The Top 5 interview questions are listed below. You will find that these are the most commonly ask interview questions used by recruitment agencies and hiring companies. The background information to each question will help you to understand on why a particular question is being asked. By knowing this, you are able to influence the answer. For demonstration purpose, I’m using a Project Management job in the interview questions below. You can easily subsidies it with your own experience, job and skills.
Top 5 Interview Questions – Number One: Tell Me About Yourself
This is one of the most common questions to start the interview. Make sure you have prepared an answer which outlines your skills, knowledge and experience. This will help you to market and to “sell” your skills. Your future employer is after information on how you can add value to the company. Try to conclude your answer with a question in order to get the initial discussion going.
I’m an experienced Project Manager with a record of successful project delivery. I’m efficient and highly organised. This enables me to be as productive as possible on the job.
At my last company X, I was involved in bringing a new online insurance product to the market. As a Project Manager I was responsible and accountable for a budget of $1m, my project team was 40 members strong. The project needed to be delivered on a tight timeline due to legislative changes.
I’ve delivered this project within the 10-month deadline and under budget. The product went live and sold 250 units within the first month. I like to discuss if I might be able to do something similar for your company?
Top 5 Interview Questions – Number 2: Why Do You Want To Leave Your Company? / Why Have You Left Your Company?
There are three rules with this question: keep it positive, simple and honest. Good reasons for leaving your job can be:
- Career growth
- Restructure in the company
- Moving or finding a job closer to home
- Looking for new challenge
If you are in a situation where you are or were unemployed for a time– mention the reason. Always frame the answer positively and make sure your ‘time off’ has some learning activities involved.
Example for career growth:
I had a fabulous time at company X
I started out in the Project Manager area. I have been promoted several times, developed new skills and formalised my Project Manager skills. After 6 years, I feel that it is time to look for a new challenge and I’m using this as an opportunity to grow and learn. I’m very selective where I go with my next move because it is an important move where I can grow as a professional and enhance my skills.
I’m looking for an opportunity to take all the skills and experiences that I have learned at (company X) and apply this in a new environment where I can make a real difference to the particular organisation.
Company restructure example:
I was made redundant due to a restructuring in May. After some consideration I decided to turn this situation into an opportunity for my personal and professional growth.
I fulfilled my childhood dream traveling through Europe and to experience and learn about foreign cultures. Since I’m back, I’ve completed several Project Manager educational courses online in the area of financial management in order to brush up my skills. I’ve also joined the professional Project Management group here in Melbourne, which enables me to widen my professional network.
I’m looking forward to use my gained experience in a new environment where I can make a real difference.
Top 5 Interview Questions – Number 3: Why Do You Want To Work For Our Company?
This is an important question, as the future employer wants to know if you really want to work here or if you are just applying for any job. Interviewers want to hire people who are like-minded and want to work for the same company. Therefore be passionate! Demonstrate your research! Can you add value to the company?
I’m really interested in working for your company.
I‘m familiar with some of the people who work for you; or I have conducted web research and found / believe that the products / services are impressive and very interesting. Your company is leading the market and was ranked highly at the “Choice of Employee of the year”. From my understanding this company has a very dynamic, very competitive, and fast business culture. And your company has the reputation for hiring top talents.
I do believe my Project Manager skill set would fit very well with your job requirements and I’m sure I can help you to be more productive and efficient in your project delivery.
Top 5 Interview Questions – Number 4: Tell Me About Your Strength?
Describe your skills and experience here. Provide three or four statements and back them up with examples. Employers normally like to see examples in the area of:
- Great communicator
- Team player / team leader
- Motivated and determined
- Using a consultative approach
- Mentored and coached others
I’m a good communicator and team leader, hardworking and motivated to achieve my goals. In addition, I have a strong knowledge of IT systems and have managed projects for over 6 years.
All those strength have been developed over the last years. I started at company X with small projects in the area of XX. Not all projects were easy to manage, and I did make mistakes in the beginning – especially when it came to managing staff. But I learned quickly and improved my project management skills over the last couple of years. Now, I’m at the point where I manage large, complex, multimillion-dollar projects, with diverse development sites.
This enabled my last company to simplify their environment and to save them $0.5m in the first 8 months.
Top 5 Interview Questions – Number 5: Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?
Your interview partner wants to know if you have clear goals in life. In reality, most people have no idea what they will do in 5 years’ time. You can answer this question in two ways:
- You want to become an expert in your field and would like to stay in the area: Advance from being a Project Manager to become a Senior Project Manager.
- Or you want to leave your area – moving from a Project Manager position to a senior management position.
Statement for becoming and expert:
I want to become an expert in the Project Management area.
Example for becoming and expert:
In 5 years’ time, I see myself progressing in the Project Management area. Taking on larger and more complex projects and learning new skills to the benefit of (the company). I find this advertised Project Management job extremely interesting and motivating.
Benefit for becoming and expert:
I am willing to invest my next 5 years gaining further experience on the job and towards professional advancement. To sum it up – I want to be an expert in project management
Statement for moving:
In five years’ time I see myself in a senior management position.
Example for moving:
Having more responsibilities, coaching other employees and managing teams. I am interested in pursuing my career based on (this company’s) goals.
Benefit for moving:
I’m planning to acquire further qualifications in my field (e.g. MBA), which will assist me in this endeavour.
What are your top 5 interview questions? I would love to hear from you!