Job interviews are stressful — that much is certain. If that stress builds up and causes acne to break out on your face, that’s probably gonna pile on more stress and make things worse for your already worried mind. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what questions a hiring manager would be asking you in your next job interview?
Unfortunately, none of us can read minds, so we can’t say for sure what questions will be asked. However, what we can do is compile a list of common interview questions and share tips with you one the best way to answer them. While we don’t recommend having the exact same response for every interview question, we do recommend spending some time getting comfortable with what you might be asked, what hiring managers are really looking for in your responses, and what it takes to show that you’re the right man or woman for the job.
Without further ado, here are the best ways to answer these common interview questions.
Tell Me More About Yourself
This question seems innocent enough and many people fail to prepare for it — but it’s actually quite crucial. Here’s the deal — don’t give your complete history, whether it’s employment or personal. Instead, give a concise and compelling pitch that shows exactly why you’re the right fit for the job. Start off with the 2 to 3 specific accomplishments or experiences that you most want the interviewer to know about, then wrap up talking about how that prior experience has given you the know-how you need for this specific role.
How Did You Hear About This Position?
Another seemingly simple interview question, this is actually a perfect opportunity for you to stand out, show your passion for and connection to the company. For example, if you found out about the opportunity through a friend, name drop that person, then share why you were so excited about it. If you discovered the company through an event or article, share that. If you found the listing through a random job board, share what caught your eye about the role. Interviewers will be able to tell how interested you are in this role, and that will play a big part in determining if you are successful or not.
What Do You Know About The Company?
Any candidate can read and recite the company’s “About” page from their website. When interviewers ask this, they aren’t necessarily trying to gauge whether you understand the company mission statement — they want to know whether you care about it. Start with one line that shows you understand the company’s goals, using some keywords and phrases from the website, but then go on to make it personal. Phrases like, “I’m personally drawn to this mission because…” or “I really believe in this approach because…” work well here.
Why Do You Want This Job?
Companies want to hire people who are passionate about the job, so you should have a great answer about why you want the position. First, identify a couple of key factors that make you a great fit for the role. For example, something like, “I love customer support because I love the constant human interaction and the satisfaction of helping someone solve a problem” would be good. It can also help to share why you love the company — how you want to be a part of them because you believe they are doing something right.
Why Should We Hire You?
This particular question can seem forward and intimidating, but if you get asked it, you may be in luck. There’s no better set-up for you to sell yourself and your skills to the interviewer. Your task here is to craft an answer that covers three things — that you can do the work and deliver great results, that you’ll really fit in with the team and office culture, and why you would be a better choice compared to any of the other candidates.
What Are Your Greatest Professional Strengths?
When answering this question, we recommend being accurate, relevant, and specific. This means you should share your true strengths and not what you think the interviewer wants to hear, and choose your strengths that are most targeted to this particular position. It can also be beneficial to follow up with an example of how you’ve demonstrated these traits in a professional setting.
What Are Your Weaknesses?
Beyond identifying any major red flags, what the interviewer is really trying to do with this question is to gauge your self-awareness and honesty. So you can’t be too honest, but at the same time, you don’t have to lie about it. Strike a balance by thinking of something that you struggle with but that you’re working to improve. For example, maybe you’ve never been strong at public speaking, but you’ve recently volunteered to run meetings to help you be more comfortable when addressing a crowd. Learning how to word your flaws differently can also help them appear less critical — for example, instead of saying you cannot multitask, say you prefer to focus your attention on one thing at a time to ensure the task is completed properly.