Wouldn’t it be great if you knew what an interviewer would be asking you in your job interview?
Unfortunately we can’t read minds but what we can do is give you a list of the most commonly asked interview questions and we will help you get an idea of how you could answer them.
Below are a list of the top 10 interview questions and how you can answer them correctly.
- “Tell me about yourself.”
Ah, the most classic question in the book. Easy to shrug off as an easy one since it’s subjective. However, don’t underestimate it. Fumbling is something you want to avoid. You need to take your time and think about what you want to say.
- Practice answering this question in front of a mirror or a friend (since it’s obviously going to pop up).
- Find out what they’re looking for. Sell yourself according to the company’s needs and you’ll appear like the exact person fit for the job.
- Don’t overshare your life story. Be brief and only talk about details related to your job description. (example: what got you interested in your career, what education you took to expound your knowledge, how you started and how you grew through the process)
- Don’t follow up your answer with a question to “look smart.” Unless if the situation naturally calls for a follow-up question, hold yourself back.
- Cover your experiences in 3 main points so you don’t go out of topic.
- “What is your greatest strength?”
You are only one of the many candidates knocking on the company’s door for job opportunities. Their aim is to hire the best talent. To set yourself apart from the pool of competition, take your time and think deep about your unique qualities and skills related to the job description.
- Before the interview, write your qualifications with examples. This serves as a guide for you during the interview.
- Demonstrate your problem solving skills with a story. (example: “My greatest strength is my writing skills. I’ve worked under pressure. Once there was a mistake on a project and my editor discovered it only two hours before the deadline. I hunkered down and wrote. The result? The article was on time and acclaimed.”)
- “What is your greatest weakness?”
This is probably the question that strikes fear in the hearts of all interviewees. You freeze up and start to panic. Who would ever want to tell their job interviewer they were bad at something? How can you make yourself look good if you lay out your weaknesses for judgement?
To err is human and your job interviewer knows that. What your interviewer wants to hear is you being aware of that. It’s not about what you answer but how you answer.
- Don’t be afraid to be honest about your weaknesses. Your interviewer will appreciate your honesty.
- Take a positive spin to your weaknesses. Share specific examples of how you’re taking steps to improve yourself. (example: “Often, I underestimate the time I have to do tasks. I have to rush to get things done. That’s why I took time management workshops in the past. Now, I’m taking a time management course online.”)
- Don’t be weird or overshare. (example: “I hate associating with meat eaters.”)
- “Why should we hire you?”
This is a critical question that needs confidence and preparation. How do you fit in the company? What skills do you have to bring to the table? You need to be impressive at this rate and convince them you’re perfect for the job.
- Pitch yourself with confidence. Focus on what you can do for the company, not the other way around.
- Review the qualifications and requirements in the job listing to build your response on what the interviewer wants to hear.
- Lay out your skills set in points, backed up by evidence. (example: “In this job, I’ll lighten the load off sales by answering questions and issues of customers, keeping a level head. As I’ve shown at company A, B, and C, I remain organized even through stress and make sure every client is happy.”)
- “What are your salary expectations?”
Answering the money question can either make or break your interview. No matter how much you try to avoid it, the interviewer will ask you about your salary expectations. You can’t dodge the question either.
- Try to skirt around the question by asking for the duties and responsibilities first.
- Find the right balance. If you overprice yourself, the interviewer will look to the other competition that’s more affordable. If you undervalue yourself, you won’t be compensated fairly and you may curb any potential for growth.
- Do your research and base how much you’re worth from there. You can use sites like Salary.com, Payscale.com, and Indeed.com to compare data (take region and experience into account).
- If you can’t do your research, ask what the salary bracket is.
- “Why did you leave your job?”
When faced with this question, it’s normal to feel uncertain. Jobs end for multiple reasons. It could be good or bad. The interviewer is asking this question to make sure you left for the right reasons. Did you leave to look for new opportunities? Because you felt unappreciated? Or are you flighty and impulsive?
- Don’t badmouth your previous job or company. No company wants to bring in someone who might potentially bash its name and people.
- Be clear and direct with your answer, especially if you were fired or laid off. You want the interviewer to trust you, not get suspicious. Instead of being bitter about how things ended and gossiping about it, tell the interviewer you were disappointed for a while but eventually realized it was an opportunity to move your career to another direction.
- “Why do you want this job?”
Interviewers ask this question not for a boost of ego. Rather, it’s for multiple reasons- to know how sincere you are about working for the company, find out how you fit in, understand what motivates you, and determine if you’re in for the long run or not.
- Be impressive. Show your interviewer you’re interested in the company by doing research before the interview.
- Don’t just research on the job qualifications and requirements. Research the company in whole- products and/or services, vision and mission, company culture, etc.
- “How do you handle stress?”
Stress is always part of any job. There’s always a time when things won’t go as planned. What interviewers want to hear is your capability to work any situation to your advantage, even if it’s a difficult one.
- Give examples. State how you experienced stress in your previous job and how you successfully overcame the situation.
- Avoid saying you never had stress. Your interviewer will either think you’re a liar or can’t handle the company’s stressful environment.
- “Describe a difficult experience at work and how you handled it.”
Can you handle making difficult decisions when it arises? That’s what your interviewer is trying to find out. It’s on the same level as managing stress.
- Share an example of what you did in a tough situation.
- Avoid bashing other people.
- Always end your example on a positive note. (example: “I had a hard time adjusting when a member of the marketing team quit without notice. With hard work and perseverance, our team rearranged our workload to cover the position until a replacement was hired.”)
- “What are your future goals?”
How you see your future is important to employers. Interviewers ask this question to find out if a candidate’s staying long-term or not. New hires are expensive to bring on board and train. If you leave in a hurry, they’ll have to start training people all over again.
- Focus your answer on how passionate you are about the job.
- State that the position aligns with your long-term goals. (example: “You’re looking for someone with advanced computer skills. Being able to apply my computer skills and build upon them is important to me, and there seems to be opportunities to do that here.”)