Classic Interview Questions and Answers
What does your current job involve on a day-to-day basis?
Alternative and related questions:
Can you describe an average day in your job?
The meaning behind the question:
They’ve read your CV; they know what your job involves. Now they want to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. There’s nothing more to their question than that – but giving the best answer is a little more complicated…
As I say, the interviewer has read your CV (or application form) so they know more or less what your job entails. It would definitely be a mistake to answer this question by simply reeling off in detail everything you’ve already stated on your CV. The last thing you want to do is bore the interviewer.
While the description you give on your CV will (and rightly so) be comprehensive, when it comes to answering this question you’d do better to skip a lot of the detail and focus on what’s really important – what your job is really about. In particular, you want to focus on areas of your current job which most closely match the job for which you are now applying.
Rather than phrasing your work in terms of duties, try to portray what you do in terms of responsibilities.
My most important responsibility is to achieve sales. I spend most of my day on the shop floor, talking directly to potential customers and trying to establish their needs. I have a very thorough knowledge of our product range so, if they’re unsure of their decision, I can give them appropriate advice. I can also steer them towards other – perhaps more expensive – product lines that they haven’t already considered. By building rapport with the customer – and addressing any concerns they may have – I have a good chance of closing the sale. I also aim to up-sell on the till where possible, so as to maximise the value of each new customer. Among other responsibilities I help to control stock levels and liaise with head office accordingly so as to make sure we are neither over-stocked nor under-stocked. I am also involved in the financial management of the branch, working alongside the Branch Manager to put together monthly reports, etc. Given my level of experience, I am also tasked with helping to bring on board new members of staff, training them in our systems and helping them to maximise their sales potential.
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More classic interview questions and answers
How would you describe yourself? / How would your boss/colleagues/team/family/friends describe you?
In what ways are you a team player?
Do you work well on your own initiative?
What techniques do you use to get things done?
What motivates you?
Are you proactive?
Are you creative?
Are you a risk-taker?
How do you handle pressure and stress?
Can you tell me about a time when you have failed to achieve a goal?
What's the worst mistake you've made at work and how did you deal with it?
How would you handle the following situation?
Can you tell me about a major project you have successfully completed?
Can you tell me about a major problem at work that you've had to deal with?
We have a problem with x. How would you resolve that?
What do you do when you disagree with your line manager?
How would you describe yourself as a manager?
Can you give me an example of when you have successfully coached a member of your team?
What is your customer service philosophy?
How did you get your last job?
What does your current job involve on a day-to-day basis?
What contribution do you make to the department in which you work?
What changes have you made to your current job role since you started?
What have you learned in your last job?
Can you tell me about your last appraisal?
How would you describe your current boss?
Why did you leave that job?
Which of your jobs was the best?
Why is there a gap in your resume/CV?
What do you know about us as an organisation?
What do you know about our products/services?
What do you think are our organisation's greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
What do you know about the vacancy for which you are applying?
How do your skills and experience match the job description/person specification?
What appeals to you most about this vacancy?
Why have you chosen this line of work?
Are there any other organisations to which you are applying?
How does this job compare to others for which you are applying?
Can you describe your ideal employer to me?
What sort of person would you most like to work for?
In what ways is your degree relevant to the work you are now doing?
What have you learned and how have you developed over the last year/five years?
What sports are you/have you been involved in?
Do you know what the current headline news is?
How quickly can you adapt to a new work environment?
Would it be a problem if we asked you to work overtime/evenings/weekends?
What is your current salary package?
What salary package are you expecting for this role?
When would you be available to start?
Do you mind if we contact your current employer for a reference?
Author: James Innes