Woman preparing herself for a job interview. Shutterstock.com/fizkes

Common interview questions

Common interview questions

Most employers are looking for many of the same personal attributes in their employees, so many questions are common across different sectors and jobs.
Woman preparing herself for a job interview. Shutterstock.com/fizkes

Have a look at these questions, do your homework and prep some answers, even consider practising with someone at home prior to going to interview. All these steps will leave you far more relaxed and prepared on the day.


Questions you can expect to be asked include:


1 Tell me about yourself.

This is a chance to bring your CV to life. You can add colour and detail to your employment history, successes and interests. It often pays to finish with what brought you to this interview.

2 Why do you want this job? Or why are you interested in working for this organisation/business?

This is where you can tell your potential employer why you want their job. What is it about the role that means you are the right person. Your answer will probably include a broad idea of why the farming and growing sector is important or appeals to you, and a more detailed response to the specific role you're applying for. 

3 Why do you want to leave your current job?

This may seem a little personal, but employers are often more interested in your personality than they are in the actual answer to this question. Stay polite about your current employer and focus your answer on the challenges a new role will pose.

4 What do you know about our business/farm/organisation?

Show that you've done your homework about the job role and business. See Tips on researching your potential employer.

5 What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This is a very common interview question and gives you an opportunity to show that you're self-aware. It can also be an opportunity to turn and negative into a positive by saying how you deal with it!

Stay positive and try to enjoy yourself!

While it can be daunting, you are more likely to be remembered if you come across as relaxed and positive.

Focusing on the positives when answering questions, making the most of opportunities to find common ground with those interviewing you and enjoying the chance to talk about shared passions - whether they be the environment, working with animals or using technology - are all good ways of ensuring you leave a good impression.

6 Give an example of when you've performed well under pressure?

This doesn't have to be in the workplace, it's very much a transferable skill and you could pick an example from your education or perhaps a sport you take part in.

7 Give examples of when you've worked well as part of a team/independently?

It's important for employers to know that you're capable of both working with others and alone. Again, these examples need not come from the world of work.

8 Give us a run through of what a ‘great’ first hundred days looks like for this role or what would you consider making a success of this role to be?

This gives employers a chance to see that you understand the role and what needs to be achieved. You may even bring a new idea to the table that they hadn't considered. Start by working from the job advertisement and expand from there with any ideas you may have.

9 Is it better to be perfect and late or good and on time?

This type of question is a test of how you will operate in the role and requires a degree of judgement. The ‘right’ answer really depends on the task and is probably best identified early on in a task-by-task basis. This is another occasion where examples of each could be given.

10 What makes you a successful person?

Not all questions are related to the role you are applying for. Sometimes they will want to know about you and how you think, so even if it's not your natural way of operating be ready to say great (and true) things about yourself!

Once you're finished answering interview questions there's likely to be a chance for you to ask a few questions. It might be worth taking a pad and pen with you and jotting some down before you go in, or during the interview process as they come to mind.