Most Common Job Interview Questions and Answers

While some job interviewers have a rather unusual approach to interview questions, most job interviews involve exchanging common interview questions and answers (including some of the more frequently asked behavioral interview questions). . These are some of the most common interview questions, along with the best way to answer them.

1. Tell me a little about yourself.
If you are an interviewer, there are many things you should already know: the candidate’s CV and cover letter should tell you a lot, and LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google can give you more.

The purpose of the interview is to determine if the candidate will excel in the position and that means assessing the skills and attitude required for that position. Do you need to be an empathetic leader? Ask about it. Do you need to go public with your company? Ask about it.

If you are a candidate, discuss why you took certain jobs. Explain why you left. Explain why you chose a particular school. Share why you decided to go to graduate school. Discuss why you took a year off in Europe and what you gained from the experience. When answering this question, connect the dots on your resume so that the interviewer understands not only what you did but also why.

2. What are your biggest weaknesses?
Every candidate knows how to answer this question: Just pick a theoretical weakness and magically transform that mistake into a masked force! For example: “My biggest weakness is that I am so absorbed in my work that I lose track of time. Every day I look up and realize that everyone has come home! I know I need to be more aware of the clock, but when I want what I do, I do not “I can think of nothing else.”

So your “biggest weakness” is that you invest more hours than anyone else? Great. A better approach is to choose a real weakness, but one that you work on to improve. Share what you do to overcome that weakness. No one is perfect, but to show that you are willing to honestly evaluate yourself and then look for ways to improve is pretty close.

3. What are your biggest strengths?
I’m not sure why interviewers ask this question; Your resume and experience should make your strengths obvious. However, if you are asked, give a correct and precise answer. Be clear and precise. If you are a great problem solver, do not just say this: give a few examples relevant to the opening that show you are a great problem solver.

If you are an emotionally intelligent leader, do not just say that – give a few examples that show that you know how to answer an unspoken question. In short, do not just claim that you have certain attributes, but show that you have them.

4. Where do you see yourself in five years?
The answers to this question have one of two basic forms. Candidates try to show their incredible ambition (because they think you want it) by giving an extremely optimistic answer: “I love your job!” Or they try to show their humility (because they think you want it) by giving meekly, self-deprecating response: “There are so many talented people here. I just want to do a great job and see where my talents take me. “

Either way, you are learning nothing but maybe how well the candidates can sell. For the interviewers, here is a better question: “What kind of business would you like to start? This question applies to every organization, because every employee in every company must have an entrepreneurial mindset.

The business the candidate would like to start tells you about your hopes and dreams, your interests and passions, the job you want to do, the people you want to work with, so sit back and listen.

5. Of all the candidates, why should we hire you?
Since the candidate cannot be compared to people he does not know, all they can do is describe their incredible passion, desire and commitment and … well, they are basically begging for a job. (Too many interviewers ask the question and then sit back, as if to say, “Welcome. I’m listening. Try to convince me.”)Candidates rarely come to the end of the interview feeling that they have done their best. Maybe the conversation went in an unexpected direction.

Perhaps the interviewer focused on one aspect of your skills and completely ignored the other key attributes. Or maybe the candidates started the interview nervous and hesitant and now want to go back and better describe their qualifications and experience. Also think about it this way – your goal as an interviewer is to learn as much as you can about each candidate, so don’t you want to give him or her a chance to make sure you do?. Just remember to turn this part of the interview into a conversation, not a monologue. Do not listen passively and then say: “Thank you. We’ll be in touch”.

6. How did you hear about the inauguration?
Job boards, general announcements, online classifieds, job fairs – Most people find their first jobs that way, so it certainly is not a red flag. But the candidate who continues to find every successive job starting from general positions probably did not understand what they want to do and where they would like to do it. He or she is just looking for a job; often any work.

Therefore, do not just explain how you found out about the opening. Show that you learned about the job through a colleague, current employer, following the company; show that you know about the job because you want to work there. Employers do not want to hire people who just want a job; they want to hire people who want a job in their company.

7. Why do you love this job?
Now it goes deeper. Don’t just talk about why it would be great to work for the company; Discuss how the position fits in perfectly with what you hope to achieve, both in the short and long term. And if you do not know why the position fits perfectly, look elsewhere. Life is too short.

8. What do you consider to be your greatest professional achievement?
Here is an interview question that definitely requires an answer relevant to the job. If you say that your biggest achievement is improving performance by 18 percent in six months, but interviewing for a leadership position in human resources, that answer is interesting, but ultimately unimportant.

Instead, talk about a low-performing employee you “saved”, or how you overcame cross-sectoral internal struggles, or how many of your direct reports were promoted. The goal is to share accomplishments that allow the interviewer to imagine you in the position and see how you succeed.

9. Tell me about the last time a colleague or client got angry with you. What happened?
Conflict is inevitable when the company works hard to get things done. Mistakes happen. Of course, the strengths come to the fore, but also the weaknesses. And that’s okay. Nobody is perfect. But the person who tends to shift the blame and responsibility for correcting the situation to another person is a candidate for avoidance. Hiring managers prefer to select candidates who do not focus on blaming, but on solving and fixing the problem.

Every business needs employees who voluntarily admit when they make mistakes, take responsibility for correcting the problem and, most importantly, learn from experience.

