What is your salary expectation?
We have seen job applicants shift uncomfortably in their seats when asked this question. To some extent, we sympathize with them knowing the obvious battle in their minds; “should I go that high?”, “Is that too low?” So what is the best answer to this? A quick search on Google or any other search engine will reveal several answers. However, there is no right or wrong answer here. In some cases, what an interviewer seeks to achieve is to find out how much you will be comfortable with taking. Seldom do candidates get turned down because they were priced too high or too low. So next time you are asked that question at an interview DO NOT use the perceived-humility phrase “..oh it all depends on you…” No it DOES NOT! You are the resource so know how much you are worth before entering that interview room.

Why do you want to leave your current job?
No you were not asked that question out of curiosity. Aha! You guessed right! The interviewer wants to know if you will leave their organization three months after you are given the job but it goes beyond that. This is one of the instances where that “integrity” you wrote in your profile comes into play. Tell us the truth. No long stories. More often than not, jobseekers use the cliché “looking for a new challenge”. Although this may seem justifiable, how do you explain “looking for a new challenge” when you have shared twelve months or less with your current employer? Let me leave you to ponder over that.

Why did you apply for this role?
Here, the interviewer wants to test your understanding of the job description. Please please please, do not start by saying “because I was looking for a job”. That would be stating the obvious, don’t you agree? Instead tell them what attracted you to the role. For example, was it the fact that you enjoy travelling and so building strong networks with businesses in other countries will be a passionate experience for you? Or you have been an investment analyst your whole life but you are more human resource oriented as the role requires. No ambiguity, keep it simple.

Are you actively job hunting?
I remember a jobseeker’s response to this question was “I only want to work for this company so I haven’t applied anywhere else”. Oh and I forgot to add the smile he gave himself for that smart answer. Well, it goes without saying that he was not shortlisted for the role. Here, the interviewer wants to know how eager you are to start working. The more offers you have on your table, the stronger your bargaining power. Remember, honesty is key.

How do you keep yourself updated?
The world’s global market is fiercely dynamic. It would be catastrophic for any professional to assume that they have accrued enough knowledge to last them a lifetime. With this in mind, organizations seek employees with the desire to learn about new market trends and the direction of business growth that will add value to their products and services. It is never too late to start learning. There are groups, journals and magazines in your professional field you can subscribe to. Don’t lag behind.