The Top 5 Job Interview Questions and Tips on How to Answer Them
Your resume and cover letter landed you a job interview. Congratulations! Whether it’s a phone, virtual, or in person interview, interacting in real time with your prospective employer can be quite nerve-wracking.
Although you can’t predict all of the questions you will be asked, there are some go-to questions that job interviewers typically ask. While the answers will be different for each person, there is a desired way you are expected to answer that helps the employer to have a clearer picture of the strength of your candidacy.
Interviews are also your opportunity to understand whether or not the role and the company are a good fit for you. With this in mind, below are the 5 most common questions and how to answer them:
1. Tell us about yourself.
This is the ultimate opening question for most interviews. Think of the question behind the question as “Tell us why you are a good fit for this role.” If you don’t strategize your answer, you may end up talking about various irrelevant events related to your life and career, as well as exceeding the 30 second to 2 minute time frame recommended for this answer.
The key word here is relevancy. You want to only talk about the aspects of your education and career that are relevant to this position. This is your opportunity to make a great first impression by highlighting the strongest points in your background that make you a great fit for this role.
Take a look at the job description, then take a look at your resume, and draw out those correlations that make it seem that the role was created just for you!
2. Why do you want to work for this company?
This is one of the most common questions that employers ask to firstly, check that you “did your homework” on the company and secondly, to ensure that you are aligned with the company’s mission, vision, and values.
Although this may not be the only company you are interviewing with, you need to make the employer feel like the only one. Whether you were already familiar with the company or just read about them online, the enthusiasm of the prospect of working there has to come through, always backed up by your answers with the reasons why.
3. What interests you about this role?
At this point, you can explain how the overall role and function is aligned with your background and/or your future goals. You may get even more specific, and pinpoint the elements of this role that are either directly related to your skills and experience and/or excite you!
Your answer should give the interviewer confidence that you are both capable of doing the job and also excited to do it!
4. What do you consider to be your greatest weakness?
Everyone can answer the “strengths” question quite easily. However, are you able to reflect on the not-so-strong aspects of yourself and vocalize it to a prospective employer you are hoping to impress? If you are able to do that, you are halfway down the road to success!
The second half is picking a weakness that is not detrimental to your ability to perform the job but also provides some insight into how you are “working on it” and better yet, how you are succeeding in overcoming it.
5. Do you have any questions?
The answer is always yes. End your interview on a high note by asking thoughtful questions, either that you have considered in advance or that have come up organically during the interview. Show you’ve been listening, that you’re engaged, and get answers to questions that will also help you determine if the opportunity is right for you.
Now that you know the 5 most common questions and how to answer them, preparation is key! While we don’t encourage memorizing answers, it’s always helpful to note some important points you’d like to touch on for each interview question. Nevertheless, it’s as important to be present and natural with the interviewer, and turn your interview into a good conversation.
– Katerina Nicolaou, Account Manager
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