It is said that the most successful people are those who have learned how to answer job interview questions well. But what are the most common questions asked in a job interview? And more importantly, what are the best answers?
In this article, we will explore the 10 most common interview questions and provide you with some tips on how to answer them well. Let’s get started!
1. Tell me about yourself.
One of the most common icebreaker questions asked in an interview. And unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest to answer. Why? Because it requires you to strike a balance between sounding confident and arrogant, sounding rehearsed and fake and sounding interesting and unique. All while trying not to ramble on for too long.
Luckily, there is a tried-and-true formula you can use to nail this question every time. I’ll walk you through what you need to do to deliver a great answer to the tell me about yourself question in your next job interview.
It’s important to remember that the interviewer doesn’t want to hear your life story. They want to know why you’re the best candidate for the job at hand. So, how can you do that without sounding like you’re reciting a laundry list of accomplishments?
Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Start with a summary of your professional experience.
- Then, share your proudest professional accomplishment.
- Next, briefly describe your personal motivations for wanting the job.
- Finally, finish with a quick overview of your skills and qualifications.
- OPTIONAL: If you have any other relevant information that would be helpful for the interviewer to know (such as why you left your last job), feel free to include that as well. Just make sure it’s brief!
Here’s an example of what your answer might sound like using this template:
“I’ve worked in XYZ industry for ten years now. I started as a sales associate and worked my way up to store manager over five years. Three years ago, I was promoted to district manager, overseeing XYZ stores in the XYZ area.
In that role, I increased profits by XYZ% and was recognized as Employee of the Month twice in my first year on the job.”
Accomplishments are always impressive, but they sound even more powerful when backed up by data like this!
2. Why are you interested in this position?
This is another common interview question, and giving a thoughtful answer is important. When answering this question, be sure to mention specific qualities of the job that appeal to you and explain how they align with your skills and goals.
I am interested in this position because it aligns with my career goals. I am looking for an opportunity to use my skills and abilities to positively impact the company. Additionally, I believe that this position offers me the chance to grow and develop my skills further.
If the job requires excellent customer service skills and you have experience providing outstanding customer service, be sure to mention that in your answer.
What are your strengths?
When answering this question, it’s important to focus on qualities that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
For example, if you’re applying for a sales position, you might want to highlight your ability to close deals or your experience working with clients. If you’re applying for a position in customer service, you might want to focus on your ability to resolve issues or your patience when dealing with difficult customers.
Whatever qualities you choose to highlight, make sure they’re qualities that will make you successful in the role you’re applying for.
Some of my strengths include ___________, ___________, and ___________. I have used these strengths to achieve success in ___________. For example, ___________.
What are your weaknesses?
This is a tricky question, but it’s important to answer it honestly. The best way to approach this question is to choose a quality that isn’t essential for the job you’re applying for and then discuss how you’re working to improve upon it.
For example, suppose you’re applying for a position that requires excellent written communication skills. In that case, you might want to discuss how you’re working on improving your writing by taking classes or reading books on the subject.
Doing this will show the interviewer that you’re self-aware and motivated to improve upon your weaknesses.
While no one is perfect, I am continuously working on improving my weaknesses. One weakness that I have is ___________. However, I have been able to offset this weakness by ___________. For example, ___________.
Can you describe a difficult work situation and how you handled it?
Remember, the interviewer is generally a seasoned professional. Do not attempt to come up with wonderful stories. Be yourself and tell something distinctive that sets you apart from everyone else.
We all face challenges at work from time to time. It’s how we overcome these challenges that define us as professionals. I remember one particularly difficult situation I faced early in my career. I was given a project with an extremely tight deadline.
At first, I was feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to even start. But I took a deep breath and decided to break the project down into smaller tasks. I made a list of everything that needed to be done and then started crossing items off one by one.
By taking things one step at a time, I was eventually able to complete the project on time and earn the respect of my team members in the process. Challenges like this one help us grow and develop as professionals. They remind us that we can overcome any obstacle if we stay focused and keep moving forward.
You may also use this approach:
Once, I had to work with a client that I didn’t like. I realized that I needed to find a way to work with them and be productive. So, I made a plan for myself. I set up meetings and scheduled calls ahead of time to have regular communication. This helped me feel less frustrated because it was easier for me to get in touch with them.
