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5 common interview questions for aspiring environment professionals and how to prepare for them

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ENDSjobsearch outlines common questions you’re likely to be asked in an interview and tips to help you prepare for them

How does this position fit into your long-term personal and career goals?

For top environment and sustainability professionals, applying for a new job is a deliberate career move that helps you reach your ultimate goals, which could be personal, professional, or both. This question is designed to establish whether you have long-term ambitions. Use this as an opportunity to show you are committed to the sector and that you intend to grow your career as an environment professional.

Example answer: “I think this position will help me grow my career and progress into a senior environmental position at the company in the next three to five years. I also enjoy working outdoors and travelling around the country, which I understand this position offers.”

How do you stay ahead of the latest developments in the environment sector?

Make sure you keep abreast of the latest environment news and trends to ensure you are knowledgeable about the sector. Read the latest news in trade and national media to stay up-to-date on the latest legislation and key trends and how it might affect your career and company. Attend networking events where possible to exchange ideas with like-minded people.

Example answer: “I read the trade and national press to stay up to date on the latest news and environmental legislation. For example, I read this morning on the ENDS Report that new legislation is being drawn up that could affect my role / your company by….I also enjoy attending networking events and recently met with an environmental group where I found out about what they’re doing to overcome pollution problems in London. This is an idea we could implement by...”

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What do you know about us?

The interviewer wants to know you’ve done your research and invested some time into getting to know the company. Check out their latest news, case studies, social media channels and key customers. Try to get an idea of who their key competitors are and visit their websites too as this could inspire future ideas. Cite selected examples from what you have found out and comment on them where possible.

Example answer: “The company is [explain what they do and what their aims are] and was established XX years ago. I read on your website you’ve launched a new initiative which aims to...and your brochure portrays your company as being very collaborative and open to new ideas, which resonates well with me as I have plenty of ideas to share…”

Why should we hire you?

For this question you need to make sure you’re very familiar with the job description and company culture so that you can match your skills, experience, qualifications and personality to the job. You also need to support this with examples. In case your skills, experience or qualifications do not exceed those of your competitors, you can prepare to stand out by exuding a lot of energy and passion when you speak.

Example answer: “Throughout the last five years of my career I have built solid fieldwork, reporting and analytical skills through roles such as….where I was involved in….and made an impact by….I love what I do and would bring these skills to this role and your company and build upon them further by….”

Do you have any questions for us?

There are some questions best left unasked, at least at the first interview stage. These include asking about salary, benefits or leave. Use this question as an opportunity to find out more about the company to show how early you can make a contribution. Or ask for feedback to help you improve for the next interview.

Example: “Can you tell me more about your staff induction process?”

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