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Application Technique

Interview Questions & Answers


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Edit The following list of "interview questions and answers" should help you prepare fully to answer difficult interview questions. Each interview question below links through to an example answer, that you can add to by editing yourself or by commenting on. You can also add to the interview questions on this page by editing the page, or suggest an interview question to be answered at the bottom of the page in a comment, which may be useful if there is a particular interview question or questions you are struggling with.

The best way to prepare for tough interview questions is by reading as many interview questions and answers as possible. Interview Gold can help you with a method of preparation that almost guarantees success - click here

Please note that not all answers have been written at this time but do feel free to construct your own answer to help others in their interviews. This page is a work in progress!

General Interview Questions


[Edit] Personal Interview Questions

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Interview question: Tell me about yourself Interview question: Tell me about your previous employment Interview question: What achievements in your life are you most proud of ? Interview question: What are your strengths? Interview question: What is your greatest weakness ? Interview question: How would your friends describe you? Interview question: How would your friends describe you?

How to succeed at interview - prepare yourself for your interviews by reading as many interview questions and answers as possible. Interview Gold can help you with a method of preparation that almost guarantees success - click here.

Interview Questions about Employers

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Why do you want to work for our organisation? Why do you want to work in this industry?

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Why do you want to work in this area? (e.g. London, Manchester, France) How is this firm different from its competitors?

Smaller Employers Interview Questions

Interview question: Why do you want to work for a small firm?

Interview Questions about Careers

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Why do you work as a .....? Why do you think you would be a good .....? Where do see yourself in 5/10 years time? What experiences most influenced your career choice? What do you really want to do in life? Would your social life or interests outside of work infringe on your work commitment? Have you applied to anyone else? What are you looking for in the firms you have applied to? Are you hoping for specialisation in a particular field, if so why? What motivates you?

Interview Questions about Education

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Why did you select your A level subjects? Why did you choose your university? Why did you choose your course? What have you gained from your course? Did the course live up to your expectations? What aspects of your course did you find the most challenging? Have you been required to re-sit any examinations?

Why do you think this was?

Are you satisfied with your academic achievements to date? What do you see as the principal benefits of university life apart from obtaining a degree?

Commercial Awareness Interview Questions


[Edit] Commercial awareness interview questions:

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Describe a company you think is doing well/badly and explain why you think this is so. What do you think are key qualities for a company to have to be successful? What significant factors have affected this industry in recent years? What do you understand of the role this firm plays in this industry?

Technical Interview Questions


[Edit] Accountancy

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Interview question: Why do you want to be an accountant? Interview question: What do you think you will be doing in your first year as an accountant? Interview question: What do you think you will be doing in your first year as an auditor?

Investment Banking

How is a merger/acquisition structured?

Give an example of a recent commercial deal that captured your attention: which party/side in this deal would you like to work for if you were a lawyer and why?

Legal

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How would you sell on services to a client? - for solicitors in commercial practice only You are alone in the office and a client phones demanding instant advice, what do you do? You are alone in the office and a very important client phones demanding you shred various documents of theirs. What do you do? What would you do if three partners all came to you with work they wanted you to do by 5pm that day? If you had a completely free choice, which law would you like to change and why? Why would you want to do legal aid work?

Competency Based Interview Questions


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Give an example of when and how you have worked in a team. Describe a time when you had a number of conflicting demands on your time and how you dealt with this Give an example of a time when you were not in agreement with the rest of the team. Can you give me evidence that you set yourself high personal How do you go about motivating yourself when the pressure is off? How do you go about organising your time and assessing priorities? Why, among all the candidates, should we choose you? Describe a situation where you acted on your own initiative? What is the worst mistake you have ever made and what did you learn from it How do you react to pressure? How do you react to failure? How do you respond to change? How do you go about handling difficult people? If a decision goes against you how do you take it? Would you say that you usually achieve what you set out to do? Tell me about a situation when you have had to meet a tight deadline? Give me an example of a time when you had to negotiate to achieve a desired outcome?

Application Technique Interview Questions & Answers

Tell me about yourself


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View Edit Interview Question: Tell Me About Yourself

If you are asked this question at interview it is important to remember what your interviewer will be looking for in candidates for the job in question. It would be easy to start talking about your favourite hobbies and interests, but bear in mind that talking about more relevant activities may be beneficial.

Be prepared to ask your interviewer to define the information they are looking for by asking: What would you like to know about me? This gives your interviewer the chance to get you to tell them exactly what information he or she is looking for.

Your interviewer will probably be most interested in information involving your job. If you can, see if you can build into your response positives which relate to the job you are applying for.