Next, I ensured that the tasks were outlined clearly in our project management software so there were no surprises on either end. This helped us both stay on top of what needed to be done and when it needed to be done, making the process smoother.
What have you done in your previous roles that makes you a good fit for this one?
When interviewers ask this question, they want to see if you have the skills and experience that match the job they are trying to fill. To answer this question effectively, you should highlight a few of your most relevant accomplishments to the position you are applying for.
For example, if you are applying for a job as a project manager, you might want to mention a time when you successfully organized and executed a complex project. Or, if you are applying for a sales position, you might want to mention a time when you met or exceeded your sales goals.
Whatever examples you choose, be sure to keep your answer concise and focused on how your previous experience will help you succeed in the new role.
Don’t use cliche responses if you want to get ahead.
- I have done many in previous roles that make me a good fit for this one.
- I have accomplished a lot, and my skills and experience will help me excel in this role.
- I am a hard worker and always looking for new challenges.
- I am also a good team player and always willing to help.
- I believe that my positive attitude and willingness to learn new things will make me a good fit for this role.
Why should we hire you?
The hiring manager wants to know why you are the best candidate for the job. They want to know what you can do for them, not just what you can do for yourself.
Avoid giving vague answers that don’t say anything about how you can help the company. Instead, give reasons that show how you can add value and help the company move forward.
Demonstrate that you can add significance to the position and assist their business or organization move forward, improve, and grow with specific responses.
So, what makes a good answer to this question? First and foremost, you need to be punctual and sincere. Be sure to research the company and the role before the interview so that you can genuinely add value to the role. In addition, be sure to highlight your unique skills and experience that make you the best candidate for the job.
By following these tips, you can ace the answer to this important question and increase your chances of getting hired!
I believe that I am the best candidate for the job because ___________. Additionally, ___________. I am confident that I can be a valuable asset to your team and contribute to the company’s success.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
This question allows the interviewer to understand your long-term career goals. When answering this question, be sure to discuss how the role you’re applying for will help you achieve those goals.
If your goal is to eventually become a manager, explain how the position you’re applying for will allow you to develop leadership skills and gain experience managing people.
For example, you can say:
In five years, I see myself continuing to develop my skills and abilities while also taking on additional responsibilities within the company. I am committed to contributing to the company’s success, and I believe there is potential for me to grow into a leadership role over time.
Why did you leave your last job?
I left my last job because it was no longer a good fit for me professionally. The company was going through some changes that didn’t align with my career goals, so I decided to move on to something new.
- Lack of Advancement Opportunity – I originally took the job intending to move up within the company. After a few years, it became apparent that wouldn’t happen. I had nowhere else to go within the company, and no amount of hard work would change that fact.
- Want a new Challenge – I like to be challenged at work. It keeps me motivated and engaged. After a while, my old job just didn’t offer that anymore. I needed something new to sink my teeth into.
- Additional compensation – You just have to get paid what you’re worth at a certain point. I was significantly underpaid at my last job and couldn’t get my employer to budge despite negotiating for a raise. Sometimes, you just have to move on to greener pastures.
What are your salary requirements?
When an interviewer asks about your salary requirements, it is important to consider your skills and experience when giving a response. It is also important to be open to negotiating salary depending on the company’s budget and job responsibilities.
By being open to negotiation, you show that you are confident in your abilities and are willing to work with the company to reach an agreement that benefits both parties. By considering your skills and experience, as well as the company’s budget, you can give a salary range that is fair and reasonable.
This will show that you are confident in your abilities and willing to work together to reach an agreement.
I am open to discussing salary requirements after being offered the position as I believe that many factors go into determining an appropriate salary, such as experience and qualifications.
With that said, my current salary requirement is in the range of $X-Yk per year, depending on the benefits package offered by the company.
To get a job in today’s competitive market, it’s important to be prepared for the most common job interview questions.
By following the tips we’ve provided, you can ace the answer to this question and increase your chances of getting hired!
Additionally, if you’re interested in learning more about preparing for job interviews, check out our video training on How To Ace The Job Interview.
In this training, we discuss some of the most common job interview questions and provide tips on how to best answer them.
We hope that this training will help you feel confident as you go through the interview process and land your dream job!