We will get right to the point; you are attending an interview and are in the midst of preparing for it. We scoured the internet and came up with 20 most common job interview questions that may be useful for you.
Thank us later!
1. They Always Start With “Tell Me A Little About Yourself.”
The interviewers already know some things about you – from your resume, cover letter and the research they might have done online on you – on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google. The goal of asking this question is to see how your background fits the role and why you feel this job called out to you. Be honest and keep your life history short – you are not writing a self-biography.
2. Why Do You Want to Work at This Company?
Most people will give generic answers. This is where your research about the company will be handy. Connect your experiences and background to the organisation’s overall goal. Talk about how you have watched and heard the company grow, the opportunities it presents to the industry and link it to how you can contribute towards that goal. Do not kiss up – you will only sound fake.
3. What Do You Know About Us?
Do not spew sentences from the website, they wrote it and chances are, they have it memorised by heart. Talk about their accomplishments you have read or projects that they are undertaking. From what you have seen and heard, speak about the values you see the company having and how you feel connected to those values.
4. Out of All the Candidates, Why Should We Hire You?
Start with, “I can’t speak for others but…” sell yourself and your skills to the hiring manager. Craft your answers to cover these three salient points – you can work hard, you can deliver great results and point out your accomplishments and because you already living by some of the cultures of the company, you feel you will fit right in.
5. Why Do You Want the Job?
This is different than Question No.4. Here you have to talk about the changes you want to make in your professional job and how this role will achieve that for you. Talk about the company’s achievements and how it is going to help you grow your career.
6. What Are Your Biggest Strengths?
Our advice – just pick one. Be clear and precise. If you’re a great problem solver, start with an example of how you solved problems in your previous role and end with how you think this would be helpful for this role you are applying for.
7. What Are Your Weaknesses?
All of us have weaknesses – we are human. But pick a weakness that you can turn into a strength for the company. For an example – “My biggest weakness is being absorbed in what I do in that moment that I sometimes completely forget that I have a family to get back home to. My family is constantly on to me about this and I am trying but sometime work just comes first” (there wink* wink*)
8. Tell Me About a Challenge or Conflict You’ve Faced at Work, and How You Dealt with It.
Do not share names – the interviewers are not interested. They want to see how you solve problems. Be professional, spend more time talking about the way you resolved the problem than the problem itself. Also mention what you may change in the way you would have resolved the issue now. Be open about the toughness of the situation. Be ready for follow up questions.
9. What are Your Biggest Professional Achievements?
This question is different from talking about your strengths. Here they want you to list down your actual victories. They want to see how you can help the role you are applying for. So be relevant, list your accomplishments by linking it to what you can bring to the role you are interviewing for.
10. Have You Ever Been in A Conflict with A Co-Worker? How Did You Handle It?
Remember they want to see how professional you are when you are answer this question. Do not blame the other party, instead focus your answer on how you both determinedly resolved the conflict. Emphasise on the resolution than the shouting match that might have happened back in your old office.
11. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?
This one is a difficult question, but we can guarantee that you would be asked this question. Be positive and talk about growth and experience that you want to gain. Talk about how the new opportunity is more exciting and would expand your knowledge. Do not speak bad about your current or former employer.
12. Can You Explain Why You Changed Career Paths or Why You Want to Change Your Career Path?
Happens to most of us when we want to try something different. Be positive, do not speak ill about your previous employment instead throw in some examples of how the experiences you have had can be beneficial in the role you applied for. Speak about personal growth and being part of something more exciting than what you were doing before. Explain your thought process and show them that it was not a spur-of-the-moment decision – this would show that you are not impulsive but very process oriented.
13. What Is Your Salary Expectation?
This is a stressful question for anyone. How can you get what you want and at the same time try to look humble enough? Our advise is to smartly deflect the answer – “With my experience and dedication, I believe I can be an asset to your organisation, so I do hope we can come to a decision that both of us are happy about.” Be straight about your expectations.
14. Tell Me About A Time You Made A Mistake and What Did You Do?
Be honest, do not place the blame on others but focus on how you resolved it, in the end. Given a chance, how differently you would have handled it today to avoid that mistake or how you would have resolved it now.
15. What Did You Like Least About Your Current Job?
Tread carefully. Never say you hate your boss or the job itself. You can compare it to the opportunities within the new organisation and explain about the growth you want to achieve in your professional life. Emphasise about what you are looking forward to in this new role. End, with a positive note that no matter what, you always will treasure the times you had in your current or former company.
16. What Kind of Work Environment Do You Like Best?
Connect it to the culture of the company you are interviewing for. But never give generic answers like “I want to work in a company where teamwork is strong” instead link it to what you admire or live by. So for an example, if the company’s culture emphasises “Respect” as one of its beliefs then you can say something like this, “I believe in respecting myself and the work I do, because my career is my lifeline. So, I want to work in a company that lauds respect of oneself and others.”
17. How Would You Like to Be Managed?
Think about what motivates you and what you liked from all your previous work experiences. Some like constant meetings and touch points so you are always guided. But our advice would be to talk about an exemplary boss you have had in the past or your friend might have had and explain why that style of leadership works for you. However, be clear that you would do your best to adapt to any style that encourages your growth.
18. Where Do You See Yourself in Five or Ten Years?
This is a question that we do not enjoy, as not all of us have a five- or ten-year plan. However, the reason interviewers ask this question is to see how realistic you are. If you are not sure what to say, then be truthful, tell the interviewer that you are not sure but you have a feeling that this role and experience would be instrumental in deciding those exact plans in the near future.
19. Are You Interviewing with Other Companies?
You want to say no – so they feel special but at the same time you do not want them to think you are putting all your eggs in one basket. So, the only way out of this is to talk about how you are applying for similar roles but when you came across “this role” it connected to you and excited you the most.
20. What Makes You Unique?
This is a hard one too. Our advice is that before you go for any interviews talk to people – your friends, colleagues, and mentors (if any) and ask them what quality of yours they think is unique. Expand on that, be truthful and make sure it is somehow connected to why you think you fit the role – not how you can run 10 kilometres in 10 minutes – unless of course you are applying for a fitness trainer’s job. Make sure you share some examples of how the unique ability has helped you in your career.
So, the single most word that would have jumped at you throughout this, is to be truthful. Do not lie, mask a truth, or create a story. Be you and be clever. Practice, practice, practice before going for any interviews or job-related appointments.