At JSM Associates we are here to support both candidates and employers through the recruitment process. We have already published a blog on recruitment tips for employers, in today’s blog we focus on supporting candidates and providing them with some questions they may face and possible answers.

We would be interested in the strangest job interview questions you have experienced and how you managed them?

Tell me about yourself?

You are not expected to answer this question in full! However employers will be judging how you will fit into their team…so answer carefully!

Select strengths, skills and achievements. Give the interviewer a brief summary of your education and employment background, including positions held. This should only take a couple of minutes and should include a balance of personal interests and professional achievements. Keep eye contact with your interviewer and make sure you have their interest.

What are your strengths?

List and precisely explain three or four of your strengths that are also relevant to the requirements of the job advert. A couple of strengths that benefited previous employers can also be slotted in.

What are your limitations?

Respond with a strength, which if overdone can result in a weakness. For example over commitment or ambition leading to pressure on yourself. Make sure you also counteract this limitation by mentioning that it is something that you are working on and can control – never claim to be faultless as they interview will know you are lying!

What can you offer us?

Make sure you have revised the job specification to mention key skills that the interviewer will be looking for but also refer to your experience. Outline previous past experiences where you have succeeded in solving problems that would be similar to those of your employer.

What are your ambitions for the future?

The key here is to ‘balance’ your ambition. You need to show that you are ambitious and will work hard but you don’t want to indicate that you would put your personal career ahead of the current role you are applying for. Indicate you have a desire to concentrate on the immediate challenges.

Do you feel that you might be over qualified for a small company like ours?

Explain that you expect that your experience in other companies can be a benefit to their company. A good company needs good people with the appropriate experience and qualifications to allow it to grow.

Why do you want to be selected for this job?

This is a question that gives you the option to ‘fight for the position’ if you really want it. Indicate that, from the study of their company, many of the projects would give you a clear chance to contribute to the company. If you can honestly say so explain your admiration for the company and what it is that impresses you.

Why do you feel that you have a good potential to be picked for this job?

Explain how you go about getting your work completed and be proud of your own record. BE POSITIVE. Keep your answers orientated towards your past achievements, highlighting any that would be required in the new role.

What sort of reading do you do?

Probably best not to limit your answer to only ’50 shades of Grey’! Make sure that you create a balance of recreational reading as well as editorials / books to keep you up-to-date in your professional field. Be honest – do list books you haven’t read!

What sort of relationship do you have with your colleagues at your current company?

This is a key question – take your time with your response! When talking about associates mention good co-operation and working relationships, come across as a strong team player.

When discussing line managers and above indicate your commitment to understanding your management requirements and building your goals to support their goals to create a harmonious environment within the team.

There are five other candidates waiting to be interviewed – why should I give the job to you?

State very clearly that you are capable of doing the job and extremely keen to take on any challenge given to you. Emphasise your strengths, skills and achievements in a concise and confident way.

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” Arthur Ashe