Writing a Cover Letter

Before an interview, it is a good idea to anticipate what you might be asked and prepare some possible answers, so the interviewer does not catch you unawares. However, it is important to remember that the purpose of the interview is to find out what you know, not to make you feel uncomfortable.

Here is an idea of the kind of questions that a prospective employer might ask you:

  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why did you choose to apply for this role/job?
  • What are your qualifications?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • In your CV you say you are adaptable [or resilient, fast learner, motivator etc]. Give an example of your work/life of a situation that demonstrates this.
  • Tell me about a time when you [displayed some skill required for the job].
  • What might you do if [an example of a situation is put to you]?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What interests you about our product/service?
  • What do you think determines people’s progress in a good company?
  • Are you willing to relocate?
  • What does teamwork mean to you?
  • Why did you choose this career area?
  • What do you want to be doing five years from now? Ten years from now?
  • What style of management gets the best out of you?
  • What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction?
  • Why?
  • What have you learned from some of the jobs you have held? What did you enjoy most?
  • What have you done that shows initiative in your career?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What type of books do you read?
  • What do you do in your leisure time?

Remember, an interview is not just a one-way stream. It is also your chance to find out if this is the right job for you.

The following are the kind of things you may need to find out about:

  • Ask for a detailed description of the position
  • What is the office set up and how is management structured?
  • Why is the position available and is it a new or existing role?
  • What challenges does the role offer?
  • How does the interviewer see the job developing?
  • Is there an induction programme?
  • Will there be future training programmes or support in further study?
  • What are the company’s long and short-term growth plans?
  • It is ok to ask about salary, holidays and company benefits, but save these questions until last and do not focus on them.