Interview Preparation Cheat Sheet

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

There is one saying that’s very true for job interviews - “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. I encourage all job seekers to prepare thoroughly for interviews. Having said this, circumstances can mean some job seekers don’t have enough time to prepare, because interviews are set at short notice or busy work schedules take priority. It’s possible to predict many questions you’ll face at a traditional interview and I’ve prepared a cheat sheet to help job seekers with limited time to prepare. NB: Competency Based Interviews require a different strategy, using the STAR technique.

CV Based Questions: It’s important to review your CV – dates of employment, reason for moving jobs, relevant experience or skills, and key achievements. Here are some popular CV based questions you can expect at interview.

  1. Talk me through your CV?
  2. Tell me about “x” role?
  3. Why are you leaving your current role?
  4. Why did you leave your last role?
  5. What have you been doing since you left your last role?
  6. Talk me through your qualifications and training?

Job Specification Questions: Expect to be questioned about any point outlined on the job specification. Familiarise yourself with the job specification prior to interview. Review each point on the job specification and identify relevant examples, achievements and experience. Understanding the job specification will help you maintain focus during interview. Identifying examples/achievements will minimise the amount of thinking you’ll have to do during an interview.


Common Questions: The old chestnuts that come up over and over again. People often call these “difficult interview questions”. They’re actually very easy to answer with a little advance preparation.

  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Do you have any questions?
  • What are your strengths/weakness?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What are your career goals?

Paul Mullan is a leading interview coach. He has helped many job seekers navigate job interviews and land great jobs. Paul offers challenging mock interviews, honest feedback and practical advice, ensuring you maximise your performance at interview. For more details visit or