Some of my most frequent questions are 1) How does this job fit into your long term plans, 2) Tell us why you want this job, 3) Give us a bit of background as to how you got here i.e. what have you been doing before now. And the dreaded question! 4) What is your biggest weakness at work.
“Tell me about yourself” is very typical.
“Where do you see yourself 2, 3, 5 years from now?”
“Why do you want to work for us?”
“Do you have any interviews planned with other companies?”
“Is there anything you’d like to ask me?”
Some other questions focus on your skills and experiences, and how those match the job you are applying for.
Some include collective or individual exercises which expose skills and behaviours employers look for.
Then there are those who ask “out of the blue” questions to try and catch you out, and see how you react to something unexpected like that. Example: “why are manholes round/square/triangular (depending on the country)?”
If they’re well-organised they will have already established that you can do the job, or have some specific questions to ask to make sure that is the case. So the questions might be a lot less technical than you expect.
They’ll then want to discover if you will be a good colleague.
Being good at being interviewed is a skill that can be learnt. And practice helps a lot.
When I’m interviewing I tend to spend a fair bit of time framing the interview… this is how it’s going to go, tell us if any question isn’t clear, at the end we’ll ask if there’s anything else you’d like to discuss… and then start with some softball to get the conversation going. Then I push on anything interesting until I see how the candidate handles not knowing the answers. (There are lots of questions that none of us can answer.) The fatal mistake is to bluff at that point. I’m looking for responses along the lines of recognising limitations and saying how they’d handle them, such as asking for advice.
PS: The evidence is against interviews being a reliable and fair way of achieving their aims.
For me thay asked me to give a presentation, 20min on my work and then how I thought I would add value to the department. Also what are my ideas and where do i see myself in the future. Some very job specific some more general. Practice is important though so ask a friend, the careers teacher or an adult to help prepare. Practice, practice, practice…