Typical Job Interview questions

Below are some of the questions commonly asked at interviews. Use the answer guidelines to prepare your own answers.

Describe the reason for your application

When answering the question, remember you want to depict the role you will play in the organisation. You should thus answer in relation with the specific job and how you want to contribute to the company's goals.

Explain why you want to form part of the organisation. What value will your specific ability, knowledge and personal attributes add to the company?

When answering this question, think of the role you want to portray in the organisation and expand on examples of how you have contributed to organizations in the past. Think of the unique combination of skills and knowledge that you have and how you can solve problems at the new organization by adding your knowledge to the team.

Give an example of how you dealt with ambiguous situations and explain how you handled the problem and the final resolution.

Remember when answering this type of question to address the situation, the task, the actions taken and the resolution of the problem. Never admit to panicking or getting mad. Show how you restored peace and helped to reach a compromise and how you managed to create a solution.

Describe a scenario where you formed part of a task group. Give a clear description of the problem you faced, your role in the task group and the final results.

You need to describe the situation, the task, the actions taken and the resolution of the problem. Explain your contribution to the team in a positive way.

Describe your long-term goals and your contingency plan if the goals are not reached in this specific time frame.

You want to show the interviewer you are prepared and have definite goals that you want to achieve in the position you are applying for, but you also want to portray your flexibility and open-mindedness. Make sure you describe the long term goals in line with the company mission statement. In terms of contingency, you should think of two alternatives that can still be applied at the organization.

Which one of your accomplishments predominantly stands out? Describe it and give the reason for this being a noteworthy achievement.

Think of one accomplishment that will show your suitability for the organization.

Look at the following scenario, you form part of a task team with the responsibility to create a company brochure or magazine for internal distribution. You work in conjunction with another task team responsible for providing the necessary information that forms the base of the specific publication. There can be no extension to the deadline of the publication.
a. List the aspects that can prevent the task team from meeting the deadline.
b. List the preventative measures that the team can put in place to ensure the success of the project.

Theoretical questions have no correct or incorrect answers these questions are put forward to conclude if the candidate has the skills and expertise required to perform the tasks set out for that position. You thus don't have to worry about right and wrong, but prepare answers for this type of question to show you know how to solve problems.

List the fundamentals required to make and estimation for the successful outcome of a task.Answers should be based on previous employment or educational experience. Think about the main markers for a successful company.

Listed on your resume is your experience in the field of photography. Elaborate on your expertise and highlight your personal strengths in this area.

Keep in mind that a key element in this position will be the ability to take original pictures and manipulate them into workable ads. Highlight your expertise in this area and what you would consider to be the most important consideration in graphical manipulation of pictures. This is a twin question.

You are required to work as part of a controlled team with the ability to communicate and make decisions. Explain how you are suitable for the role.

Provide an example of where you have worked in such a team and how you managed to make decisions and communicate the decisions in such a way that the others did not feel threatened by them.

Describe your level of computer literacy. Give an example of the different applications you will use to compile a report, keep records data, and design an ad and present it to the public.

When you get such a question, you should be very specific to show that you do in fact have the knowledge and expertise required for the job.

How will you go about to fire a colleague with whom you have a good relationship, but due to company policy, you have to make retrenchments and he is the oldest and thus best candidate to let go?

Answer the question in such a way that your empathy is indicated, but your ability to make hard decisions is not compromised. This type of question is formulated for people in management positions and those who have to deal with loyalty to the company vs. loyalty to fellow workers. Your loyalty to the company must never be disputed, but at the same time, you need to show that you are able to use tact in your dealings with colleagues.