus on their strengths and how they feel this puts them ahead of their competition.

An employer is likely to ask a prospective employee about the relevant experience that they have that could help them within the job they have applied for. This will allow the candidate to answer using examples from their previous job roles. If there is direct relevant experience it is important to pull the impressive aspects, for example the revenue generated, costs saved or the new processes put in place. Essentially a prospective employer will want to know why a candidate has made a difference ahead of other people. In cases where a candidate doesn’t have relevant experience it can be difficult but it is important to pull out transferable skills. Some employers will ask an interview candidate how they motivate themselves for work. This question is candidate specific but generally the answer should focus on personal and organisational goals. Some people are purely motivated by money but it is not advisable to say this within an interview. As well as wanting to know how a candidate is motivated an employer will also want to know about targets. Employers will ask how the candidate ensures that they meet targets and deadlines. The answer to this should focus on an individual striving to do more and having excellent organisation skills.

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