Job Interview good impression

Top 5 Interview Questions – V.I.Personnel

Amber Rolfe, Author at, hit the nail on the head with these top 5 interview questions and providing examples of how to and how not to answer them. From our experience as a recruiter and speaking to countless candidates and employers, the 5 interview questions Amber picked out are among the most asked questions at an interview.

More questions like these can be found in James reed’s best-selling book (Why You?: 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again) which is now available and makes a very interesting read but more importantly will help you secure your next job.

In no particular order, here are the Top 5 Interview Questions. 

Please describe the job you’ve applied for.

The difference between success and failure at an interview often comes down to whether a candidate knows when to stop talking.

This question is a perfect example. Your interviewee’s first reaction could be to say as much as they possibly can about the role, in the hope that a large amount of memorised facts will impress.

Or instead, they might take the chance to demonstrate their ability to summarise information. The best candidates will accurately be able to sum up the ‘essence’ of the job, rather than each individual duty it involves.

A short, succinct answer, which shows you that they’ve not only done their research, but they’ve also developed an understanding of the most important aspects of the role, is the perfect answer.

Good answer: “As an Airline Pilot, my job involves flying passengers safely, on time, in comfort, and at a profit to the employer”

Bad answer: “Why don’t you describe it for me? You’d probably be better at it.”


Why do you want to work at this company?

In other words, are they a genuine fan of your company, or have they just re-read your ‘About Us’ page 17 times directly before the interview?

Candidates that can demonstrate that they have a real interest in your business are the ones that’ll really impress. If they can show they’ve done their homework, and can provide relevant examples to back their reasons for wanting to work for your company, you’re probably onto a winner.

For extra points, the best candidates may even reference subjects such as recent news stories, press releases, and expansion plans on their site, as relevant areas for discussion in interview.

Steer clear of those who focus on what your company could do for them, and look for the candidates who can explain what they can do for you instead.

If they can prove how their contribution could add to your success, then you’re going in the right direction to finding the perfect fit for the job.

Good answer: “Aside from your company’s reputation as an industry-leader in your field, the thing that excites me most about working here is your expansion plans over the next two years. I’d love to work for such an ambitious business, and I think that my [quantifiable expertise] would be a beneficial addition to help it continue to succeed.”

Bad answer: “Two words: Employee. Discount.”


What is your dream job?

When candidates hear this question, they may automatically feel the need to refer back to some unobtainable childhood dream that has no relation to the job they’re applying for. Needless to say, this isn’t going to help you figure out their true career goals.

Look for candidates that bring it back to reality by opting for a real-world job, which results in a dream-like outcome. The top answers will involve candidates explaining how their job role would create the best impact possible, whilst relating back to their personal aspirations or the job title itself.

Just lookout for clichés. It’s highly doubtful that the job you’re advertising is exactly the same as the one they’ve dreamed about since they were five years old.

As nice as that would be for everyone involved…

Good answer:  “My dream job would be one where I communicate with customers, use my expertise to solve their problems and make everyone who meets me go home happy.”

Bad answer: “I’ve always wanted to own my own boat and just sail around the ocean for a while. I know it’s not technically a job, but I could fish for my food so I’d be a… Professional travelling fisherman?”


What motivates you?

Translation: are they here because they’re passionate about the position, or are they just in it for the paycheque?

A good candidate will be able to explain what kind of tasks they’re enthusiastic about, and link back them back to the job. They’ll also have a solid idea about what they want out of their next career move.

However, be wary of candidates who opt for more trivial motivations, such as an intense dislike for their current job. These answers are always unlikely to be offered by motivated workers.

And don’t be fooled by anyone who gets unnecessarily excited over every detail – they’re almost always faking it.

Good answer: “I went straight into IT after University, and my true motivation was realised when I got to work on a project that assessed software tools against our own needs. I found that I really loved translating people’s requirements into technical solutions. I felt I was helping to make people’s lives easier, and at the same time I got a sense of fulfilment from working out the answer to a puzzle. That’s what interests me about this role…”

Bad answer: “This job pays the most out of all of the ones I applied to. Which company is this again?”


Why do you want to leave your current job?

There are many reasons why a candidate might be leaving their current job, and chances are the reasoning won’t be massively positive.

This is understandable. But as long as the candidate is honest and doesn’t appear to be hiding something, in theory, they should be able to do well at answering this question.

And it’s not all about them. They need to accurately demonstrate that they can solve your problem – in this case, your job vacancy. Those that focus on this above their individual needs indicate that they realise the importance of task at hand; an ideal answer would be linked to the job they’re interviewing for and highlight what would be expected of them.

It’s also a good sign if candidates choose to use pros of the job they’re interviewing for as reasons to leave their current job. Positive comparisons indicate they’re able to look on the bright side, and are ready to move on in their career and leave any negativity behind.

Remember: the most desirable candidates are always running towards something – not running away.

Good answer: “You’re doing a lot of biotechnology investments here. I think biotechnology is the future, and I find it fun too. I do like what I’m doing now; but it’s not quite biotechnology, although it’s closely related. On a personal note, I’ve always thought it best to change roles before reaching a plateau. I’ve decided now feels like the right time for a move.”

