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View 11158 job vacancies in locations throughout the UK and Europe. See job descriptions and salary details for job vacancies with leading employers, from large international corporations to small and medium sized local businesses.

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Job description

For many people approaching an interview the most difficult issue revolves around what questions they will ask and how to answer them effectively.

While impossible to know for sure the exact interview questions, it is in fact possible to predict with reasonable accuracy the topics that will be covered. The key to discovering these is the Job Description and Person Specification, both of which outline the skills, competencies and experience required. While the topics will vary somewhat depending on the employer, the type of job and the level of experience required, time spent studying these documents and considering how your skills match will go a long way towards ensuring a successful interview.

Common Interview Questioning Styles

Every interviewer will have their own way of asking questions and this will depend on their level of experience. The most common interview questioning styles you will come across are:

Open Interview Questions: This is the most common type of questioning style and these usually begin with How, What, When, Why, Where and Tell me. These questions cannot be answered with a simple yes or no answer.

Closed Interview Questions: These require a short specific answer and are used mostly for confirmation. They can be answered with a yes or no and if they are used frequently during the interview it may be that the interviewer is inexperienced.

Probing Interview Questions: These will be used to follow up on a previous answer and are designed to elicit more detailed information. They will begin with "Tell me more about..." or "Just to clarify, what exactly..."

Leading Interview Questions: These are questions which begin with ‘I see you are skilled with Java?' or ‘So you had a successful time with _________?'

Combination Interview Questions: This is where the interviewer will combine two question into one statement and will use multiple styles such as ‘What experience do you have in making presentations and how do you rate your skills in this area?

Ten Most Common Interview Questions:

Q1: Tell me about yourself

Q2: Why do you want to leave your current job?

Q3: What are your key strengths?

Q4: What are your weaknesses?

Q5: What do you like/dislike most about your current job?

Q6: Why should we select you for this job, what will you bring to the role?

Q7: Where do you see yourself in five/ten year's time?

Q8: What do you know about our company?

Q9: Why are you interested in this role and what is it that attracted you?

Q10: What is your current salary?

Tips For Answering Interview Questions

1. Listen to the question being asked.

If you are unsure of the meaning or phraseology then ask for the question to be repeated or repeat the question back yourself. Say 'Can you please repeat the question, I'm not sure what you are asking?' or say 'Can I clarify what you are asking...'

2. Answer the question that has been asked.

Keep your answers relevant and to the point and avoid giving an unrelated answer no matter how useful you think the information is.

3. Don't waffle.

Stay focussed and give concise answers. It is best to keep your answers to less than two minutes.

4. Be honest.

Don't exaggerate or add something which you did not do. You will probably be caught out and in the event that you are not and you get the job, you may find that you are unable to carry out some of your duties.

5. Answer in the first person.

The interviewer wants to know about you and what you did or can do. For this reason we suggest using ‘I' rather than 'we' when answering even if the achievement was a team effort.

6. Demonstrate your skills.

When answering, it is important that you demonstrate the right skill set. Study the Job Description and Person Specification so that you are fully aware of what the employer is looking for. In this way you will be able to give more focussed and relevant answers.

7. Sell yourself.

Don't be afraid to blow your own trumpet. Be confident when talking about your achievements and be clear about the part you played in the successful outcome. Mention the results you delivered and talk about the lessons learned.

Interview Questions With Expert Answers

For interview questions along with expertly written sample answer specific to your job have a look at InterviewGold. This unique online system contains questions and answers for Secretarial posts and has helped thousands of candidates win jobs.

It has been featured in The Guardian and Mirror national newspapers, Personnel Today, and on National Television (the BBC) and is being promoted by Reed Recruitment and the Telegraph Jobs so you know it's good.

Get my interview questions with sample answers

This article has been kindly provided by Anson Reed, one of the UK's leading interview coaching and interview skills training specialists.

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