12 Interview Questions You Need to Be Ready to Answer

April 24th, 2014 | Articles, Interviewing | No Comments »

12 Common Interview Questions

You’re probably feeling some anxiety about your job interview. Whether it’s your first professional gig or another in a long line of great positions, it can be hard to overcome those pre-interview jitters. But take some solace in this fact:

Most interviewers stick to the same interview questions.

1.) Can you tell me about yourself? – This interview question is best served by a strong elevator pitch. Make it concise and answer the following questions: who you are, what you have to offer, and what you want. Your answer should hit all the key talking points of each professional experience without delving too deep.

2.) What attracted you to our company? – Interviewers ask this common interview question to get more than a little flattery. They want to identify candidates who have done their research (on the company, industry, and challenges) and who will align with the office ideals. Talk of money should be avoided.

3.) Why are you leaving your current job? – It’s the one ton elephant in the room. Candidates who air their grievances about a current or former employers will only tarnish their own image. The best response identifies your compatibility, your passion, and your desire to tackle new challenges.

4.) What is your greatest strength? – Surprisingly, this is often a missed opportunity. Saying something is your greatest strength is often arbitrary (what makes one strength exponentially better than another?). Pick one of your strengths that fits with the company’s values and connect the dots.

5.) What is your greatest weakness? – For this interview question, pick a weakness you are working to overcome. Explain the weakness, identify the steps you’ve taken to fix it, and show the progress you’ve made. Try to avoid anything the company listed in the job advertisement (unless your progress is night and day).

6.) What is your greatest accomplishment? – Narrowing down you greatest achievement doesn’t have to be difficult. First, select a recent, career-relevant achievement. Then, describe what you did, how you did it, and the ultimate results. Include any statistics that you can and find ways to draw parallels to the company.

7.) How did you handle failure on the job? – Discussing failure can be tricky. You don’t want to give the impression that you’re incompetent but you don’t want to seem like you’re hiding something. Rely on entry-level mistakes or small gaffes in the early days after a promotion. Always show what you learned.

8.) What motivates you on the job? – This interview question is used to identify what you value, what you enjoy, and how you will fit in with the team. The more you can show synchronicity between yourself and the company, the better off you are.

9.) What is your ideal office environment? – Do you like open offices or private spaces? Do you prefer collaborative or individual work? Either way, show that you can handle both and come ready with examples to prove it.

10.) How have you handled conflict at work? – No one wants an aggressive egotist stirring up trouble after just a few days on the job. Have a few examples of conflict mediation ready. Remember that your example doesn’t have to end with you being best buds. You just have to work together efficiently.

11.) Where do you want to be in 5 years?This interview question is meant to determine if you want to advance, what you want to accomplish, and how you define your career goals. Avoid specific job titles in your answer and keep your answer short and to the point.

12.) Do you have any questions for me? – No is never an option. This is a window to pick the brain of the hiring manager. A list of prepared questions can prevent you from panicking when this question arises.

by James Walsh

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