Welcome back to the third and final instalment of our interview questions series. Over three blogs, we have brought you thirty common interview questions with information on answering them. As this site is aimed at career changers and those returning to work after a period of absence, lots of our questions have focused on discussing this transition in an interview and how to make it a strength and not a weakness.
Common Interview Questions
Have you considered the risk of changing your career?
Some employers may want to see that you are taking this career transition seriously and recognise that it might not be straightforward. Try to use the risk of your decision as an advantage as your commitment to it shows how sure you are that it’s the right move for you, despite the potential risks. You may also want to show what you are doing to minimise the risk of your career change; for example, are you doing any extra training in your spare time, or do you have a plan B?
Describe a time you were proud of your work.
Employers will want to see that you can be confident in yourself and your abilities, and part of this will be able to talk about work you did that you feel proud of. Remember, when discussing an example of something you did, you want to be as specific as possible. Try to give details of the work and exactly why you were proud of the result. For example, perhaps a task challenged you at some point along the way? Or maybe it was a project out of your comfort zone?
What role does work play in your life?
The point of this question is to build a bigger picture of who you are as a person. The key to answering it is by striking a balance between showing you are dedicated to your work and other parts of your life that you find enriching and can ultimately help your work. As somebody who is refreshing their career, this might be a good time to talk about the circumstances which led you to apply. For example, if you are a parent who has had time off to raise your children, you could talk about how you are learning to balance family time and work.
How well do you align with our companies’ values?
To answer this question successfully, you need to do your research. Ensure you are ready for any questions related to the company by conducting a thorough search of who the company is and what work they do before the interview. They should have information on their website, and they may have provided you with further information in your application pack. Keep the answer to this question focused on the values and show how your personality matches these values.
What are you hoping to gain from the new career that you didn’t have previously?
This question is especially focused on career changers, and it focuses on why you want this job. When talking about what you are looking for in your new career, speak about something that this job will give you. You want to show that role suits your new career goals, and you want the interviewer to see why it would be a good match for you.
Do you think there are advantages to having a period out of work?
Whether your period out of work was a challenge or not, it’s essential that you answer this question in a positive light. That doesn’t mean lying or withholding the truth, but it may mean focusing on the advantageous parts of your career break rather than the difficulties. Of course, you may want to show them that there were also tricky parts, and that’s why you are so desperate to get a new job. But keep positive about your experience and show them what you learnt.
If you missed the two previous instalments of this series, catch up on them here.