Common Interview Questions and How You Should Answer Them

Common Interview Questions and How You Should Answer Them

Days before your job interview, you probably start to feel anxious. If you haven't been involved in the job hunt for some time, you might be wondering what to expect. To ease your anxiety, you can review some of the most common interview questions. Although there's no guarantee you won't get other questions, these prompts can prepare you for the interview. Reviewing these questions and answers will boost your confidence and get you ready for anything.

1. Tell Me About You

Although this may seem like an easy question, it isn't easy to answer. After all, how can you sum up your life in anything less than a few hours? You might struggle to decide what you should talk about and what's irrelevant to the hiring manager.

Instead of giving the interviewer your full autobiography, give them an abridged version that talks about your past employment and your current goals. If you have any hobbies relevant to the position, mention them. Leave out information about your love life, though. You shouldn't get too personal just yet.

2. How Did You Find Out About This Opportunity?

Once again, this is a seemingly easy question. You could just answer it with a short sentence about finding it online. Or, you can use this as an opportunity to show that you're right for the position. Talk about what made you excited about the position and what it means to you. By showing your passion, you can impress the interviewer.

3. Why Should We Choose You?

If you're not an arrogant person, you might struggle to answer this question. When you answer it, just remember that you don't need to sound like a used car salesman. Talk about what makes you qualified to do the job, how you can fit in with the company culture, and what results you can deliver. Don't talk down about the other applicants, but make it clear that you're a superior candidate.

4. What Are Your Strengths?

This question is an ideal opportunity to make a good impression. While most candidates will give a long list of general qualities that make them right for the job, you should be more specific. Talk about a few specific traits and share stories to show how you used those qualities to succeed. For instance, you might talk about how you're a quick learner. Discuss a time when you had to learn something in only a short time, and what the results were.

5. What's Your Biggest Weakness?

While you might see this as a trick question that's impossible to handle, you don't need to fear it. Your interviewer doesn't want to hear that you can't meet deadlines or that you're perfect. Instead, they want a balanced answer. Showcase a weakness that you're actively working to improve. If you're not tech savvy, you can say that and explain that you're taking online courses to advance your technological knowledge.

6. Talk About a Time You Used Leadership Skills

If you haven't worked as a supervisor or manager, you could find it difficult to answer this question. However, everyone has used leadership skills at some point in their life. Talk about a time you led in a team project, or you showed a new employee how to do something.

7. Tell Me About an Error You Made in the Workplace

No one is perfect. Despite your efforts to be thorough, there are probably a few times you made a mistake. Fortunately, your story about failure doesn't need to destroy your chance at a new job. Discuss your mistake, but explain what you did to fix the problem. Then, mention the actions you took to ensure you never made the same mistake again. Your story will show self-awareness and confidence.

8. Why Are You Leaving Your Position?

Even if you had a bad experience with your last employer, you should avoid being too negative when you answer this question. Rather than focusing on the problems at your last job, discuss your eagerness for a new position. Make it clear that you're looking forward to a better future. If you were fired from your last position, you don't need to go into detail. Instead, keep your answer simple.

9. Why Were You Fired?

Although you probably don't want to talk about getting fired, it's something you can't avoid. When someone asks this question, resist the temptation to lie. The hiring manager could call your previous employer to find out why you were fired. Even if they don't, word travels fast. You never can be sure that your employment history will remain a secret. Answer this question honestly, but explain how you've changed. If you were fired for a mistake, talk about what you've done to prevent history from repeating itself.

9. Why Did You Change Career Paths?

If you're switching from one career to another, you can expect to be asked this question. You can be honest when you answer it, but avoid too much negativity. When asked this question, take the opportunity to discuss how your past position could help you excel in the new one. While there may not be any striking similarities between the two positions, there are probably some overlaps. You might be able to talk about organization, leadership, or collaboration skills.

10. What Are Your Motivations?

The only reason an interviewer will ask this question is to show that you're excited about the position and the company. To answer the question, explain what gets you excited. Why were you passionate about the job listing in the first place? Keep your answer relevant to the position, or your employer won't be interested in your answer.

Get Ready for Your Interview

Why let yourself be ambushed by interview questions? If you know what questions to expect, you won't be caught off guard. You also can have answers ready, which saves you from stumbling through the interview. Prepare for your next interview with these questions, and you can be confident during your next interview.

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