Learn your way around these questions and nail that job interview!
The job hunt can be nerve-wracking, so even the most capable candidate can fall short when unprepared. That’s why it’s important to know the most common job interview questions and answers.
It’s not about having a memorized speech ready, but just knowing what to expect so you can gather your bearings before that big interview.
Here are some common job interview questions and answers to learn before the big day.
1. Tell me about yourself.
Because this prompt is so general and vague, it’s easy to understand how it has stumped many job applicants. With each of these questions, it’s important for you to understand what kind of information your interviewer is looking for.
Don’t ramble on and on about your life story. And don’t parrot whatever you put on your resume. Focus on communicating what you have to bring to the table instead.
To learn more about how to answer this tricky question, read this article.
2. Why are you leaving your job? (Why did you leave your last job?)
Maybe you’re leaving your job because you hate your boss. Maybe you were fired. Whatever the reason, you have to be honest, but diplomatic.
Bashing your former (or soon-to-be-former) employer won’t earn you any plus points. In fact, this will only put you in a bad light.
“Never badmouth your former employer when explaining why you left your last position,” Georgene Huang, CEO of Fairygodboss, tells Up to Work. “Your future employer wants to see that you can be respectful, even if difficult situations and conflicts arise. An interview is not the time to vent about past grievances!”
3.What are your strengths?
Interviewers should be able to tell what your skills are from just looking at your resume, so why are they asking this question? All these questions are also a way for them to gauge how you communicate.
Instead of just claiming that you’re a good team player, prove it by giving some examples that illustrate this.
4. What are your weaknesses?
What most candidates do when they answer this question is to find a good trait and treat it like it’s a flaw. Sorta like a humblebrag. Actually, exactly like a humblebrag.
For example, they’d say, “I’m such a perfectionist. I can’t finish a project until I’m 101% up to my standards.”
Interviewers can see right through this schtick, but most of them probably expect it already. You can actually make a better impression by being more genuine. Share an actual weakness, but make it clear that you’re working towards improvement.
5. Why do you want to work here?
“I just saw the job opening, and thought I should give it a shot!”
No recruiter in their right mind would be impressed with an answer like that.
This is your cue to show them that you have done your research and that you have a clear idea of how this job will fit in your long-term goals.
6. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
The reason why recruiters ask this question is they want to get a sense of whether you’re going to stay at the company or simply wait for a better offer to come along.
All you need to do is to communicate that you’re in it for the long haul. If that’s not exactly the truth, tell the
7. How do you prefer to work?
Interviewers ask this question to understand if you’d be a good fit for their culture. Tailor your answer to the needs of the company.
For example, if you prefer working with a team, but the job requires a lot of solitary work, focus on another aspect of the company’s environment that does work for you. If you can’t find one, maybe the job isn’t for you.
8. Why should we hire you?
The whole interview can basically be summed up in this question, but it’s so direct that it can easily take any interviewee aback.
Instead of randomly listing strengths that pop up in your head, think of the company’s needs and how your experience matches up to them.
9. What was your salary in your last job?
This question is a little tricky because it’s usually how interviewers move on to salary negotiations. It’s especially tricky if you’re looking for a job with a significant salary upgrade.
Inc. recommends not answering the question directly. Instead, say something like, “I’m looking for a job that will pay around $2,000 a month. Is this within that range?”
You should already have a good idea of how much the job will be paying. If the job posting didn’t communicate this information, you could look at simmilar jobs to get a better idea.
To learn more about how to negotiate for a better salary, read this article.
10. Would you like to ask me anything?
Always prepare some questions for your interviewer. This shows genuine interest and attentiveness, plus it gives you the opportunity to learn if this company really is a good fit for you.
We hope this article on common job interview questions and answers was helpful!
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