While interview formats and interviewer’s styles can vary greatly, there are a few questions that always seem to come up at interview – no matter the position or organisation. It’s important to be prepared to respond effectively to these common questions. While we don’t recommend memorising your answers off beforehand, it’s essential to think about and practice what you’re going to say so you’re not caught out during the job interview.
Preparation is half the battle when it comes to job interviews and we’ve come up with the following points to help you get started:
- What do you know about our organisation?
This one comes up 90% of the time and this is your opportunity to mention aspects of the company and position that appeal to you. You won’t be expected to be an expert but be sure you have done your homework: visit their website, read their annual report and strategy if they’re available, and check out their social media channels. You could also set up a Google alert so you’re notified when they’re in the news and you can speak about up-to-date developments.
- Why do you want to work for us?
Tailor your answer so that you show you can contribute in positive ways, to provide a solution for what the charity needs.
- Tell me about yourself…
This is not a time for a personal history. Remember to point out those characteristics, qualities and experiences that suit the position.
- What motivates you? What are your personal goals?
Indicate a desire to contribute to the charity in specific ways that you enjoy and do well, trying to make a match between the needs of the organisation and your abilities.
- Why are you leaving your job?
Be sure you have a level-headed answer for this one. Do not bad mouth your previous position or boss! Indicate positive reasons for seeking advancement – a change or a new challenge.
- What qualities and experience do you have that are important for this position?
The interviewer has your CV, but he or she wants to hear how you can express your success. This is also a time when the interviewer may test your communication skills. Try your best to use specific examples which align with the responsibilities outlined in the jobs description.
- What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Remember to make sure your answers are outcome oriented focusing on the organisation and its clients rather than your ego.
Stick to this guide and you’ll definitely come across as a stronger candidate in interviews.
We also suggest you refer to the job description and person specification and prepare good, detailed examples under each required skill set. Remember to be confident and articulate!
Finally, everyone at Charity Careers Ireland wishes you the best of luck!