Application Technique Interview Questions & Answers

Tell me about your previous employment


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Edit Interview Question: Tell me about your previous employment

Interviewers expect candidates to be able to explain and discuss their work history in detail at interview. Be prepared to discuss the companies you worked for (and their competitors), the rough dates you started and finished at each employer, how much you earned and what you job r entailed.

Most importantly, you should be able to explain in detail:

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Why you wanted to work for each employer Why you wanted experience in each industry (if you have worked in various industries) What you gained from each role (e.g. experience, skills, qualifications, personal development, financing for a Gap Year or travelling, etc) Why you think your previous roles are useful for the role you are now applying for (i.e. what transferable skills have you picked up that you can offer the new employer) Why you left your previous employers (never give a negative reason)

It is always a good idea to refresh yourself with your work experience before interview. It is important to be able to answer questions immediately, and not to waste to thinking back and working our old salaries or start dates.

Be Positive
[Edit] You must sound confident and enthusiastic when referring to your old employers. Even if you did not enjoy certain jobs or industries do notmention this at interview. You must be positive, and should aim to talk about what you learnt and how you improved in each period of employment.

Never refer to disliking old bosses or managers and never reveal if you left a company or industry because you did not like it - this only reflects badly on you and your decision making process.

CV
[Edit] It may be useful to take a copy of your CV with you to interviews, so that you have all your work experience information available to you. Having your CV with you means that even under pressure, you will be able to remember key facts about your work history, and will also have exactly the same information to hand as your interviewer.

If you do decide to take your CV with you to an interview, carry it in a black, leather, A4 size document wallet.

For further information on common interview questions ask in the WikiJob forum.

What are your strengths


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My strength is my flexibility to handle change. Also, Hard worker. Punctual. Able to prioritize. Believe in myself; self-confidence. I have the ability to cope with failures and try to learn from my mistakes. I like to work in team and have been an active participant and organizer at s everal places. One of my greatest strengths I've a good planning skills. This has always benefited me to set goals and try to achieve them. Full commitment to my work. Highly energetic. Love to learn new things. Having good interpersonal skills. Well organized and like to be neat with all of my work. A good helper towards those who need it. I am a team player and work well with others. I have great communication skills I am a quick learner. I have great problem-solving skills and am willing to learn new things to get the job done.

What is your greatest weakness


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View Edit A weakness of mine would be the fact that I get nervous when speaking in front of groups. I haven't had a lot of experience with this over the past several years. During my studies I have improved I feel much more confident today when I need to speak in front of groups and give presentation.

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Lose patience sometimes when I am not in a position to complete the assigned job in time. I have to work on having more patience and giving myself a break because I always want everything done at once. I am too focused on my work and I need to find more time to relax. I'm too focused on work and need to develop some after hours hobbies. When doing my work, if someone asks for assistance I move away from my work, and when i come back.. i forget where I left off, but now I manage to write things down before going to help someone else.

Remember to always turn a weakness into a positive. Example: If you are meticulous with your work which often leads to fallling behind schedule, tell the interviewer that because of this you set yourself goals in order to make sure you meet these deadines on time.

What is your greatest weakness


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View Edit A weakness of mine would be the fact that I get nervous when speaking in front of groups. I haven't had a lot of experience with this over the past several years. During my studies I have improved I feel much more confident today when I need to speak in front of groups and give presentation.

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Lose patience sometimes when I am not in a position to complete the assigned job in time. I have to work on having more patience and giving myself a break because I always want everything done at once. I am too focused on my work and I need to find more time to relax. I'm too focused on work and need to develop some after hours hobbies. When doing my work, if someone asks for assistance I move away from my work, and when i come back.. i forget where I left off, but now I manage to write things down before going to help someone else.

Remember to always turn a weakness into a positive. Example: If you are meticulous with your work which often leads to fallling behind schedule, tell the interviewer that because of this you set yourself goals in order to make sure you meet these deadines on time.

Application Technique Interview Questions & Answers

What do you think you will be doing in your first year as an auditor?
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Edit It is always essential for you to be able to comprehensively explain exactly what you will be doing in the job position you have applied for. If you do not know what you will be doing, or are not able to explain what you will be doing, you are not employable. Employers will only hire people who

understand exactly what a company does, exactly what they will be doing day to day and are able to explain exactly why they want to do this job. If you have no knowledge of what you will be doing, you appear weak, incompetent and unemployable.

Interview Question: What do you think you will be doing in your first year as an auditor?
[Edit] In your first year as an auditor your time will be split between working and studying. You may also travel frequently and may decide to become involved in extracurricular activities organised by your employer, such as sports teams and CSR operations.

