What Are the 10 Most Common Interview Questions and Answers?
You need to be prepared for whatever questions the interviewer may ask, as well as know what type of answer the company is looking for. To help you prepare, here are 10 tough interview questions and answers:
1. “Tell me about yourself.”
The most common interview question is also one of the most challenging to answer. A good approach is to use this opportunity to fill in the blanks between information in your resume. Tell the interviewer why you took a certain job, why you choose a certain school, and so forth.
2. “What are your biggest strengths?”
Obviously, you have a lot of strengths. Not all of them are relevant to the job at hand, however. Pick one strength that matters to the open position and tell the interviewer about it. For example, if you say you’re good at problem-solving, tell a story that shows how you solved a big problem.
3. “What are your biggest weaknesses?”
Don’t answer this question by stating a phony weakness that’s actually a strength, such as “my biggest weakness is that I work too hard.” Instead, answer with an actual weakness but one you’re trying to improve. Talk about the steps you’re taking to overcome that weakness and describe your progress.
4. “Where do you want to be in five years?”
Don’t be unrealistic and say you want to be running the whole company in five years. It’s okay to show a little ambition, but be realistic about it. For example, maybe you want to be managing the department or move to a different position.
5. “Why should we hire you – what do you bring that other candidates don’t?”
6. “How did you find out about this position?”
The best answer to this question is that you heard about the job through a current employee at the company. This shows you have relationships and that you were already interested in a job with this particular company.
7. “Why do you want to take this job?”
Talk about how this job interests you, how it plays to your skills and experience, and how you think you can make a real contribution. Make your answer more about the job than about you.
8. “Why do you want to leave your current job?”
Stress that you’re leaving your current job for a better opportunity. Whatever you do, don’t bad mouth your former company, boss, or co-workers. You don’t want the interviewer thinking that you’re the one who’s difficult to work with.
9. “What is your biggest professional achievement?”
This is a trick question. Interviewers really aren’t interested in your biggest professional triumphs. Instead, they’re interested in learning about any achievements that are relevant to the position for which they’re hiring. Focus on a big accomplishment that somehow relates to the job at hand.
10. “What is your dream job?”
For this question, the hiring manager wants to know if your future plans line up with what the company needs and offers. Tweak your answer to talk about a job that is relevant to the position for which you’re interviewing.
What Important Interview Questions Should You Ask?
The next most common question you’ll be asked by the hiring manager, typically at the end of the interview, is “do you have any questions for me?” This is a great opportunity to learn more about the company and the job, as well as further impress the interviewer.
According to BigInterview, here are five of the most unique interview questions you can ask:
1. “What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this position?”
2. “What do I need to do to excel at this job?”
You want to find out what you really need to do to get ahead in this position – and whether or not you want to do that. If the company expects all employees to work on weekends and you prefer to keep your weekends to yourself, you’ve just learned something important.
3. “What is the typical career path for someone in this position?”
If you’re interested in sticking with this job and company, make sure there’s a roadmap for you to do that. If the position is more closed-end, you may want to look elsewhere.
4. “Can you tell me more about the culture of the company?”
Your skills and experiences might line up with what the company is asking for, but verify you’re comfortable with the existing culture. If it’s a jeans and a t-shirt kind of place and you’re a suit-and-tie kind of person, you may not fit in.
5. “What do you like best about working here?”
This is a good way to make a personal connection with the interviewer – and maybe even gain some additional insight into the company’s culture and working conditions.
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