Most used questions in an interview
Once you’ve got the job interview, you need to be prepared for it.
During the interview the recruiter will ask you specific questions so it is important to prepare yourself to make a good impression.
You may have wondered: “What questions will they ask me at the interview?”
Here are some common questions and answers you might give:
This question is very generic. When you answer, remember that the interviewer is interested in the professional aspect, not the personal one. Focus on the studies and past work experiences that you have written on your CV. You could follow these tips:
- Start with a description about yourself from a training and professional experiences perspective.
- At the end, explain why you are interested in getting that job.
“I have a degree in Statistics and Information Management in .. (name of the country, and maybe you could add that the university where you studied is very important in your country, if it is). After my studies I started working in a small local company that studied statistical data. I developed many skills during this experience such as being able to describe and analyze various data of phenomena in specific sectors. I have made inquiries about your business and the position you offer and would love to apply. Not only to share my experience but mainly because it is an opportunity for growth”.
If you do not have specific training, you can emphasize your skills and abilities in daily life:
“I have always devoted a lot of time to raising my children, I am very good with kind, and I can manage the house. I know how to keep it tidy and clean, do the shopping and help with all the housework. I have already done this type of work for another family”. Or if you have no work experience, you could say: “I would very much like to share my personal experience and be helpful”.
“Being a mechanic has always been my dream. I couldn’t continue my studies, but I always worked hard to improve the knowledge I had. I always arranged spare parts, brakes, tires etc for my friends or acquaintances and they were always happy with the work I did. I would love to work in a real garage because it is my passion”.
To answer this question you could say, for example:
- You have experience in this job, so you would be able to do it well. If you don’t have a lot of experience to be convincing, you might say you’ve always enjoyed improving your skills in this type of job. You are a person who learns quickly and who will work hard.
- If you have to work in a team, you could say that you have always enjoyed working in a team and that you give your best in this circumstance. Sharing common goals helps you focus and engage more.
Try to be brief, and focus on your best elements in relation to the job offer. Maybe prepare some mental notes before the interview.
A strong point is the quality of yours that can help in the work. Sometimes it can be difficult to answer this question, so try to prepare an answer in advance. A list could be:
Or you could ask a friend who knows you well and who can be honest to make a similar list of your qualities. You may discover details that you had not considered before.
For each strong point you have chosen, prepare a real example that you can tell; this way you will be more convincing and realistic.
On the contrary, you might be asked: “What your weak point is?“. A weak point is a lack at work. For example, if you still don’t speak Italian well, you might say: “My weak point right now is the Italian language, but I regularly take a course to improve it and I hope to do it soon.” This way, you have faced your limit but you have also proposed a solution.
The recruiter tries to find out what you did when you weren’t working. It is normal to have periods when you have not worked, especially when you first arrive in a new country. Answer in a positive way perhaps avoiding saying “unemployed”, but it is better to say “looking for a job”.
You could say, for example:
“During this time I have tried to improve Italian (or another language). Many job offers I saw were looking for a person who could speak Italian well, so I wanted to improve my level”.
“When I was looking for work I took care of my children and elderly parents. I am very patient with children and also the elderly. At the same time I was taking care of the house and managing our few financial resources thinking about the needs of the whole family. Thanks to this period I have become very organized and aware”.
Try to be sincere in this answer too.
If you have experience(s) in line with the position offered, you could say:
“I would love to work with you and share my experience because you are a great company where one can grow and I think this would be a good opportunity for me”.
If you have no experience, remember what you have read and studied about the company when you were looking for information on the internet. It is very important to read the company information well. You could explain the particular aspect you would like to join the company for.
For example, you are applying to be a clerk in a store and you might say:
“I am a sociable person and I really enjoy being in contact with people. The position you offer is in direct contact with customers and for this I find it very stimulating”.
Or, you are applying to be a mechanic and you could say:
“I inquired about your garage and I saw that you are very serious and professional. I have some knowledge of the trade but I will strive to learn quickly. Working with cars is my passion”.
This is a question that is usually asked if the course of study is not very much in line with the position offered. For example if you studied history and you are looking for a job as a store clerk. Don’t worry because it can happen that you have studied one thing and then work in another sector. Especially when you arrive in a new country and you have to start your journey again. You can honestly answer that you have studied what you liked but that the job prospects related to the area of studies did not go as you thought. Therefore, you have decided to engage in other areas.
You could say for example:
“I decided to study history because I was very curious about the past and how it had affected our present. But during my work experiences I realized that I really like being in contact with people, I find it much more stimulating ..”.
Or if your qualification does not automatically qualify you for a profession in Italy. To get it recognized and to be able to work in that profession it takes time so you have decided to work in another area.
To answer this question, it is important that you can explain your choices in a convincing way. From the answer, the recruiter wants to understand if you made your choices by chance or if you followed a logic.
This question is usually asked at the end of the interview. Try to avoid saying “No, I have nothing to ask” or remain silent. The interviewer expects that before the interview you have done research on the company or the sector in general to which the business belongs. If you are unable to prepare a question about the company activity, you can ask for information on the job position for which you are applying.
For example, you could ask the recruiter:
- What exactly would my role be? (you can ask this question if the information you have, does not explain it very clearly).
- How would a typical working day be for someone working in this position?
- What are the main challenges related to this position?
- How many people will work directly with me and with what responsibilities?
- Do you have an idea when a decision for this position will be made, or are there still many interviews to be done?
The questions help you better understand what role you will play and at the same time you will demonstrate that you have a real interest in this job.
Do not ask questions about salary or holidays before the recruiter addresses the topic or makes you a proposal.
- How did you find out about our job offer?
- What do you know about our company / business?
- Do you think you work better alone or in the company of other colleagues?
- Can you give me an example of a problem you had to face and solve?
- How do you spend your free time?
Some questions during the interview can sometimes seem strange, even unrelated to the job offer. You must know that during the interview, it is important to get to know the candidate not only for their CV, but above all for their personality. So don’t give insignificant answers, or even worse, do not remain silent. If you have written on your CV that you like to cook or play football, and when asked what you do during your free time, you reply that you do not know it shows that you are not very transparent or convincing. Try to remain focused on what you are asked and sincere in the answers you give.