If every job hunter knew what questions were going to be asked, life could be so much easier.
You could be fully prepared while you would be brimming with confidence because you knew accurately how to answer their questions.
There are common job interview questions which get asked, and in most cases, these are just there to get to know you a little better before an interviewer will ask you more in-depth questions.
However, with this being said, there are a handful of questions which are asked in every interview, and these can be tricky for a lot of people, so being prepared on how to answer the most common interview questions will put you on the front foot for your interview.
Most Common Interview Questions
1. Tell Me About Yourself?
This is one of those commonly asked interview questions which really gets under peoples skin. You have poured everything into your resume and cover letter, and now they are asking you about yourself.
More often than not, this question is used as an interview icebreaker. The secret to answering this question is, it isn’t about you personally, it is about the interviewers being able to see if you can do the job.
So, there is no need for you to say you like going to the gym, or walking the dog! Instead, you should focus on your professional experience and interests.
Make it all geared toward the job, but be sure not to merely recite what you wrote on your resume.
2. Why are you Interested in The Job?
Now this one is where you really need to know how to answer interview questions. An interviewer doesn’t want to hear that you just want a job, and it doesn’t matter which role you land. They want to hear you are passionate for the position, and not only going for the pay cheque.
Employers want to see you have really done your homework, and are interested in their company and the industry. If you can answer this correctly, your professionalism and preparation will shine.
3. What Would You Say Your Greatest Strengths Are?
When you hear this question, you might think it is easy to answer – what could be easier than saying what you are good at?
Tread carefully though, because that isn’t the way to answer this question. Whatever you say should be in line with what is in the job description. There is no reason to say you are good at some things if the job doesn’t require those traits.
Be sure you can back up what you say, so if you told any lies on your resume, they would soon be exposed.
This is the reason why you should answer job interview questions both truthfully and honestly. No company likes or wants to hire a person who they can’t trust from the beginning.
4. What Do You Think Are Your Biggest Weaknesses?
This question can be a tricky one, not saying enough makes you appear perfect, and no-one is perfect, let alone saying it.
Also, if you say too much, it could turn them off hiring you, and leave them wondering how you managed to get thus far.
Another interview tip here is, pick a weakness you know you have, but be sure it isn’t necessarily job-related. Explain you are aware of this weakness, and you are in the process of improving it.
When you answer in this way, it will show you as being reflective, knowing you can do something about it and are willing to learn and get better.
When answering this question, you can use a little humour, but make sure it is appropriate to fit in with your answer.
5. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
If this question is asked in a second interview, one of the best second interview tips in answering this is not to just say you want to be higher up in the company.
Job hopping is a way of life in business now, and many employers know this. It is more the case with younger people who are ambitious and looking for the next opportunity.
There is no reason to pretend, instead tie in a dream job, and if you word it right, it will be a position the company can work toward with you.
The main thing to show is, you are ambitious, fully driven and you are not afraid of and are looking for personal growth.
Not all companies are the same, and these questions can vary slightly. They are however pretty standard across the board.
The next thing after answering, or preparing for answering these questions is, “What questions to ask in an interview?”
This is your chance, and these questions can make all the difference. What you ask, and how you ask them can be as hard as answering the five most common questions for you to expect.
Questions you should ask the interviewers
1. What do you think are the essential qualities for a person to excel in this position?
This is a great one to ask at a first interview. It can give you lots of insight which isn’t in the job description while showing more of their company culture, and their expectations.
2. Who would you consider is this companies largest competitor and why?
If you have done your homework, you would already know the answer to this yourself. However, it can be useful to gain their insight, and it will be in a way which isn’t available anywhere else.
3. What are the next steps in the hiring process?
This question can show you are keen for the position and want to progress through the employment process.
It will also give you a timeline of their hiring schedule so you can make those follow-ups to the relevant parties.
One question not to ask at this stage is the salary and benefits, or how many days’ holidays you are entitled to in the year.
These should be left until you are sure you have the job and are in the final stages.