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Turn that application form to your advantage!

Here are a few example questions, taken from application forms, so you can practise the perfect answer.

Wh​y do you want this job?

Despite seeming intimidating, this question actually presents a brilliant opportunity to write openly about any relevant experience you have, knowledge about the company, and the parts of the role that appeal to you.

Never put “I’ve always wanted to be a... since I was a child.” It is a cliché which won’t fool anyone.

Don’t write a sob-story about how the job is going to benefit you; an employer would rather hear about how employing you IS going to benefit them.

Why are you suitable for the job?

This is one of the most important sections on the entire form, so don’t gloss over it. It provides an open ticket to enhance your application by talking about your skills. You can mention any relevant skills gained during work experience, education or in personal life. Use this as the space to really pitch yourself for the job.

Re-examine the job advert and make sure that you talk about every skill mentioned by the employer in the job specification. Examples of job specification requirements:

  1. Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, and experience of communicating to staff at all levels.

  2. Problem solving and decision making.

  3. Strong organisational skills with a high level of attention to detail, and the ability to take projects to completion.

  4. Match every point with an example, and remember to explain what value you can bring to the company.

Why did you leave your last job?

Sometimes honesty isn’t the best policy. Even if you were bored out of your brain, hated the boss or were miserable in your previous jobs, don’t put this on your application form! Avoid any negativity, as this could cost you an interview.

Instead think about the skills that were utilised in that job, or focus on the kind of things that you are looking for in a new job, such as greater responsibility, or a new challenge etc.

What was your last salary, and what are your salary expectations for this role?

Unfortunately many employers will ask this question, often in order to try and get the best employee for the lowest price. The best answer here is the truth, although many people will put a higher figure than what they actually got paid, in order to ensure that they don’t get a pay cut.











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