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Typical Interview Questions


There are various questions that you may be asked at an interview. Most importantly, you should have a positive attitude and show an interest in the position that you are applying for.

Typically, the beginning of the interview will consist of what we call ‘ice-breaker questions.’ These are basically to warm you to the interview process and make you feel welcome. It is important to remember that when these questions are asked, try and not dwell on how much traffic you faced, or how hard the building was to find, but instead make light conversation.

As a graduate, you have obviously have a TAFE or university qualification and therefore this has played a big part on your decision in your choice of career.

The interviewer may ask you:

How have you benefited from going to university/TAFE?

When you are asked this question, or something similar, be specific in your answer. You may believe that you have learned a lot and believe you would be great for the position, but the interviewer will want to know why it would make you an ideal candidate. To do this you could focus on a particular skill or skill set you gained from your studies that relates to an aspect of the position.

For example if the position you are applying for requires excellent communication skills, you could use an example of a skill that you acquired from your studies showing how you demonstrated communication skills.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

A question like this basically gives you the opportunity to put yourself forward and sell yourself on your best points. These are commonly referred to as unique selling points, and are the most appealing points on your resume. The easiest way to decide what you believe are you selling points is to look at the job requirements.

When you have viewed the job requirements, consider your own personal attributes. For example your personality, skills and experience. Then, compare these to the job requirements and those that match should be considered your major strengths. The employer will then also make the connection between the two. It is also important to demonstrate how you have used these strengths in your past experiences.

What motivates you?

It is important that when you are considering what motivates you to relate it specifically to the job requirements. Evaluate what you believe are the key skills of the position and the create your answer within these skills.

A perfect example of an answer to this question could be:

‘I thrive on the daily challenges and the feeling of satisfaction when I have performed to the best of my ability. I enjoy working in a team environment and contributing to the overall success of the company.’

When you are discussing factors like motivation, it is important to demonstrate that you are able to motivate yourself and that you do not constantly need somebody to motivate you. You could then give an example in a previous position where you have used your own motivation to complete a particular task.

Describe a situation where you worked in a team...

In virtually any position there will be a degree of teamwork involved. Most employers will want to analyse how well you would work in a team environment and how you relate to other people. For example if you are applying for a sales role, the interviewer will want to assess whether you are able to meet goals and team targets.

If this question arises, use an example of when you have worked in a team environment and any problems or issues which arose and what techniques you used to solve them.

What are your weaknesses?

More often than not when people are asked this question they will try to use a strength disguised as a weakness. For example ‘I’m a perfectionist.’ This example is used so often that it can sound insincere.

However, if you believe that this is your weakness then use an example on how it has impacted on you.

A better option would be a weakness that that you are trying to overcome. For example as a graduate your main weakness would be your lack of experience. So when you are discussing your weaknesses with an interviewer, say that although your lack of experience is a weakness, you make up for it by being enthusiastic and

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