Preparing for a forthcoming interview is probably the smartest move to make as a job seeker. You don’t want to make mistakes that may cost you the job opportunity in a bid to sell yourself to the interviewer as the best candidate. This is why you must make thorough research and preparations before the interview.
During an interview, some common questions may likely be asked. Although some interviewers may take a somewhat different approach during the session, most interviewers don’t miss these classics during the interview.
For a sound preparation, it would be smart to get yourself familiar with some of these questions and also the best answers to give in response. In this article, we discuss some common interview questions and also provide hints on how to answer these questions.
1. Tell Me About Yourself Is One Of The Most Common Interview Questions
This is one of many interview questions that may seem very simple and not necessarily a question to prepare for. Most people go on to give the interviewer their complete personal and employment details. These details are already present in your resume or documents handed over to the interviewer, meaning they already have an insight on them.
Instead, you want to give them a little insight on your previous positions and achievements, and then tell them how your experience can affect the company. Make sure not to make your response lengthy as it may bore the interviewer. However, be prepared to give enough information in case the interviewer asks for more, also refers to your curriculum vitae if necessary.
Interviewer: “Tell me a little about yourself.”
Response: “Well, I’ve served as an accountant in two major companies like this, as stated in my CV. With my four years of experience, I would be able to manage your company’s financial records very effectively.
2. Why do you want to work with this company?
You want to respond to this question in such a way that makes you stand out from other candidates. Therefore avoid giving any generic answers that can apply to just any other company.
To achieve this, make sure to do thorough research on the company, and highlight a thing that makes them unique and resonates with you. You can also talk about their achievements and growth experienced over the years, as well as how it inspired you to tap into the opportunity of being part of its future development.
This may give the interviewer the impression that you are interested in the company and have done your homework. Rather than someone who is desperate to accept any job or jumps into tryout any job opportunity they come across.
Interviewer: “Why do you want to work with this company?”
Response: “I read about the company’s mission on the website, and I’m intrigued by the quest to provide quality health care services to the less privileged. The idea of giving a helping hand goes well with me, and I’d like an opportunity to be part of this movement.”
3. What are your biggest weaknesses?
This question doesn’t always require a sincere answer; you want to be sure to come across as competent and hardworking, at the same time, not fearful or inadequate.
Do not share any information about your mental health issues (if there is any), or any personal information that makes you physically or mentally unfit for the position. Instead, give a somewhat unrealistic answer or a sincere answer that has a positive end to it.
Interviewer: “What are your biggest weaknesses?”
1. Response (probably unrealistic): “Sometimes, I get so caught with work that I lose track of time; this makes me go home late, and walking home alone scares me.”
2. Response (sincere with positive end): “Well, I’m not that good with English, but I’m currently working on my language skills, and I’ve greatly improved so far.”
4. What are your greatest strengths?
This question is an opportunity to talk about what makes you the best candidate for the position. You want to give a brief but quality answer highlighting experiences that are relevant to the job you vie for.
Talk about your soft and technical skills, and also about your working experience. You could also chip in a short story about how you’ve helped solve problems in places you’ve worked before, and the skills that helped you solve those problems.
Interviewer: “What are your greatest strengths”?
Response: “I find it rewarding to solve problems that seem impossible to uncover by others, and I’ve always been good at solving complex problems. I remember being commended by my former boss during a public speech for providing a lasting solution to the company’s long-lasting financial problem. It feels good being appreciated.”
5. Why are you leaving your current job?
This is one question many candidates answer wrongly unknowingly. Candidates may likely fall for complaining about the negative experiences they had at their previous place of work, which is not the best way to respond.
Complaining gives your interviewer the impression that you may also be dissatisfied with the companies working conditions and tell other companies negative things about them.
Although there are many reasons for leaving a job, you want to give an answer that proves your motive for leaving was deliberate and necessary. Shift your focus from your previous workplace and concentrate on the new opportunity
Interviewer: “Why are you leaving your current job?”
Response: “I’m in search of a company that allows me to use my skills to its fullest potential, as well as have time for myself. I also want to work in an environment that is conducive and allows me to work comfortably, and this company offers such an atmosphere, and is closer to my residence.”
6. Why should we hire you?
This is similar to questions such as “What skills do you bring to the job?” or “What can you offer the company?” The goal is to give a response that highlights your skills related to the offered position and how they can positively affect its growth.
Remember that your qualifications mat not always make you stand out from other candidates. To sell yourself as the perfect candidate for the position, you want to focus on your skills and accomplishments that may distinguish you from the other candidates.
Interviewer: “Why should we hire you?”
Response: “My ability to solve problems enables me to work under pressure; I remember making a large number of sales and singlehandedly attending to over 50 customers in minimal time. My 5years of experience as a salesperson has exposed me to all kinds of challenges, and I’ve learned the best possible ways to overcome them.”
7. How did you hear about the job opening?
This is another benign interview question; many find out about job opportunities through ads, flyers, or friends. You want to give a precise answer and also give an appealing reason why the position caught your attention. Also, add that you are excited to work for the company.
Interviewer: “How did you hear about the position?”
1. Response: “One of your employees happen to be my friend, his name is Joshua, immediately he told me about the company and the job opening. I was excited to apply because I know I’ll excel in this position.”
2. Response: “I got to know about the opening through the company’s ads on koleolat.com. I’ve always wanted to work as a graphic designer for a major brand like this. That is why I’m so excited about this opening.”
8. What is your most outstanding achievement?
Your professional track record in past jobs and position could also increase your chances of getting employed. If this question is asked, it is an opportunity to tell the interviewer about achievements that are not present in your resume. You don’t have to limit yourself when responding to this question and may want to brag a bit.
Interviewer: “What are your greatest achievements?”
Response: “Well, during my time of services at (Name of your previous workplace), my duty was to manage the invoicing process. And as the senior analyst, I facilitated the process, which reduced invoice errors by 45%. The improvement also saved the company five person-hours in the first three months and increased to eight person-hours by six months.
9. What is your salary expectation?
In most cases, this question is some test for your self-worth. The interviewer may also want to make sure their budget for the position is in accordance with your expectations.
Before you respond to this question, you want to have researched the typical salary range. If you respond with an amount exceedingly higher or lower than average, the interviewer may think you are unsure of your qualifications or know little about it. You also want the interviewer to know you are flexible with your rate
Interviewer: “What is your salary expectation?”
Response: “What I’m expecting is 30 to 40 thousand, which is the average worth for this position in this city, although I am flexible with my rate and ready to consider your offer as you consider my qualification.
10. Do you have any questions?
This question could seem quite intense, and you may be quick to respond by saying no. However, this could turn out to be the most crucial question as it gives you room to address any issue that hasn’t been talked about or any aspect of the position you need clarification on.
Therefore you may want to take your time to ask questions. Make sure to be very clear with your question as well as constructive and brief.
Interviewer: “Do you have any questions?”
Response: “Yes, Sir/Ma, I’d like to know some common challenges experienced in this position.” “Is there room for promotion?” “Why do you enjoy working here?”.
There are hundreds of these common interview questions, and you have to get familiar with as much as you can. Remember, you want to sell yourself as the best candidate for the position. So whenever you are responding to questions, respond with confidence.
Focus your response on how hiring you would benefit the company, and how good you are at handling the position. Try not to talk in details about your previous workplace, and give them the impression you are excited about their offer.
For more guidance on how to go about an interview, we recommend you read 10 powerful interview etiquette.
Good Luck with your new job!