What do you know about the vacancy you’re applying for?

The interviewer not only wants to know you prepared well (as a sign of interest). She/he also wants to know if you understood its content well. The interviewer will give extra attention to the highlights you make in your description. These can be an indication of the aspects that interest you the most. Otherwise said: this question gives the interviewer an idea of the basic motivation or expectation you have for the job.

What do you know about our company?

By asking this question, the interviewer is checking your preparation.

Introduce yourself

Some interviewers use this question as an opener. It’s a very open question that gives the candidate many options. The interviewer here wants to make a personal connection with you. Most interviewers in this phase are mainly interested in your personal background (hobbies, interests, family situation…), rather than a chronological overview of your CVTell us about your strengths and weaknesses

The interviewer wants to have a look into how well you know your own personality, and how you behave in certain situations. At the same time he/she will check whether your personality and behavior are compatible with the job position, and with the company.

As a candidate, you can try and sum up these personality elements, which are needed for the job, however, a good interviewer will always ask for a concrete example. Anyone can say they are persistent, but which element in your past shows this? Candidates, who try to be someone they are not, often fail here.

Many candidates find this question a difficult one for many reasons: the question was not prepared well by them, very little insight in themselves, a dislike answering personal questions…

Why did you leave your former employer?

The interviewer is looking for concrete reasons why you left your former employer. Your reasons can be an indicator for your current expectations. Concerning the job’s content (e.g. I left because the job was too commercial = I’d rather not do any commercial work) or about your expectations towards another employer (e.g. no possibilities for growth = I have ambitions). Other elements that can be measured through this: your honesty and openness, patience, loyalty, ambition, your relationship with your previous employer… Honesty is the best policy here. Many employers will in the end request references from your former employers.

What achievements you are the most proud of?

The interviewer does not want just a summation of the job content in a previous position, but wants to know what you have achieved in the organization. They don’t always need to be achievements on a managerial level, they can also be about keeping an unhappy client happy or improving an internal procedure.

Why are you interested in this vacancy?

The interviewer is asking for your core motivation here. This is a question about convincing him/her, but the interviewer mainly wants to hear if you can put your motivation in a bigger picture. Why this vacancy, and not another one?

What are your salary expectations?

The interviewer is checking whether your salary expectations are in line with the job’s salary budget.

Which other applications you currently have?

The interviewer wants to know if you’re applying for similar positions. He/she will also check your motivations for the other ones. Is your motivation equal? The interviewer wants to know who are his competitors for getting you on board.

Do you have any further questions?

The interviewer would like to know if everything is clear to you, and wishes to end the conversation. Further questions on your side can be a sign of interest or preparation.