Classic Interview Questions and Answers
Why have you chosen this line of work?
Alternative and related questions:
What took you into this line of work?
What do you like best about this line of work?
The meaning behind the question:
The interviewer could have asked, “Was it the right choice?” because this is what they are trying to establish – was this the right choice for you and, if so, why? As with almost every other question they’ll be looking for ways in which your answer can be applied to the requirements of the job for which you are applying.
Hopefully you’ve already gone a long way towards convincing the interviewer that you want this job. Now you need to convince them that this line of work really is the right one for you – in what ways are you best suited to it.
You definitely need to demonstrate enthusiasm for your work – and if you can manage to demonstrate passion then that’s even better. Above all you need to show an interest in your line of work and give sound reasons for your having embarked upon this particular career path. Avoid at all costs giving the impression that it is something you just randomly drifted into.
Try to sprinkle your explanation with specific examples of relevant skills and abilities.
Both my parents are accountants so I grew up listening to them talking about their work together – and I was always very interested in their working lives. While I considered a range of other options, I’ve always had a particular talent for mathematics and, ultimately, accountancy was evidently the best choice. I enjoy working with figures; I enjoy applying my mathematical abilities to real-world problems. I also enjoy working with others and I find it very rewarding to get to grips with a client’s precise circumstances and to then help them to find the best solutions to the financial problems they are facing. Accountancy was without doubt the right choice for me.
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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?