Working
[Edit] Your work as a first year trainee will mainly involve "ticking and bashing", a term used to describe the mundane work that is an essential part of accountancy, but general fairly tiresome and long winded. This work is generally undesirable, and is consequently mainly given out to new trainees. Your work may involve checking invoices, checking reports, making sure two or more documents agree and other report and analysis based tasks. You may have to audit financial statements, verify the accuracy of data by checking other people's accuracy, completeness and consistency, and generally ensure that all records are a true and fair reflection of a business's performance.

You may also have to test controls to help a company mitigate against risks, check for compliance with IRFS and Sox 404 and chase up clients to find out about missing information or find out why there are inconsistencies, when they occur.

Chasing up clients can be monotonous and usually involves making many phone calls and sending follow-up emails.

You may also be asked to find specific documents or reports, check documents for spelling and grammar and to conduct miscellaneous office administration tasks.

During your first year/s you will also learn how to complete the simpler sections of an audit file and may even be given the opportunity to be solely responsible for a small audit (like a subsidiary or pension scheme) by the end of the year, among many oth tasks. A lot will depend on the firm er you work. Smaller firms often allow trainees to tak on more responsibility earlier than large firms.

Don't underestimate the importance at interview of demonstrating an understanding of the ticking and bashing side - a partner is likely to be impressed if you're aware of the not so interesting side to the job and can still display enthusiasm!

Point of note: At interview, do not underestimate the importance of demonstrating an understanding of the ticking and bashing side of your work as a first year trainee. A partner is

likely to be impressed with you if you can still display enthusiasm for the job, even if you are aware of the less interesting side to the job.

Studying
[Edit] First year accountancy trainees will usually study towards the ACA,ACCA, CIMA or other similar accountancy qualifications. Trainees may receive some training in -house (from managers at their company) although most training is usually delivered by a third party academic institution. Generally speaking, before exams or during heavy periods of study, accountancy practices will provide trainees with some time off to revise.

Travel
[Edit] During your first years as an auditor it is likely you will spend some time travelling, either for meetings at client offices, or for extended periods of work at client offices.

Extracurricular Activities
[Edit] Many employers, and in particular large graduate employers such as theBig 4 organise extracurricular groups, such as drama groups and sports groups. Employers like to hire "all rounders" so it is worth discussing how you would like to get involved with more than just work during your time as a trainee. Employers are always keen to involve first year trainees in their graduate recruitment activities (such as attending careers fairs, internship mentoring, and conducting office tours for candidates during assessment days). Explaining you would like to be involved with this type of activity is also worth mentioning.

Corporate Social Responsibility


[Edit] Many firms organise Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, such as helping local charities at weekends. Employers like employees to get involved with these types of activities as much as possible because it reflects well on the firm as a whole so it is well worth mentioning how much you would like to get involved with CSR when you join a firm.

Hi guys! I had a telephone interview with HSBC about a position within operations in London. It lasted approximately 30 minutes and I was asked maximum 15 questions - nothing relative to my resume though. Some of the questions are: 1. describe a situation of team work/ did you have any problems with another member of the team, how did you deal with it? 2. what do you do to develop yourself? 3. have you ever trained somebody/ new staff? 4. what do you do when you cannot find a solution to a problem? 5. describe a situation you showed leadership

6. how do you characterize yourself in Excel/ Access. give me some examples. 7. Describe the last time you delivered a task that required sustained effort 8. Have you ever changed your plans in order to prioritize something else? 9. how do you deal with an unsatisfied customer? have you ever had such an experience? 10. what is your expectation with regards to the salary? 11. give me an example when you have successfully persuaded somebody

Application Technique Interview Questions & Answers

Describe a time when you had a number of conflicting demands on your time and how you dealt with this
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View Edit Interview Question: Describe a time where you had a number of conflicting demands on your time and how you dealt with this. This interview question is reflective of the situation in which many employees find themselves as a result of the present financial turmoil. With increasing workloads, rising targets and deadlines to meet, interviewers want to be sure that interview candidates can manage this type of situation.

As a graduate, examples you could use would be writing your dissertation during the end of your studies with upcoming exams or even the job search, application and interview process itself, which can be very demanding.

Even more pertinent examples would be periods of work experience or extracurricular activities, such as organising an event; fund raising; organising a trip abroad, or any experience which has a number of variables over which you have no control.

Think about how you prioritised your time, what actions you took, what you delegated, what support you sought, what feedback you got and the outcome you achieved. Also think about what you learned from the experience and what would have happened if you had got things wrong. Contingency planning is key to survival in business when situations are constantly changing.