Let’s be honest, interviews are a nerve wracking experience. Even the most experienced interviewees can find them an unnerving prospect. Why? Well no matter how good your interview prep, one well worded question can throw you completely off your game, to the point where you feel about 10cm tall!
So what can you do to maximise your chances and minimise the risk, write down and consider the most difficult interview questions you could be asked on the day.
Some of the toughest questions are actually the most commonly asked! We have our top 3 commonly asked questions and ways to answer them to your own benefit.
Question 1 – “What Are Your Weaknesses?”
This could be the most feared question of them all, the problem is, it’s one of the most common interview questions!
Answer – turn it on its head, make your weakness(es) into your strength. For example, if you struggle to communicate to non financial people i.e. stakeholders. You may want to add that you overcome this by explaining your point aligned to the views and objectives of the business in relation to that stakeholder.
It’s also helpful to check the job description before preparing an answer to this question. For example, if accuracy is a key competency, you definitely do not want to say that your weakness is not paying attention to detail. And this may sound obvious, but this is definitely not a time to answer that your weaknesses include, being late or being off sick a lot!
Question 2 – “Tell Me More About Yourself”
Whilst this may come easy to an extrovert, most are not too comfortable with the prospect of talking about themselves for any length of time.
Yes you’ll be expected to talk about your experience and education, but this is an open question, where do you go if the interviewer asks you to ‘tell me more about yourself’. This is where many interviewees can be led off course; you must remember you’re in a job interview. The interviewer may want to know a little about you and your personal life but not what you get up to on the weekends!
Answer – talk through the direction of your career and where you would like to go within the company, help the interviewer to understand your dreams and aspirations. You will be able to impress the interviewer by having clear goals that are relevant to the role. Working in finance is demanding and you have to demonstrate motivation and direction in your career.
Question 3 – “What Were You Doing When…?”
Gaps in your CV can occur for a multitude of reasons and it can be a sore subject, but ultimately it is important to be able to address these during an interview. Maybe you decided on a few months or even a year out after university, maybe you’ve been travelling. It’s not a crime to take time out for yourself but it’s not necessarily what your interviewer will want to hear.
Answer – they will want to know how you made the most of the time you weren’t working. For example, did you do anything productive in your time off? Such as, project work, charity work, teaching or further education etc. All of which are worthwhile talking about, as they show you have other interests and commitments.