If you’re out to land the job of your dreams, handling yourself well in an interview is an absolute must. In this article from the Daily Mail, I write about how you can answer the five questions every boss asks at an interview.

If you’re out to land the job of your dreams, handling yourself well in an interview is an absolute must.

While it’s likely you’ve put in the effort to ensure your cover letter is polished and your resume glows, showing up without preparing can devastate your chances.

According to Australian careers mentor Michelle Gibbings, an interview is your opportunity to really sell yourself – which means every answer counts.

Here, the expert reveals the five most common questions you could be asked by a potential new boss, and how to answer them in a way guaranteed to impress.

Question 1: Tell me about yourself?

This question is generally considered an ice-breaker and is usually the first you may be asked.

It’s designed to help an interviewee settle in while revealing a little bit about their personalities.

The key answering this question, while remaining professional, is to keep it succinct and relevant to the role you are applying for, Michelle said.

‘The interviewer has already seen your CV so they don’t need a run-down of every job,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Instead, choose a couple of highlights from your career to date, and also inject some personality into the conversation so that it helps the interviewer connect with you.’

Question 2: What attracted you to this job?

Use this question as an opportunity to marry the research you’ve done about the company you’re hoping to work for with your skills and abilities.

‘Show the interviewer you’ve done your homework and research the company and understands what it does, it’s culture and core attributes,’ Michelle said.

‘Speak enthusiastically about the company and its products, services or culture and explain how you feel your skills and attributes will benefit the company.’

Question 3: Tell me about a time when…?

Of all the questions you can be asked in an interview, this one can often be one of the trickier to answer.

The expert explained interviews often have a section which focuses on behaviour and this sort of question can help demonstrate this.

Michelle said it’s likely the interviewer will want you to pick a situation, explain what happened, the role you played, how you managed this and the outcome.

‘People often feel uncomfortable using the word “I” in an interview but in this situation, you need to say “I did this…”.

‘You can still emphasise where a team effort was involved but don’t omit to highlight your role.’

Question 4: What are you looking for in your next role?

This question gives you the opportunity to paint a clear picture of what you want from a role while at the same time portraying yourself in a positive light.

‘It’s not a time to list everything you don’t want in a role,’ Michelle said.

‘Keep it positive, future-focused and about how you will bring enormous value to the role.

‘For example, you might say “I’m ready to step up to the next level, and so I’m really looking forward to taking on a broader and more challenging position.’

How to impress at an interview:

  • Be on time for the interview and dress for the job you want. Punctuality and grooming matters
  • Do your research – don’t ask questions that you could have found the answer to by Googling it
  • Be prepared and come ready to ask questions. If you don’t ask questions you can look disinterested
  • Know why you want the job and why you are the best candidate for it. Come ready to sell your value
  • Be personable and friendly. People hire people they like and want to work with

Question 5: Do you have any questions for us?

Follow-up questions are important because those who ask are not only better able to assess whether a role is a fit but research shows they tend to be better liked.

However, Michelle notes the question or questions you ask will depend on what’s been covered in earlier in the interview.

She said to use this opportunity to again make it clear you want the role and really want to deliver value and contribute to the organisation’s success.

Her suggestion for the ideal question runs along the lines of: “The role is amazing and I’d love the opportunity to work here. From your perspective, where are the biggest opportunities in this role to make a difference?”.

‘This clearly demonstrates that you don’t just want the job but that you really want to make sure you are delivering and adding value.’