10 Interview Questions You Will Be Asked

July 15th, 2013 | Articles, Interviewing, Job Search | No Comments »


Most companies aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel during a job interview. They simply want to determine whether or not a candidate is right for the position, company, and culture. That’s why, even though you will at times hear odd questions, most interviewers are content with just the standard script. That tendency for conventionality provides job seekers with a near universal cheat sheet that works from one interview to the next. So, don’t waste your advantage. Prepare smart answers for the following 10 most common interview questions:

1.) What interested you in working for our company?

A good answer showcases your professional bargaining chips as much as it does your growing knowledge of the company. It connects the dots, demonstrating the ways that you can help the business continue along an already positive trajectory.

2.) What are your strengths?

Only respond with personal strengths that link back to the company’s ideal candidate – don’t waste your time on qualities that your interviewer isn’t eager to hear. Plus, each strength should be backed by a real world example that helps your interviewer envision you as a model employee. Otherwise, you risk being perceived as all talk and no substance kind of person.

3.) What are your weaknesses?

Pick a real weakness (i.e. not that you’re a workaholic) and discuss the ways you are actively overcoming it. This question is less about the deficiencies themselves and more about your abilities to overcome them.

4.) What are your career goals?

Whether asked about your 5 year plan or your dream job, this question is meant to gauge two things: do you have well-formed career aspirations and can they be synchronized with those of the company? A good answer weaves the company into your future plans, making it an indispensable part of who you will be in the coming years.

5.) Why do you want to leave your current position?

This is an answer best delivered with a heaping helping of tact. You want to answer honestly while airbrushing out any negative remarks about a previous employer, boss, or position. Focus on the positives that this new opportunity can offer: a work environment more aligned with your own ideal and challenges that are actually at your level.

6.) How did you handle a difficult situation or major mistake?

Once again, the interviewer is more concerned with your ability to overcome and recover from problematic situations. Also, the story you tell shouldn’t depict you as a liability or an incompetent bungler. Stick to discussing rookie mistakes or common situations that most people have had to deal with in their careers; it makes the mistake more forgivable.

7.) What can you offer that someone else cannot?

Your response needs to make you sound like a commodity in short supply that fits in with the company’s very specific needs. A good answer includes skills that complement those required by the position and allows the company to evolve in unique ways. Whether that’s through a hybrid talent or mastery of new technology, you need to offer an explanation that contains rich, evocative details.

8.) What is your greatest accomplishment?

The answer you give should be more than an offhanded, one sentence remark that leaves your interviewer unsure of what makes the accomplishment great. A step by step discussion of the way you reached your objective and overcame major roadblocks is what will convince your interviewer that your work is worthy of the attention you’ve given it.

9.) What can you tell me about yourself?

This isn’t the time to dip into your personal memoirs. Refine your self-summary to the professional achievements and background that make you a great candidate. That way, you can avoid meandering into inappropriate or taboo topics that can hurt your standing in a hiring manager’s eyes.

10.) What questions do you have for me?

Research the company and make a lists of questions in advance; it can be difficult to just grab a question on the spot. If your questions are being answered throughout the interview, make sure that you keep replacing them with new ones as you go along, otherwise you may risk sounding uninterested at the end.

by James Walsh

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