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What Kind Of Questions Are Asked In A Job Interview

20 May 2020

Mark Byrne

Job interviews are nerve-wracking at the best of times. You may know every aspect of how to do the role you’re being interviewed for but when it comes to interview, if a question is phrased in a different way, you may stumble with your answer and as a result, leave a bad impression. So how can you prepare for questions that you don’t know will be asked?

Mark Byrne, Commercial Director of Brightwater has over 20 years’ experience preparing job seekers at all levels of experience for interviews and has put together a handy list of questions that may be asked in an interview. 

While some of these are specific to sales roles for which Mark specialises in recruiting, many of them are questions that are asked in general interviews for all roles so it will give you some idea of what to prepare for.

Interview questions can be broken up into 5 specific areas:

1. Introduction / general feel for the person

2. Your fit for the company / role

3. Knowledge of your market / key learnings

4. Specific sector questions to gauge your value to the new role

5. General round up Questions

1.Introduction / General feel for the person

These are all questions to gauge your personality and character. They want to hear how you cope with certain situations. They’re also to get you comfortable with them before the interviewers start asking the harder questions.

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What motivates you?
  • What are three adjectives a former client/colleague would use to describe you?
  • Have you ever had a losing streak? How did you turn it around?

2. Your fit for the company/role

These type of questions are specifically set so that the interviewers can have an insight into how much you know about the company/role and service/product. They also want to find out how much preparation you’ve done for the interview and what value you can add to the company’s future growth plans.

  • What is your understanding of the role & company?
  • What is your understanding of this service or product?
  • If you were hired for this position, what would you do in your 1st month/ 3 months or 6 months?

3. Knowledge of your market / key learnings

These kind of questions are to find out how much you really know about your target market. The interviewers can then gauge what value in terms of knowledge and experience and network of contacts you can bring to the new role. The questions below are more geared towards the sales sector but they can be adapted to any professional discipline.

  • How do you keep up to date on your target market?
  • Within your target clients, who are you pitching to?
  • How does [your company name] bring value to the customer?
  • Have you ever turned a prospect away? If so, why?
  • What are your favorite questions to ask prospects/ What are three important qualifying questions you ask every prospects?
  • Have you ever asked a prospect who didn't buy from you to explain why you lost the deal? What did they say, and what did you learn from that experience?

4.Specific sector questions

These questions are the ones that will really give the interviewers pause for thought. You’re going to be outlining your value in terms of bottom line that you’ve brought to your current and past employers. This will show them the value you can bring to their organisation. Have specific cases prepared to talk about. They will ask about successes and failures. Again in this particular example, we’re focusing on the sales sector but all of these questions are geared towards quantifying your successes, your failures and how you reacted to all of these. The interviewers want to be able to gauge from your answers if you are able for any obstacles and challenges of the role.

  • Can you please give three examples of how you have scaled from 0 to (50,000, 75,000, 100,000, 150,000) in the last three years?
  • How would you prove that you are a natural business developer & hunter? (give commercial examples)
  • Describe a time when you had a difficult prospect, and how you handled that situation to win the sale?
  • Walk me through the most successful steps you took to land your most successful sale?
  • Describe your selling process?

4. General Round Up Questions

These questions are usually asked at the end of the interview. You may be relaxed thinking the hard part is over but make no mistake, your answers here will leave a lasting impression so do give some thought to what you’re going to say.

  • Why are you leaving your present role?
  • Why should we offer you this role?

Prepare your answers for variations of all the questions above and you’ll be getting that job offer! If you have any questions about interview preparation or sales jobs in Ireland, please contact Mark Byrne on m.byrne@brightwater.ie or visit our website www.brightwater.ie for more information.