Remember to try to angle your answers towards the job in question. For example, if you are trying for an IT job designing websites and you are asked “what do you know about the company?” Give a broad and complete answer but try and focus on the IT side of the business.

Try to supply the interviewer with any examples of your skills or achievements etc. to backup your answers. Include any supporting facts and figures too.

Tell me about yourself?

I gained an honours Degree from Leeds University in Psychology and Business Studies. My final project covered ‘strategic selling techniques’, which I gained top marks.

I have 9 years experience working in sales, with the last 5 years as regional sales manager residing over a team of 6 colleagues. My achievements have gained me several promotions from my first position as Junior Sales Representative.

Under my supervision our sales team increased company profits by at least 20% every year whilst reducing carbon emissions and costs through videoconferencing, as many of our customers reside overseas. My decision to reduce our product range and focus on our core merchandise gave us the edge over our competitors. We were rewarded by our suppliers and given sole distribution rights to several high street products.

What do you know about this company?

XYZ was founded by Milton Steadman in 1992, just as the home computer market was set to explode. Your flagship product was the D34S which was an essential component in many new computers. Over the last 15 years the company has grown into one of the largest manufacturers of computer graphics chips with 3000 employees worldwide. Your main competitors are AAA and BBB who are always playing ‘catch-up’ to this company; they are now testing a 64bit chipset whilst XYZ have had theirs on the market for 6 months. According to press releases XYZ is now planning to expand into the mobile phone market in Europe.

Why do you want to work here?

XYZ is an innovative business which has stayed ahead of the competition by foreseeing changes in the market. For example, XYZ responded to the advent of new camera technologies and stopped its existing development in favour of digital cameras. I would like to be a part of a company which is technologically driven and always looking towards the future.

Do you prefer working in a team or alone?

I have worked alone and in a team and I enjoy both challenges. My preference is governed by which method provides the best solution to the task in hand. Although in my experience, joint efforts produce better results than an equal number of mutually exclusive staff.

What is your greatest weakness?

My weakness used to be that I accepted too much work in an effort to please everybody. I soon discovered that I was diluting my focus and not performing as I should. Subsequent projects were properly scheduled and I did not accept more work than I could complete on time. I found did not please anybody trying to be Superman.

How would you deal with criticism?

I try to look for the positive inside any criticism. I find constructive criticism a way of objectively analysing at my work with a view to finding and correcting any problem. Unjustly criticising people in a hurtful manner is a practice which I see very differently. It can demoralise people which can effect every part of their lives. Good morale is essential for any team to work at their best.

Give me an example of how you met a tight deadline?

Me and my team were often tasked with time critical and difficult jobs. I found effective planning to be an invaluable aid by saving time later in the task. A good overview of the project ensured I could assign results focussed responsibilities to the team and formulate backup plans should anything go wrong. Good organisation also helps with dividing a large project into smaller more manageable tasks, which helps with project monitoring. My team never once failed to meet a deadline.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

I envisage myself in an IT management position working in a progressive company like this one. I hope I would have earned promotion by demonstrating myself to be asset to the company and proving I am worthy of such as position.

Name your skills which would benefit this company?

I pride myself in my ability to manage, focus and motivate staff. In my previous job I replaced a project leader who was failing to manage a difficult project which was fell behind schedule. I set the staff goals and gave them a new focus and finished the project on time.

What are your strengths?

As an ex training manger I see myself as having strong communication skills and the ability to communicate difficult concepts in simple terms. My training methods in my previous job reduced the teaching time for our CRM software by 50%.

What is your dream job?

I feel that this job ticks most of my dream job boxes. It is a challenging role, requiring a significant amount of skill and ability, which I feel I have. Having always excelled in a stimulating environment, I relish the task of working for a cutting-edge company. This position represents an exciting opportunity for me to realise my potential.

Carl Thomas

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