Dream Job

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Q: Tell me about yourself.
(The interviewer is really saying "I want to hear you talk") A: This is a commonly asked question designed to break the ice. Spend a maximum of five minutes to describe your qualifications, career history and your range of skills. Emphasise those skills that are relevant to the job on offer.

Q: What have been your achievements to date?
 (The interviewer is saying, "Are you an achiever?")
A: Again this is a common question so be prepared. Select an achievement that is recent. Identify skills you used in the achievement and quantify the benefit.

Q: Are you happy with your career to date?
 (The interviewer is really asking about your self-confidence, your career aspirations and whether you are a positive person) A: The answer must be 'yes' but if you have hit a career plateau or you feel you are moving too slowly, then you must qualify the answer.

Q: Tell me the most difficult situation you have had to face and how you tackled it? (The interviewer is really trying to find out your definition of "difficult" and whether you can show a logical approach to problem solving) A: Select a difficult work situation that was not caused by you. Explain how you defined the problem and what solution you applied to overcome the problem.

Q: What do you dislike about your current role?
(The interviewer is trying to find out whether the job on offer has responsibilities you will dislike) A: Be careful with this one. Don't be too specific as you may draw attention to weaknesses. One approach is to choose a characteristic of your present company such as its size, its slow decision making process etc. Give your answer with the air of someone who takes problems and frustrations in your stride, as part of the job.

Q: What are your strengths?
(The interviewer wants a straightforward answer as to what you are good at and how it is going to add value) A: This is one question you will certainly be asked, so there's no excuse for being unprepared. Concentrate on discussing your main strengths. List three or four explanations of how they could benefit the employer. Strengths to consider include technical proficiency; ability to learn quickly; determination to succeed; positive attitude; team focus and your ability to work autonomously.

Q: What are your greatest weaknesses?
(The interviewer is asking about your self-perception and self-awareness) A: This is another standard question for which you can be well prepared. Don't say you don't have any. We all have weaknesses. Either use a professional weakness such as a lack of experience (not ability) on your part in one area that is not vital for the job, or use a personal weakness and show the steps that you have taken to combat it. An example would be," I'm not very good at delegating but I'm learning to pass work on to colleagues by sitting down on a weekly basis and splitting the workload".

Q: What kind of decision do you find most difficult?
(The interviewer is really saying, "I need someone who is strong and decisive but who has a human side") A: Try to focus on decisions you have made without sufficient information. This will show your positive side. For example, "I like to make decisions based on sufficient information and having alternatives. When you have to make quick decisions you have to rely on "gut feeling" and experience.

Q: Why do you want to leave your current employer?
(The interviewer is trying to understand and evaluate your motives for moving) A: This should be straightforward. State how you are looking for more challenge, responsibility, experience and a change of environment and explain why you feel you are no longer receiving these things from your current role. For example, " I have been with my company for four years and feel I have learnt as much about their x function as possible and there is no opportunity for a more...
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