Always anticipate questions you are likely to be asked. To help you, we have collated some frequently-asked general competency questions – and tips on how to respond to them.
Why do you want to work with us?
They want the perfect fit.
Be completely familiar with their website and draw on your experience and accomplishments to demonstrate how you will add real value.
Provide honest reasons why you think you are a great candidate.
It always helps to mention that the company of this nature is incredibly appealing to you and why!
Why should we hire you?
What added value do you bring to this role and company?
For example: if you can, refer to systems you successfully implemented in the past; IT knowledge and skills that will be of particular use; or additional qualifications.
What are your weaknesses?
The interviewer doesn’t want a pedestrian, predictable answer.
They want to gauge your genuine weaknesses and – more importantly – what you are doing to address them.
Can you give an example of any specific career accomplishments?
An opportunity to blow your own trumpet! Be honest and always back up with evidence.
Have at least one example up your sleeve, including: how you identified the opportunity or were given the task, your methodology, and the successful outcome.
Great examples would include saving your company money, streamlining an operation or identifying opportunities for growth or improvement.
Can you describe a situation where your experience played a crucial or leading role?
Relate to yourself and things you have done in the past – with emphasis on your leading role.
Include measures you inspired which improved the situation and outcome.
How do you handle stressful situations in the workplace?
Everyone experiences stress so an interviewer will not believe that you never get stressed.
Be honest and describe how you handle stressful situations.
Even better – if you can, mention what measures you take to minimise or stop them arising in the first place!
How do you keep track of everything you are responsible for on a daily basis?
Describe any online, institutional or personal systems or organisational tools which help you ensure you complete all your tasks on time.
If you could be any [brand / car / author / etc], what would you be and why?
This increasingly common type of question usually asks candidates to think of a product or service which best showcases your personality, skills, ability. They want to see how you think on your feet and get a feel for your character. Try practising this with a friend in advance a few times in advance of your interview!
We have also compiled a list of frequently asked technical questions specific to the commercial insurance industry, which you can find here