Below are some of the best common job interview questions and answers. These answers should be looked at more as suggestions. All your answers should be tailored specifically to you and your experiences. Hopefully by giving you some insight as to what type of questions you should expect during the job interview you can best prepare.
It is very important to remember that during the interview you don’t have to answer instantly. Think through your answers before answering. To cut down on your response time, practice, practice, practice. Interviewing is a skill. Like all skills it takes work to be good at it. I can honestly say:
“I have been offered positions that I was under qualified for because of how well I interview.”
Question: Tell me about yourself.
Answer: This is an extremely common job interview question that everyone hates. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and discuss your qualifications that make you the best choice for the position they are interviewing for.
Question: Why are you leaving your current position? Why did you leave your last position?
Answer: This is where most people completely shoot themselves in the foot. NEVER speak poorly of a past employer. Even if your past employer was a complete tyrant, don’t say it. The person that is doing the interview doesn’t know you and what you are saying is true. What they are hearing in their head is “doesn’t work well with management”. Kiss the job good bye.
Another statement to avoid is “I need more money”. Look, most of us work because we need to pay bills. What an employer is concerned about is their potential employee having some loyalty. Try to use very general terms like “I need to grow professionally” or “It was a great experience and I love working there, but to advance my career and utilize my skills I need to move on.” That is my favorite.
Question: What are your strengths?
Answer: Most people have no problem answering this. Just point out your skills that relate to the position you are interviewing for.
Question: Where do you feel you need improvement? What are some of your weaknesses?
Answer: This is a question that most people have a really tough time with. Everyone has things that they can improve upon. The worst possible answer is ” I don’t have any weaknesses.” What the interviewer is looking for is that you can honestly evaluate yourself and improve. Try to point out weaknesses that can also be perceived as strengths. Like being to meticulous about the quality of work.
Question: What words best describe you?
Answer: Keep this one short and sweet. Stay positive and work related. Adjectives that are always good are hard worker, punctual, honest, conscientious, etc….
Question: What do you know about our company?
Answer: I am always shocked how many people give a blank look when they are asked this question by a interviewer. It is always a good idea to research the company before going to the interview.
Question: Why do you want to work for us?
Answer: Once again, research the company. DO NOT say something like “Because it’s a great company.” It is cheesy and predictable and says absolutely nothing. The person conducting the job interview next question will be “Why do you say that?” If you didn’t do your research, you’re dead in the water.
Question: Why should we hire you for this position?
Answer: Be direct and to the point. This is the whole point of the job interview after all. Illustrate the skills you have and also relate your past positive work experiences. It is always good to talk about past compliments you have received from previous managers.
Question: What about your work and past experiences give you the most satisfaction?
Answer: Focus more on your actual achievements than the rewards you have received for those achievements. Describe a couple of past work projects that you really excelled and was able to gain some “pats on the back”.
Question: What motivates you and makes you do a good job?
Answer: Of course money and advancement are the most obvious answers, but absolutely the worst ones to give. Focus on your past achievements and what satisfaction you received from it.
Question: What type of environment do you work best in?
Answer: This is something people really don’t think about much during their job search, but should. Overall you want to tailor your answer to the position you are applying for. If it is a position that you will be primarily working alone, you should illustrate how you can work independently. On the same note, If you like working with people, it is probably not the right job for you.
Question: Why do you want this job?
Answer: To assist you in answering this question you really need to take some time to research the position in advance. In a situation like this it is ok to ask questions as your answering. Illustrate what you find interesting and what attracted you to the position to begin with. DO NOT say something like “I need a job.” That type of answer while insure that you don’t get the job.
Question: Tell me about a major obstacle you have encountered and how you overcame it.
Answer: What the interviewer is looking for here is your ability to problem solve. They are also looking for your ability to accept challenges and overcome them. Employers don’t want to hire quitters.
Question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Answer: This is an extremely common question. What the employer is really look for here is that if you have a plan. Are you thinking week to week or are you trying to improve professionally and set yourself goals. The plan isn’t the major factor here. The major thing is if you have a plan at all.
Question: What makes you qualified for this position?
Answer: This is a pretty strait forward one. Talk about your skills and other qualification that relate to the position you are interviewing for. Do your best to avoid just reciting your resume.
If you prepare with these job interview questions and answers you should put yourself in the best position to land the job.