There are a number of popular questions that you will be asked when faced with an interview. In this article, we would like to focus on the 3 most common questions that you will be asked and some of the Key Do’s and Don’ts:

Question : Tell me About yourself?

Focus on your response by providing the big picture and a few high business impactachievements

  • Use the funnel model to explain positional hierarchy in the organization

  • Connect your experiences as much as possible to current opportunity

  • As a people manager refer to your team as part of your success story  

  • Start with your current role and use a reverse chronological order

  • Read off your cv or follow it line by line  

  • Mention to the recruiter “I thought you already have my cv…”

  • Spend too much time on your career aspirations

“After I graduated from XY University with an Engineering degree, my first few roles in the early part of my career were working with XYZ Companies whereby I honed my Engineering & Project Management skills. In these roles a couple of projects that I am proud about was a new System implementation that further delivered company savings of up to X million $ & Y% increase in customer service. Later I moved into a Business Analyst role in an Asia Pac regional capacity where I was exposed to the world of big data as well as people management responsibilities which I thoroughly enjoyed. I am now looking at expanding my career further into xxx) which I believe this opportunity may be worth looking at…”

“I currently have a solid reporting line to the VP Region who reports into the Regional President and I have 4direct reports who have between 2-3 junior staff”

Question : What is your motivation for wanting this role?

NB: If asked by an External Recruiter, the interest will be both “Push and Pull” factors


  • Be clear on what is a deal breaker for you

  • Mention salary expectations if it is part of your motivation

  • Be honest and direct


  • Try and provide too many motivational drivers

  • Be too broad or too vague

“I have been looking for a Regional Sales role for the last 6 months as currently I feel like I am a bit stuck. The organization I am in unfortunately does not have the scope to give me the promotion even though myperformance is strong and we have openly discussed this with my line manager. The job advertised seems to address a number of things I would be keen on, more responsibility, a bigger team and a broader customer base”

Typical Motivational Factors: Different types of industry, different Product lines, Promotion, DifferentCustomers, Salary, Local vs Region vs Global roles , Start up’s vs Mature Business’s, Local Family vsMultinational vs Government, Larger Teams , Diverse Teams , Specialist vs Generalist


NB: If asked by a Potential Employer, the interest will be primarily on “Pull” factors


  • Quickly reference the aspects of the role that are attractive to you e.g., more responsibility, potential promotion, location, culture, leading a team

  • Align your response with your career aspirations


  • Be inconsistent with your responses with different internal interviewers as it leads toconfusion

  • Over-Index on the Push factors from your ex-company

“I have been passionate for some time in moving into a GM role as I enjoy leading teams and am very motivated by owing the P & L. I also believe with this step there would be a further opportunity to grow into a larger VP position.”

Question : Why did you leave X/Y Job?

NB: If asked by a Potential Employer, the interest will be primarily on “Pull” factors


  • Explain briefly the key reason e.g., promotion, relocation, work life balance

  • Reframe any negative experience into a learning opportunity

  • Prepare well for this question, so that you sound confident and sure


  • Blame the boss or company for why you left even if it is the reason

  • Spend too much time on past roles and focus on more recent moves

  • Become emotional or slip into a victim mentality

“I was approached by company XYZ at a point in my career where I wanted to work in an environment that was leading the way in product innovation in beverages and was sure that it would give me a chance to take more of a specialist path, they were willing to also invest in my learning and development, so very much aligned to my aspirations, I decided to move.”


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