The Most Common Interview Questions
These are the most common interview questions that you can expect to face in any job interviews. This page provides a guide on how to prepare your answers when being asked by the interviewers.
- What can you tell me about yourself?
Talk about yourself in summary and avoid rambling. Your detailed work history can be found on your resume, after all, so focus on elements that you want to highlight rather than going through everything. It is okay to discuss your personality and what ambitions you have. Ideally, you will give the interviewer a positive insight into how you would fit in as an employee.
- What is your greatest strength?
Think about things that you do well and give concrete examples. If you are a strong organizer, for example, then talk about a project that you coordinated, or a new procedure that you formulated. If you are good with numbers, then talk about your skills with spreadsheets or financial matters.
- What is your weakness?
Never say that you have no weaknesses. Everyone who does this comes across like they have simply not prepared for the interview. Remember that being able to identify a weakness is a strength. Focus on an area of your work that needs to be improved. You might have been trained in something that you would like to take to the next level, for example. Point out that this is a weakness, but something you have identified and are focusing on resolving. Interviewers want to understand that you have the ability to be honest about yourself and to seek self-improvement.
- What motivates you?
Motivation is personal, so there is no wrong answer that you can give. It might be down to your desire to succeed and build a career, but it might also be because you want to provide for your family – both perfectly good answers if you choose to give them. In some professions, caring or vocational motivations might be worth mentioning, too.
- Why should we hire you?
Focus on what you can bring to the job, perhaps with your soft skill set, like being able to integrate well with existing members of the team, for instance. Point out how keen you are to learn and be mentored. Accentuate the positive aspects of what you can do now and how quickly you will be able to progress with the company if hired.
- Why do you want to work here?
This is your chance to show that you have researched the company you are applying to work with. Avoid saying anything negative about your current employer which makes it seem you are simply after any job at all. Typical things you might say are that the company operates in your chosen sector, that it provides a clearly structured career path and that the organization has a good reputation.
- Where do you see yourself in five years from now on?
The interviewer wants to understand more about your career goals and how this position would fit into your grand plan. They care about your career goals because they want to hire someone who is motivated, proactive, and likely to stick around and work hard if hired. If succeeding in this role is important to you as part of your long-term career strategy, you are much more likely to perform well.
- Describe a difficult situation and how you overcome it?
The interviewer wants to see that you have resilience, problem-solving skills, initiative and the ability to work around less-than desirable situations. Clearly explain how you identified the problem and reached a solution both professionally and quickly, and what the final positive outcome was. Keep in mind they are interested in determining how your actions and decisions will affect the business, so always describe a conclusion that shows you acting in a positive way for the company.
- What do you know about the organization?
This question uncovers candidates who have not taken the time to find out about the organization. If you have done your homework you should be able to talk about the products or services, opportunities or difficulties in the market, and some recent news.
- Is there anything that you would like to ask me?
Your potential employer is asking you questions to learn about you and your skills. In return, you need to prepare questions to ask your potential employer about the position, your boss, and the company in order to be sure that this is the right job for you. Prepare questions that demonstrate your interest in the position, your drive to excel in the role, and the fact that you have done some homework.