The interview is a crucial phase of the job-seeking process. However, for a lot of people, job interviews can be a little intimidating. If that’s your case, don’t worry: here are five common job interview questions and some suggestions on how to answer them.
5 Common Job Interview Questions With Answers
Before we get into details, remember that honesty is the best policy. The purpose of this article is not to provide you with a script to rehearse but to give you insight into why hiring managers ask certain questions during a job interview.
This way, you will be able to give honest answers to put on display all the valuable skills and attributes you have to offer.
Tell Me a Litte About Yourself
Chances are good that the person who conducts the interview will kick off things with this question.
This is such a simple, common-sense way to begin an interview that it may catch you off guard. You probably practiced for your interview with tricky questions in mind, and now you are faced with this polite, open-ended invitation.
Keep in mind that the other person already knows some of the most important details about your professional journey. This is a good opportunity to fill in the blanks and talk about your strengths. Explain, for example, why you are looking for new challenges and the obstacles you’ve had to overcome to get this far.
What Are Your Strengths?
The purpose of this question is twofold. On one hand, it aims to understand what value you can bring to a company. But it also lets hiring managers to gauge your level of self-awareness. Self-aware people tend to have higher emotional intelligence and are better equipped to handle conflict than people with low self*awareness.
To answer this question, look at some examples where you have excelled at work and try to identify the skill or attribute behind your success. Maybe you displayed patience when dealing with a difficult client. Or perhaps your problem-solving abilities shone when you needed them most.
What Are Your Weaknesses?
Again, this question has two goals: to identify the areas you need to work on and to get a sense of your level of self-awareness.
When answering this question, talk about a weakness that doesn’t prevent you from performing the work you are interviewing for. Also, make sure to emphasize that you already have a plan in place to address this weak spot and, if possible, turn it into a strength.
Tell Me About a Challenge You Have Solved
This is a typical behavioral interview question. These questions are designed to help hiring managers understand how you behave in a real-life scenario. The best way to answer this type of question is by using the STAR method, where STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
- Situation. Provide context for your actions.
- Task. Explain your role in the situation you described in the previous step.
- Action. Describe what happened and how you handled the situation.
- Result. Explain what happened after you took action.
We covered behavioral questions at length in this previous post. Check it to learn more information about this type of question and discover more examples of how to apply the STAR method.
What Makes You the Right Candidate to Fill This Position?
Here, again, recruiters are trying to test the scope of your self-awareness. Of course, this is also a great opportunity for you to talk about your achievements and your strengths.
At its core, the answer to this question should be a sales pitch with your abilities and experience as the product. Ask yourself these questions before the interview to craft a convincing, engaging answer:
- What are your strengths?
- How can your strengths solve the needs of this specific company?
- What’s your experience?
- What’s unique about your experience as it pertains to this position?
By following this simple strategy (honesty plus preparation), you’ll shine at your interview and will be closer to landing the job.
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