Does your Resume pass the 10-second test?

Top Interview Questions and Answers

Why have you applied for this vacancy?

Alternative and related questions:

Why do you want this vacancy?
What attracted you to this vacancy?
Why do you think you’re suitable for this job?
What is it that you are looking for in a new job?

The meaning behind the question:

The interviewer is probing to see:

  • If you fully understand what the job entails
  • How well you might match their requirements
  • What appeals to you most about the job

Your answer:

This is another very open-ended question where you might be tempted to say too much. By taking the time to think through your answer to this question in advance, you will be able to remain focused on a few key points.

Your emphasis should be on demonstrating to the interviewer precisely how you match their requirements - and, in doing so, to demonstrate that you fully understand what the role entails.

If you’ve done your research properly then you will have a good idea of what it is they are most looking for.

Yes, they have asked you what your motivations are in applying for the vacancy, but try to turn the question around so that the answer you give tells them why you are the right candidate for the vacancy.


I’ve applied for this vacancy because it’s an excellent match for my skills and experience - and because it represents a challenge which I know I’ll relish. I clearly already have extensive experience as a Senior Quantity Surveyor, including previous experience of rail and station projects - an area I’m particularly interested in. I enjoy managing multiple projects simultaneously. I also enjoy overseeing and coaching junior and assistant quantity surveyors. I’m used to dealing directly with clients; developing productive working relationships with clients is definitely one of my strengths. This role is exactly the sort of role I am currently targeting and I am confident I will be able to make a major contribution.

The Interview Question & Answer Book

The Interview Question and Answer Book

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More top interview questions and answers


Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

Why have you applied for this vacancy?

Why do you wish to leave your current position?

Why do you want to work for this organization?

What are your strengths?

What are your weaknesses?

What has been your greatest achievement/accomplishment?

What can you, above all the other applicants, bring to this job?

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

You've mentioned x under the Interests & Activities on your resume. Can you tell me a bit more about that?