10. Describe your dream job.
Three words describe how you should answer this question: relevance, relevance, relevance. But that does not mean you have to come up with an answer. You can learn something from every job. You can develop skills in any job. Work backwards: Identify things about the job you are interviewing that will help you achieve your dream job one day, and then describe how those things relate to what you hope to do one day.

And do not be afraid to admit that one day you can go further, or join another company or, better yet, start your own business. Employers no longer wait for employees “forever”.

11. Why do you want to leave your current job?
Let’s start with what not to say (or, if you are the interviewer, which are definitely the red flags. Do not talk about how heavy your boss is. Do not talk about how you can not agree with other employees. Do not abuse your company.

Instead, focus on the positive aspects of the movement. Talk about what you want to achieve. Talk about what you want to learn. Talk about the ways you want to grow, the things you want to achieve; Explain how moving will be great for you and your new business. Complaining to your current employer is a bit like gossiping: if you are willing to insult someone else, you will probably do the same to me.

12. What type of work environment do you like the most?
You may love working alone, but if the job you are interviewing is in a call center, that answer will not do you any good.So take a step back and think about the job you are applying for and the culture of the company (because every company has one, whether it is intentional or not).

If flexible hours are important to you but the company does not offer them, focus on something else. If you want constant guidance and support, and the company expects employees to manage themselves, focus on something else. Find ways to emphasize how the company environment will work well for you, and if you can not find a way, do not take the job, because you will be miserable.

13. Tell me about the most difficult decision you had to make in the last six months.”
The purpose of this question is to assess a candidate’s ability to reason, problem-solving ability, reasoning, and perhaps even a willingness to take smart risks. Lack of response is a clear warning sign. Everyone makes difficult decisions, regardless of their position.

My daughter worked part-time as a waitress at a local restaurant and constantly made difficult decisions, such as how best to deal with a regular customer whose behavior was extremely harassing. A good answer shows that you can make an analytical decision or based on difficult reasoning, for example, go through a lot of data to determine the best solution to the problem.

A great answer shows that you can make a difficult interpersonal decision or, even better, a difficult decision based on data that involves interpersonal thinking and consequences. It is important to make decisions based on data, but almost every decision has an impact on people. The best candidates naturally measure all aspects of the problem, not just the business or human aspect alone.

14. What is your leadership style?
This is a difficult question to answer without delving into phrases. Instead, try to share examples of leadership. Say, “The best way to answer that is to give you a few examples of the leadership challenges I have faced,” and then share situations where you have solved a problem, motivated a team, worked through a crisis. Explain what you did and it will give the interviewer a great idea of ​​how you lead. And of course, it allows you to highlight some of your successes.

15. Tell me about the time when he did not agree with a decision. What did you do?
No one agrees with every decision. Disagreements are fine; what matters is what you do when you disagree. (We all know people who want to have a “meeting after meeting” where they support a decision at a meeting, but then go out and undermine it.) Show that you were a professional. Show that you have raised your concerns in a productive way.

If you have an example that shows that you can make a change, great, and if not, show that you can support a decision even if you think it is wrong (while it is not unethical, immoral, etc.). Every company wants employees who are willing to be honest and direct, to share concerns and problems, but also to stand behind a decision and support it as if they agree, even if they are not.

16. Tell me how you think other people would describe you.
I hate this question. That is a complete rejection. But I asked once and I got an answer that I really liked. I think people would say that what you see is what you get, the candidate said. If I say I’m going to do something, I’m doing it. If I say I will help, I help. I’m not sure everyone likes it, but everyone knows they can count on what I say and how hard I work.

17. “What can we expect from you in the first three months?
Ideally, the answer to this should come from the employer – he should have plans and expectations for you.

But if you are asked, use this general framework

  • You will work hard to determine how your work creates value; Not only will you be busy, but you will also be busy doing the right things.
  • You will learn to serve all of your constituents: your boss, your employees, your peers, your customers, and your suppliers and salespeople.
  • You will focus on what you do best: you will be engaged because you have certain skills and you will apply them to get things done.
  • You will make a difference, with clients, with other employees, to instill enthusiasm and focus and a sense of commitment and teamwork.
  • Then just add the specific details that apply to you and the job.

18. What do you want to do outside of work?
Many companies believe that cultural fitness is extremely important and use external interests as a way to determine how you will fit into the team.

However, do not be tempted to lie and claim that you enjoy hobbies that you do not like. Focus on activities that indicate growth: skills that you are trying to learn, goals that you are trying to achieve. Intertwined with personal data. For example, “I raise a family, so much of my time is focused on it, but I use my daily travel time to learn Spanish.”

19. What was your salary on the last job?
This is a difficult question. You want to be open and honest, but honestly, some companies ask the question as an initial move in wage negotiations. Try the approach recommended by Liz Ryan. When asked, say: “I target jobs in the $ 50,000 range. Is this position in that range? ”(Honestly, you should know by now, but this is a good way to deter him.)

Maybe the interviewer will answer; maybe she won’t. If she pressures you to respond, you will have to decide whether to share or object. After all, your answer will not be too important, because you will accept the offered salary or not, depending on what you think is fair.

21. What questions do you have for me?

Don’t waste this opportunity. Ask smart questions, not just as a way to show you’re a great candidate but also to see if the company is a good fit for you — after all, you’re being interviewed, but you’re also interviewing the company.

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