Interview Practice Questions (With Examples and Tips)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 11 January 2023
Published 6 December 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Practising for a job interview is an important step in gaining employment. If you have an upcoming job interview, you may wonder how you can prepare for it. Learning how to practise effectively can help you feel more confident during the interview, which can increase your chances of success. In this article, we discuss several practice interview example questions and provide some of the steps you can take to prepare yourself.
Why is interview practice important?
Conducting interview practice can help you prepare answers for potential interview questions. Rehearsing your answers to common questions can allow you to feel more confident and comfortable during your actual interview. You can also practise maintaining appropriate body language, eye contact and posture.
Related: How to Prepare for a Job Interview
How to practise for an interview
Below are some useful steps you can take when practising for an interview:
1. Consider practising with someone
You can practice by yourself, but it can be helpful to rehearse your answers aloud with another person. You could hire a career coach or career counsellor to help you with your interview preparation. Career counsellors can help you feel more comfortable and prepared when entering a future job interview. If you're not interested in hiring a career professional, you may consider rehearsing with a friend or family member.
2. Prepare your interview space
The second step in preparing for your interview is finding a suitable space to rehearse. Finding somewhere quiet and comfortable can help you focus and may prevent any interruptions. You may wish to set up a table and chairs to help you feel like you're in an actual interview.
3. Plan your practice questions
If you're working with a career counsellor they may plan the questions for you. If you're planning the questions yourself, choose an assortment of general questions, behavioural questions and questions that are specific to the industry and job you're applying for. If a friend or family member is helping, you might ask them to order your questions randomly to simulate a real interview. If you're rehearsing alone, you could write the questions on flashcards and shuffle them so you aren't prepared for the question order.
4. Dress for your rehearsal interview
A great next step can be to try on the clothes you plan to wear for your actual interview and keep them on while you rehearse. This can help ensure that you feel relaxed in your choice of outfit. Trying on your clothing in advance also means you have time to do any final preparation for your outfit like ironing, removing lint or preparing accessories before the interview day.
Related: What to Wear to a Job Interview
5. Practise your interview from start to finish
After preparing your questions, practise your interview from the beginning to the end. Rehearse your introduction including a warm greeting, a smile and shaking hands if appropriate. Next, run through all the questions and answers you or your helper have prepared and then practise your interview conclusion. In your conclusion, thank the interviewer for their time and let them know that you look forward to hearing from them.
6. Consider your feedback
You can often improve your interview answers by considering the feedback of the person asking you rehearsal questions. You might ask for specific feedback for answers that you know require improvement. If you're rehearsing alone, you could consider video recording your practice interview, which may allow you to create your own constructive criticism.
Common interview questions to practise
You might wish to review common interview questions to help you practise. You can use these example questions as a guide when preparing for your interview and adapt your answers to the role you're applying for and your individual situation. Here are a few common job interview questions and example answers:
1. Can you tell me more about yourself?
The interviewer may ask this question to gain an overview of your skills, background and personality to determine if you're suitable for the role. You can use this as an opportunity to highlight your professional achievements, current job role and personality strengths. Try to focus on things that are relevant to the job you're interviewing for.
Example: 'Currently, I work as the assistant to two of the organisation's five executive managers, including the CEO. During my time in this role, I have focused on my organisation skills, communication skills and commitment to accuracy. From my 11 years of experience as a secretary and assistant, I've developed the ability to foresee barriers to completing projects and can create alternative solutions at short notice.
One of my greatest values to managers is the ability to work autonomously. This frees up their time to focus on the organisational goals. As someone who pays close attention to detail and has excellent organisational skills, I make sure each day has a plan which is clearly communicated.'
2. How has your previous experience prepared you for this position?
In this question, the interviewer is looking for how your career background applies to the position you are interviewing for. It can be a good idea to focus on the skills and experience you acquired in your previous workplaces to answer this question. If possible, you can give specific examples that relate to the role you're applying for. If you have limited or no work experience, you may highlight your education or any personal experiences that are relevant.
Example: 'In my current role, I am responsible for supporting a team of four barristers. My job involves preparing their files for trial, assisting them with preparing legal documents, answering and responding to phone calls from clients and maintaining the barristers' calendars. My experience at my current firm combined with my paralegal educational experience has helped me develop strong organisational skills, time-management skills and keen attention to detail. I am excited to advance my career by joining your team as the lead paralegal.'
3. Why do you want to work for our company?
Interviewers often ask this question as a way to find out if you have researched the organisation, how much you know about the organisation and to discover why you think you would be a good fit. In your answer, you can refer to the company's specific products, services, values or mission statements. You could discuss aspects of the company that align with your career goals and personal appeal.
Example: 'I strongly believe in the company's mission to reduce their impact on the natural environment and I'd love the opportunity to work with a company that's making a difference. Finding a company with a commitment to environmental sustainability has been a priority throughout my job search, and if successful I would be delighted to work towards this goal.'
4. What would you do if you were asked to perform a task you've never done before?
Interviewers may ask this question to find out what you would do if asked to carry out a task beyond your current level of experience. Your interviewer may be assessing your problem-solving skills and ability to learn something new. In your answer, you may wish to detail your methods for developing a new skill.
Example: 'In my previous role as a marketing assistant, I was tasked with creating and launching a social media ad campaign, which I had never done before. I explained to my supervisor that I had no experience in this area but agreed to do the work if a colleague with more experience could offer guidance. After meeting with two experienced co-workers and studying the procedures required, I successfully launched the campaign. The hands-on learning experience allowed me to eventually become an expert on social media marketing.'
Additional job interview rehearsal tips
Here are some additional tips to help you when preparing for your job interview:
Practise multiple times: After receiving feedback about your interview, you could consider the advice and rehearse again. You can continue rehearsing until you feel confident and prepared for your interview.
Avoid memorising answers: It can be beneficial to avoid memorising your answers word for word as you may sound robotic and inauthentic. Instead, you can make a list of the topics you want to cover when answering each question.
Know your salary expectations: Being asked what your salary expectations are in an interview can feel like a daunting question. Prepare for this question by researching typical salaries for similar jobs and considering any benefits offered in the position you are applying for.
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