8 Common Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

8 Common Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

8 Common Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

If you’ve already gone through multiple job interviews before, then you may have noticed interviwers asking a similar set of questions. But if you still haven’t landed a job despite doing some heavy interview preparation and answering the same questions over and over again, then it’s time to tweak those responses to impress the interviewer as well as gain an advantage over other candidates. Here are eight commonly asked job interview questions and how to answer them:

1. “Tell me more about yourself”

This is a trick question that may force you to share your hobbies or interests outside the workplace. Before answering this question or other trick questions, maintain good body language and posture. Then give a very short description of your work experience and educational background. Don’t forget to introduce yourself and state your full name, age, and hometown/current location. It’s that simple.  

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When describing your work experience and educational background, just narrate the industry you’ve worked in before, the number of years you’ve worked in that industry, and the last school you’ve attended. Don’t discuss in detail unless the interviewer says so.  

2. “What are your biggest strengths?”

Although your strengths are already listed in the resume, this hasn’t stopped interviewers from getting the same information from you again. It’s either they want to verify you if you’re being truthful in the job application or they haven’t read your CV at all.

When answering this question, narrate your skills as well as the work you’ve done in your current or previous company. Be clear and precise and don’t narrate every word that’s listed in the CV. Also, state examples that support your skills or work experience. For example, if you say “I’m good at graphic design”, follow it up by saying the tools you’ve used as well as the projects you were involved in when using those tools. 

3. “What are your biggest weaknesses?”

One of the most common answers to this question is using a possible weakness and disguising it as a strength. For example, “My biggest weakness is oftentimes failing to submit to task on time but the reason I don’t submit on time is that I constantly double-check my work to make sure the quality is excellent”. This mostly works for the most part but there is another way to answer this question. 

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State a real weakness and follow it up by saying how you would improve the weakness and you’re constantly making strides in improving it. No one is perfect and showing a bit of vulnerability won’t affect your chances in getting the job. 

4. “Why do you want this job?”

Start your response by indicating that your skills are the best fit for the company’s needs. Then talk about the things you want to accomplish short-term and long-term. You may not have plans to stay for 10 years, but indicating your long-term plans to the interviewer will give them an idea that you’re committed to the role. 

If you’re not pressed for time, you can also say something about the company and the impact it has done on customers and the community. Use this response if the company you’re applying for is a large and established corporation.   

5. “What is your biggest professional achievement?”

This question requires an answer that is relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you’re applying as a human resource manager, narrate an achievement where you utilized human resource skills and how it affected colleagues and stakeholders. It may not be your biggest achievement but it helps interviewers gauge the work you’ve done in the past. 

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Avoid giving answers that are completely irrelevant to the job posting. Remember that the goal is to share achievements lets the interviewer imagine you succeeding in the position you’re applying for. 

6. “Why do you want to leave your current job?”

If you’re experiencing struggles in your current job, it’s easy to share the struggles with the interviewer and use them as a response to this question. Instead of bad-mouthing your boss, colleagues, and the company, talk about the positives on why leaving your current job is beneficial for your long-term career. 

Specifically, talk about the things you want to achieve and explain how the move will be a great fit for you and the company. You can also talk about some career advice given by your employer. Talking about negative things will only classify as gossip and will put your character in a bad light. The more you gossip, the more interviewer won’t consider you for the role. 

7. “What is your ideal work environment?”

This is another question that needs to be relevant to your job application. If your ideal work environment is a quiet place where employees rarely talk to each other then applying to a sales or retail company will get your application denied immediately. 

Even before submitting an application, research the company’s culture and identify if it’s a good fit for your physical and mental health. This allows you to save time and effort in attending an interview that won’t go anywhere. 

8. “What is your expected salary?”

If the job posting already indicates the salary range for successful applicants, then you already have your answer. But if there is none, then you may have to take your chances on making sure the interviewer doesn’t get shocked by your request or you’ll end up with a salary that is much lower than your current job.   

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Experts suggest answering with a specific amount and following it up with a question if it falls within the company’s resources. For example, “I’m focusing on jobs with a $50k range, is this position in that range?” The interviewer may not give a clear response but at least it gives you both an idea of how much you want to get paid for the job.

In closing

When it’s time for a job interview, it’s make or break for your career. So, don’t take any chances and be prepared by reading the interview tips listed above. You’ll develop your interview skills faster, be more confident during the interview, and land your dream job in no time.