Classic Interview Questions and Answers

What do you know about the vacancy for which you are applying?

Alternative and related questions:

Why have you applied for this vacancy?
What appeals to you most about this vacancy?

The meaning behind the question:

The interviewer wants to make sure you really understand the role for which you are applying – and that you fully appreciate what would be involved if you were to be appointed to the role. If they haven’t questioned you separately about this then they will also be trying to glean why it is that you applied for this vacancy and why it appeals to you.

Your answer:

Clearly, if you don’t have a reasonably thorough understanding of the role (from the job description or person specification, etc.) then you shouldn’t even be at the interview. You need to demonstrate comprehensively to the interviewer that you fully appreciate what the role entails and, ideally, you want to try to pre-empt the next question in this chapter, Question 34, “How do your skills and experience match the job description/person specification?”

For advice on how to deal with explaining why it is that you have applied for this vacancy – and why it appeals to you – please refer to the separate questions, “Why have you applied for this vacancy?” in the previous chapter and “What appeals to you most about this vacancy” – Question 35 below.

Example:

I’ve carefully studied both the job description and the person specification so I believe I’m fully aware of the precise duties and responsibilities the role entails. You’ve also helped to clarify a few points during the course of this interview.

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The Interview Question and Answer Book

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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?

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