Bad answer: “I probably shouldn’t talk about it. But basically, my boss had it in for me from the beginning…”


Post Courtesy of Amber Rolfe, Author at

7 Steps to Planning Your Job Search

Searching for a new job is almost a full-time job, as it takes hard work, time and commitment to succeed.  So the last thing you want to do is to send out hundreds of resumes and wait for a reply that may never come, so it’s important that you are organised and know how to go about your search. In today’s fiercely competitive market, you need to have a strategic plan for your job search before you actually begin the search, from where to look, to identifying the specific kind of roles you want to apply for. Here are 7 steps that should follow when planning your job search.


  1. Ask yourself why you are looking for a new job.


Are you looking for a new job because you hate your current field of work? Or is it because you have become so good at your job that you no longer feel challenged in the role you are currently in and need to step up and find something more stimulating.




  1. Think about what you are looking for.


Figure out what you want to do AND what you don’t want to do. Even though you may feel quite strongly about wanting to get out of your current job, it’s still very important for you to take your time to do some planning before launching into your job hunt. At the very least, you should know which fields or industries you are interested in, and what types of positions you are suitable for.


  1. Know your strengths and weaknesses.


Now that you have a rough idea of what you’re looking for, do you have what it takes to work in those particular fields or positions? What are you good at? Don’t wait until the job interview to figure these out. You’ll have to highlight them in your resume or you may not even be invited for an interview.


  1. Do your initial research.


Find out what opportunities are out there in the fields that you’re interested in. Take a look at the job boards, or even company websites of businesses you are interested in. Some job openings are not advertised, so if you know people who are already working in those fields, talk to them. Even though they may not have a job to offer you, they may be able to point you in the right direction or spread the word that you are actively looking for a job. This type of networking has proven to be very helpful throughout the job search process.


  1. Set aside time to do the search.


Don’t “find time” for job searching, make time! Set aside a couple of hours a day for job searching and make sure it is your sole focus for that time. Make it your “job”.


  1. Set measurable goals.


Your ultimate goal is to land a job, but before you get there, you’ve got work to do. Set weekly goals for yourself, based on the number of applications to send out, the number of company websites to check out, etc. It will help you to stay motivated and give you a feeling of achievement each time you meet a goal.


  1. Practice your interview techniques.


Even though you haven’t been granted an interview yet, you should be prepared. List out some of the common interview questions and practice, practice, and practice! This way when you are invited for an interview you feel confident and ready to impress!


Post courtesy of Undercover Recruiter @UndercoverRec

How to take control of a Job Interview

We all rehearse the obvious questions like “What are your Strengths/weaknesses”, or “What makes you different”, but what about if you are asked to explain how to change a Bicycle tyre”? Sounds completely Irrelevant doesn’t it? It’s not! It is common for your Interviewer to try and put you on your back foot. They will often fire questions at you that are designed to keep you on your toes, mainly to expose your weaknesses.  It is really important that you teach yourself how to expect the unexpected, and more importantly how to answer such questions. Here are some simple tips on how to take control of a job interview and remain one step ahead of your interviewer.

Serve the ball to them.

Following your introduction to your interviewer, start the interview with an offer to run through your CV. This allows you to immediately take control of the conversation and show off your most important attributes/skills/experiences. First impressions count and by making a good strong start to an interview will normally boost your confidence and set the pace of the interview.

Throw them a curveball or two.

Keep in mind that an interview is not just about your future employer finding the right candidate, it’s also about finding the right job that suits you. Many people forget that an interview works both ways. You are there to ask questions too!  So, instead of letting your interviewer swamp you with questions ask them what they enjoy about working there. Find out the ins and outs of how the company operates. This shows interest and initiative, doing this right will often make you more desirable to the employer but at the same time you are standing your ground and making a point that you are not desperate for the job.

Master the Polite Cut-In

As Denise Taylor mentioned in a Live Q&A about how to succeed at an interview, wait for the interviewer to take a breath and cut in with a comment about responding to what they have already said. A polite interruption and careful use of body language can help you regain control of the conversation.

Don’t be Intimidated

From my experience, many employers like to sit you in front of the company Director or Manager at some point during the interview stage. A lot of employers like to use multiple interviewers as an intimidation technique. Do not get nervous. Treat these interviewers the same way you would anyone else. The only difference is they are often more focused on getting through the interview as quickly as possible, making it crucial for you to take and keep control of the interview process. A commonly used technique to avoid being intimidated is to imagine these people with no pants on. Although be careful not to break out into a laughing fit halfway through!

Return the ball to them

One of the biggest mistakes to make in an interview is to not ask any questions. Make the interview about them. Ask questions that will give you more of an insight into the company, the people that work there. It is surprising how many interviewers tell me that candidates have answered all of the questions well but never asked any questions themselves, making them believe that they had no interest in the company.


Be prepared for their return

Answer questions as completely and personally as possible. No matter how strange the questions may be in an interview, there will always be at least one or two competency based questions. If you do not know the answer or if the question is inappropriate, do not be afraid to ask for clarification. It is important that you are not drawn into a question without understanding what they are trying to find out. For example.

Q.”If you were put into a situation with two colleagues and you had to choose one side of the dispute, what would you do”?

  1. Instead of answering with a direct approach, decide what they are trying to discover about your personality. In this case they may be trying to see how confrontational or responsible you are. A good answer would be to explain a similar situation that has occurred in a previous job and how you dealt with it appropriately.

When you control the flow of the interview, you increase the opportunity to make a good impression. Active and engaged communication shows how interested you are, and preparation displays your ability to anticipate and respond accordingly. Do not let the job interview drag on in a long discussion of your shortcomings. If this is the case, remember to use your polite cut-in technique, or draw the interviewers attention to a more positive discussion of your successes and lessons learned.