How to prepare for a Job Interview (Mock Interviews)

At the Atlas Job Shop each week we focus on a different part of the process you’ll go through to find a job in Dublin. In the fourth workshop in the series your teacher will conduct a practice or mock job interview with you – an ideal way to prepare for a job interview.

Mock Interviews

You should imagine that this is a real interview, and remember to apply the techniques you learned in ‘Workshop 3 – Interview Skills’, and remember to behave just as you would in an authentic job interview, including politeness and body language.

The teacher will select from the following questions:

Basic job interview questions:

(You could be asked these in both formal or informal interviews)

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?
  • What’s your ideal company/bar/restaurant?
  • What attracted you to this company/bar/restaurant?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What did you like least about your last job?
  • When were you most satisfied in your job?
  • What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
  • What were the responsibilities of your last position?
  • Why are you leaving your present job?
  • What do you know about this industry?
  • What do you know about our company/bar/restaurant?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

Salary questions:

(You could be asked these in both formal or informal interviews)

  • What salary are you seeking?
  • What’s your salary history?
  • How much did you get paid in your last job?
  • If I were to give you the salary you requested but let you write your job description for the next year, what would it say?

Mock Job Interviews

Useful language for interviews

Describing yourself

You will surely be asked what kind of person you are.

Here are some typical words you could you use to describe yourself.

  • Ambitious – you’ve got goals and you like to work
  • Confident – you’re sure of yourself and your work
  • Hardworking – you work quite hard
  • Diligent – you work hard and pay attention to detail
  • Easy-going – you are very easy to get along with
  • Honest and trustworthy – they can trust you and that you will do your job well
  • Motivated – you’re enthusiastic to do a good job
  • Have got initiative – you don’t always need to be told what to do
  • Extremely punctual – you are always on time
  • Reliable – you are trustworthy and won’t let people down
  • A team-player – you work well in teams
  • A people person – you like people and try to understand them

To describe yourself you would say:

I consider myself to be _________

I see myself as a ____________

People tell me I’m a ___________

Try not to say:

I’m amazing

I’m the best barman you’ll ever meet.

In interviews you should come across as a modest person, rather than arrogant.

Describing your strengths and weaknesses

Strengths: When describing your strengths, you should make sure that they relate to the job you’re applying for. Here are some strengths you could talk about. It’s always good to give examples of things you’ve done that demonstrate these qualities.

  • Always enthusiastic about the job
  • Can speak different foreign language
  • Communicate well with others
  • Great ability to solve problems
  • A logical thinker
  • Can pay attention to detail
  • Can multitask quite well
  • Extremely organised
  • Can adapt to any situation

Weaknesses: Being asked about your weaknesses can be a really tricky question, so you need to make sure that the weaknesses you mention appear like strengths. Again, be prepared to give examples of things you’ve done that demonstrate these weaknesses, though allow the listener also to see them as strengths.

  • I’m too critical of myself
  • I work too hard sometimes
  • I like to please people
  • I’m not too familiar with how to make cocktails, but I’m keen to learn how.

All of these questions and tips give you things to think about to prepare good answers for an interview. Why not download a list of possible questions and have a think about how you could best answer them. And then come along to the next Mock Interview workshop to get some feedback on your answers. Maybe we can help you make them sound better.

If you are still working on your job applications make sure to check our blog posts on how to write your CV and Cover Letter for successful job applications.