Common interview questions you must prepare for
With unemployment soaring in the UK in 2020, competition for every role is fierce. Luckily for you, we're here to help.
This is your ultimate guide to the basic questions you could be asked at any interview.
Interviews are currently being conducted over Skype or Zoom, so you'll be able to keep some notes to hand to remind yourself of key points.
Our top tip for our candidates? Write key examples on sticky notes and place them around your computer screen. This way, you can see your notes whilst still maintaining eye contact with the camera!
Competency & scenario based questions
- How do you build relationships/friendships?
- When have you worked well in a team?
- How do you deal with difficult people, colleagues, or a senior associate?
- Innovative ideas/persuasion – when have you come up with a new idea or implemented a change in your team?
- How can you demonstrate your organisational skills and attention to detail?
- When working on a mundane task, how do you keep motivated?
- How have you dealt with difficult situations?
- What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
- Working under pressure – give an example of when you have had to do this and how you coped.
- Explain your time management and prioritisation skills.
- Give three strengths and weaknesses, sometimes phrased as how would your friends describe you, or what would they say your best and worst qualities are?
Try to think of some good examples from your previous work history that you can use to demonstrate all these scenarios.
Prepare a beginning, middle and end to each example and go into detail to give your answer more depth, for example, for a question about teamwork, you can elaborate on an answer such as 'I worked in a team of three when I was at FIRM X'.
A better, more detailed, and useful answer would be: 'three of us were asked to complete a project with a deadline and we each took on a task. Halfway through we met up to discuss how we were getting on, realised one person was struggling and so we all pitched in to get that section completed. We completed the project before the deadline and the senior associate was really pleased with the outcome.'
Motivation based questions
- What you know about the role?
- What interests you about this role in particular?
- What you know about the company?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What do you think are the most and least interesting parts of the role?
- Which parts of the role do you think might be the most challenging?
- What have you enjoyed about your past roles, which bits haven’t you enjoyed?
- Why do you think you would be good at the role?
- What skills do you think you could bring to this role?
The firm’s graduate website is a good place to gain more of an understanding of their values and ethos, which are a good idea to mention when answering 'why this firm?'
You must prepare some questions you would like to ask the interviewer/s. This is very important! If you ask lots of questions it shows you are really interested in the role and prepared to invest your time in the firm.
These could include:
- A question about the interviewers and their backgrounds
- What do they like about the role and/or the firm?
- A question about the job specification
- What would a typical day be like if you were to get the role?
- How do the different teams work together?
If you think all is going well with the interview, you can ask what the next steps may be, if there was a second interview stage for example.
Team fit is important to anyone conducting an interview, so do make sure your personality comes across. They like chatty and enthusiastic people, so don't be afraid to let this side of yourself come out!
There you have it, a simple and comprehensive guide to interview preperation. Give our office a call on 0207 117 2542 if you'd like some more coaching or advice. Before you ask, yes we will help you, even if we're not representing you for the role you're interviewing for!