Anxious about an upcoming interview? No need to worry! If you do your company research, and practice your answers to some common interview questions in advance, you will be ready to handle anything that comes your way. Set aside time to prepare for each interview, and you will be confident and poised on the big day.
Here a few common interview questions, and tips for how to answer them:
1. Tell me about yourself.
This question intimidates most job seekers, but it is a great opportunity to talk about your strengths and what sets you apart from other candidates. A strong answer will set a positive tone for the interview, and grab the interviewer’s attention. You know this question is coming, so prepare for it in advance, and your interview will be off to a great start.
2. What do you know about the company?
This is one of the easier questions you might be asked, as long as you are prepared to answer it. Do your research. Visit the company website, search for news mentions, and check out all of their social media accounts. Make your answer personal. Don’t spout off facts you found online; explain what you like about the company and why you want to work there.
3. What is your greatest strength?
This is your opportunity to stand out from other applicants. The strengths you mention need to be relevant to the position, and you should provide specific examples of how you used them. Your strengths can be both personal and professional attributes, as long as they help prove why you are the ideal candidate for the job.
4. What is your greatest weakness?
Be honest. You don’t have to discuss all of your flaws, but focus on one or two things you could improve. Explain how you plan to address your weakness, and ways you can turn it into a strength. Don’t mention anything that will automatically disqualify you (for example: don’t say you’re bad with numbers if you want an accounting job), but be realistic about your abilities.
5. Describe a challenge or conflict you faced at work, and how you handled it.
Think of a specific challenge or conflict that was unique to you. A vague answer about having to balance projects will your bore your interviewer, and make you look unqualified. Your answer should reflect your problem-solving skills and adaptability.
6. What is your dream job?
This question helps the interviewer determine if you are a good fit for the position. If you’re interviewing for a financial analyst position, don’t say you’re planning on applying to med school in the near future. The job duties should align with your future goals. Even if the position you are applying for is just a stepping stone for the job you really want, focus on why you would be a great addition to the team.
7. Why are you leaving your current job (….or Why did you quit your last job)?
Stay positive. Avoid saying anything negative about your current or previous employer when possible Express enthusiasm for the position you hope to get, and indicate why you are a better fit for this role instead of the one you currently or previously had.
8. What do you like to do outside of work?
While your technical skills and work achievements are important, so is cultural fit. Always stay professional when discussing your personal life during an interview, but don’t be afraid to show your personality. Your unique hobby might impress the hiring manager, and you will connect over any shared interests.
9. What are your salary requirements?
Benchmark. Set a range. Be flexible. This is a tough question to answer, and one of the most important ones for the candidate to get right. Be prepared to explain how you reached your number (or ideally, your range), and to defend your answer.
10. Do you have any questions for us?
Yes! You should always ask questions at the end of the interview. Asking relevant, thoughtful questions will prove that you are truly interested in the position. Think of a few questions before your meeting, and be ready to adapt them based on the interview.
Good luck at your next interview, and don’t forget to follow up with the employer!