10 COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND HOW TO ANSWER THEM
Job interviews can be unsettling. You think you are prepared and just when you feel everything is going well, the interviewer hits you with a curveball question you aren’t prepared for.
And then you chastise yourself for not preparing at all. The best way to ace any interview is to do your research ahead of time–which is what we are going to show you.
If you’re preparing for a big interview, prepping beforehand with these questions will help you get one step closer to that dream job.
- Tell me about yourself?
Usually, this question is asked at the start of an interview and how you answer it will make your first impression. The best way to prepare for this question is to prepare an elevator pitch about who you are. Used wisely, this elevator pitch could make the interviewer very interested in your next answer. Used incorrectly, the interviewer could stop paying attention before you even have a chance to answer a second question. You just want to leave enough curiosity that the interviewer becomes excited to learn more about you throughout the interview.
- Why do you want to work for us?
When a hiring manager asks this question, not only do they want to know why you want to work for them, but they also want to know what you know about the company. This question tests how well you have researched about what the company does and how passionate you are about the work they do.
- Why are you looking for a job? Or, why are you looking for a different job?
This question might seem easy, but this is how interviewers weed out the people who are either a) just looking for any job b) were fired from their last position or c) might have a high turnover rate, meaning you won’t be sticking around for too long. Focus on the positives and be specific. Think about why you are looking for a job: did you just graduate and this will be your first real job? Are you switching career paths? Are you leaving a current job for this one? If you are currently working somewhere, you should also be prepared to answer, “why do you want to leave your current job for this one?”
- Why should we hire you?
When asked this question, keep in mind that the recruiter is looking to hear what skills and competencies you have that you’re going to bring to the team. Don’t give a vague answer, such as, “I have good communication skills and I work under pressure.” Instead, be specific; summarize your work history, achievements, and competencies. This shows how you’re a perfect fit in the organization.
The more specific you can be about what your skills are and how valuable of an employee you are, the better the interviewer will be able to picture you working there.
- How did you hear about this job?
When asked this during an interview, don’t just say you heard about the job on a website and keep quiet. This is your opportunity give details about why you love this company and what motivates you to want to work there.
- Tell me something interesting about your CV?
Everyone has something on their CV that they’re really proud of. Whether it’s a skill or an achievement you’ve listed, or a specific place you worked at, or a project at school, consider answering this question with the most interesting thing on your CV. Try not to say something relevant to your most recent position–you’re already going to be asked about that. Instead, think back to one of the older positions listed on your CV and talk about how that job helped you grow into the person you are today.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
Describe personal career growth, goals and ambitions with the company you are interviewing for. Focus on your career goals and be realistic. The hiring manager asks this question to find out if your goals are realistic, if you are ambitious, and to assure them that the position you are interviewing for aligns with these goals and growth.
- Tell me about a conflict you faced at work and how you dealt with it.
This question helps an interviewer understand how you deal with conflict. It also helps test how well you think on your feet–so if you prepare ahead of time with a specific example, you’ll avoid the awkward moment of silence while you try to think of an example.
Once you have an example in mind, simply explain what happened, how you resolved the issue in a professional manner, and try to end the story with a happy note about how you reached a resolution or compromise with your co-worker.
- What do you expect out of your team/co-workers?
This interviewer wants to understand how well you work on a team and whether you will be the right cultural fit for the company.
- What are your salary requirements?
Some interviewers ask this question, others don’t. It’s always better to be prepared; especially because you want to make sure you would be paid a fair wage for the value you are going to add. Research and give a tight range based on fair Market Value. Also, state that you are open to negotiation.