This article outlines the ten most common interview questions and offers tips on answering them.
Job interviews are difficult whether you are in open interviews or a regular formal screening and selection process! Even an interviewee with lots of experience can freeze up in a high-stakes, stressful scenario.
However, a little preparation can go a long way towards a successful interview. Here are the ten most common interview questions to prepare for before your following job interview:
1. Tell Me About Yourself
Preparing a concise description of yourself is a significant first step to preparing for any job interview. You can be almost sure you will be asked to tell your interviewer about yourself. Usually, this will be the first question asked.
Avoid describing your entire life story or droning on for too long about your hobbies, likes, and dislikes.
Instead, share a shortlist of exciting but relevant to the job you are applying for. Highlight the best aspects of your professional self. Aim for a two-minute answer; if the interviewer wants to hear more, they’ll ask.
2. Why Are You Interested In Working Here?
Your interviewer will likely want to know if you’re serious about the job you’re applying for and if you’re interested in sticking around long-term.
Do your best to prepare a detailed answer to this question: avoid vague responses like “it looks like a nice place to work.” Instead, research the organization and touch on specific projects or aspects of the position you’re interested in.
3. What Is Your Favorite/Least Favorite Part Of Your Current Job?
Your interviewer will want to get a sense of what you enjoy and don’t enjoy in a job and if the position you are interviewing for will fall in line with these.
Think about what parts of your current job you are passionate about and how this has impacted your workplace.
On the opposite side, every job has mundane and frustrating elements – avoid complaining too much about these.
Don’t be overly critical or badmouth your current employer.
4. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?
Once again, don’t badmouth your employer. Stick to the positives, and show you can put the past behind you.
Be as honest as possible, and show your potential employer you are willing and able to apply the skills you learned from your last job in a new workplace.
5. What Is Your Biggest Weakness?
Interviewers often fear this question, but it doesn’t have to be! While it is a tricky question, being honest with yourself in identifying your weaknesses will help prepare a great answer to this question.
Pick a weakness or two you are aware of, and share how you are working towards improving in this area. Show your interviewer that you can identify issues, be honest in self-reflection, and work towards solutions.
Don’t try to convince your interviewer that you’re perfect and without flaws – it won’t work!
6. Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?
This question will allow your employer to gauge your ambitions and whether they will fit in with the employer’s goals. Tell your interviewer about this if you want to move up the ladder.
If you’re looking to expand your skill set, be honest about this. If you have any specific goals you wish to achieve, share these.
Honesty is critical – if moving up with your career path and getting a step up from your last position, you have to state that. This is something both you and your interviewer should know.
7. How Do You Juggle Multiple Deadlines?
Almost every position will involve time management skills. Show your interviewer that you have the requisite productivity skills for the job.
Highlight specific instances where you juggled a busy work schedule if possible. Talk about how you generally organize your tasks and areas you can improve in.
8. Tell Me About A Time You Disagreed With A Coworker/Manager
This can be a tricky question, but it helps to know that this question aims to discover how you deal with conflict in the workplace.
The specific disagreement is far less significant than how you handled it. Approach this question by briefly outlining a conflict and then reflecting on the process of dealing with it, highlighting how your conflict resolution skills brought about a successful outcome.
9. Describe A Time You Solved A Problem At Work
Before you go into your interview, pick a recent example of a problem you solved with at least some relevance to the position you’re applying to.
Follow a structure in your answer: Clearly explain the problem, explain the steps you took to remedy it, and then share the successful outcome your actions led to.
Remember to be coherent with your resume. If it’s a significant accomplishment, you will have to have it listed there.
10. Do You Have Any Questions For Me?
Virtually every job interview will end with this question. Make a sincere effort to ask your interviewer a question after the interview – failing to do so will suggest a lack of interest in the position.
It isn’t possible to prepare for every question you’ll be asked at a job interview, but adequately preparing for these ten most common questions is a significant first step in coming across as a great candidate at your following job interview.