Interview Questions - Guidance | A Perfect CV

Interview Tips | A Perfect CV’s Top Interview Techniques Win the Best Job Offers

Helga Edge
November 28, 2018

Interview questions with answers - with advice to ensure your successful job interview.

Interview preparation will help you respond easily and convincingly to questions that can be tailored to your level of career

Guiding Principles when answering questions

·     Take the time to set the scene – we often assume that because we know what we are trying to communicate, the person we are speaking to understands the message and this is not always the case

·      Avoid over-stating achievements.  Be genuine.  Be realistic

·      Always select an example that is not so complex as to be difficult for the listener to fully comprehend

·      Provide a balanced answer (a) a beginning- the background situation, (b) what you did (c) positive outcome

·      Pause, reflect, don’t rush - measure words carefully – avoid repetition, negativity – keep light & positive

·      Always end on a positive note – you are paid for results and these are what recruiters remember

·       Draw on your experience (CV): give examples of things you did and how you did them. It is



·      Review your resume thoroughly – you never know what information a recruiter might ask you to discuss

·      Research the organisation so you can show why your skill set is a good fit.  Research the interviewer

·      Review the organisation's website to learn about its mission, lines of business, culture and entry-level positions. Do a web search to review any recent news about the organisation and the overall industry in which it operates.

·      Prepare 3 questions to ask. When a recruiter says, “What questions do you have?” - be prepared. The best questions show that you’ve done your homework  

·      Focus on successes, contributions, teams on which you've served and how you impacted and influenced the working environment and the people; your Performance, Image and Exposure/Experiences (PIE). Highlight then tie how you made a difference, how you were regarded and what you learned. And then tie your PIE to the expectations for the role. This way, you’ve communicated how well you match up to the opportunity.

·      Prepare  five PAR – Problem – Action – Result   scenarios drawn from your experience

·      Smile and use your voice to convey enthusiasm. Don’t be afraid of pauses or short silences,

·      Identify their needs and make clear … I believe these are the needs you want met. These are the accomplishments in my background that make a strong case I can deliver value to meet those needs.


Example Questions & Answers


Managing Stress

Studying aMBA while working can be quite stressful at times. How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance and minimize stress?

Can you describe a particularly stressful period in your current or past job? What was the situation and how did you manage it?

Positive Answer

Demonstrates a healthy “work/life” balance; is committed to personal wellness and managing stress (e.g. takes vacation, makes time for family, friends, and personal interests). Is proactive in seeking help to resolve problems and challenges, e.g., develops a network of informal, trusted advisors both inside and outside the agency for advice and support.  


Can you describe a situation where you devoted considerable time, effort and resources to an effort that failed (or to the extent you had hoped)? What was the situation?  What was your role? What was the role and expectations of others in this event?

Positive Answer

Demonstratesoptimism, focus and tenacity especially in challenging or stressful situations to achieve the best outcomes; focuses on finding solutions rather than finding excuses not to succeed. Learns from, and is not discouraged, by “failures”

Time Prioritisation

What are them any priorities and stakeholders that you are currently juggling at work? How do you balance these different demands? What strategy do you use?

What type of work environment and culture gives you the most energy and excitement?

Positive Answer

Enjoys a fast-paced environment with multiple priorities and stakeholders; (give an example)

Ability to work as part of successful multi-disciplinary teams

Describe a group activity that you have been involved in where you have contributed to the team's success. Details of the activity, key objectives, individual contribution, challenges faced and overall outcome*

Positive Answer

I assisted a multi-disciplinary recruitment team selecting an Executive in a corporate finance organisation. The team struggled to make a final decision between two candidates (one from overseas and

Initiative -Problem Solving

Describe a situation where you were able to identify and suggest a solution to a problem. What was the problem? What did you suggest? What was the outcome?

Example answer: When I joined the company, I did some competitor research and noticed that the other businesses were winning clients by using a tele-sales strategy, whereas this company relied on online applications. We were the only business in the market not using a tele-sales approach to generate business. I suggested we trial tele-sales approach as competitors appeared to be doing well. I presented a proposal to my directors which involved paying for 200 leads on people with debt problems - at a cost of £2K. I did a cost-benefit analysis which indicated that if just one lead turned into a case, we would achieve a good ROI.

Questions to ask    

·      Write down 6questions to ask  because 2-3 may be covered in the interview process

·      Never ask a question you could have answered through a Google or LinkedIn search. Asking those kinds of questions isn't just lazy, it shows a total lack of respect for


Ask about matters of interest to them such as …

·      What would be the two greatest successes for you in the coming year?

·      What do you see as the two main problem areas for your company? With staff?  With meeting targets?  With winning customers? Etc etc

·      What issues are having a negative impact on the industry

·      Focus on making sure the job is a good fit for you: the people you will work with, the person you will report to, the scope of responsibilities,etc. Interviews should always be two-way, and interviewers respond positively to people eager to find the right fit. (Plus, there's no other way to know that you want the job.)

If asked what your weakness is ...

·      To answer this question effectively, pick something you are truly working on, talk about what you are doing to address it or how you monitor, and give examples of the progress you have made. Hiring managers do not expect you to be perfect, but they do want to know that you are well-suited to the job


End of interview

·      Say thank-you and “close” the interview by posing a question back to the hiring manager, such as, "Based on my background and the skills and experience we discussed, how well do I fit the profile of the candidate for which you are looking?”

This question will help you find out what the hiring manager thinks of you and whether they believe you're a good fit for the position.


·      Follow up with an e-mail or a handwritten note. While you're at it, briefly remind the interviewer how your skills and achievements can help the company meet its goals.


If you have trouble in answering any of these questions, we can provide all the guidance necessary to improve your chances of success.

To learn more, please Contact Us for a free initial consultation to discuss your requirements and discover how we can help you.


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