A job interview can be one of the most stressful parts of any job search. What many job seekers do not know, however, is that there are job interview questions that are common to almost every interview, regardless of the position being sought or the industry. Whether you are going for your first job interview or have been on many, these common questions and answers may help you ace that interview and land that dream job.
What can you tell me about yourself?
Although this question seems very simple, it is one of the ones that people have the hardest time answering. It is against our nature to promote ourselves, but that is exactly what you must do during a job interview. The interviewer does not want you to recite your job history or know that you can operate seven different types of computer programs. Job interview answers that work for this question are specific accomplishments or experiences that you think are important to the job you are seeking. Tie the answer to a requirement for the job you are interviewing for and you may find yourself at the top of the candidate list.
What do you know about the company?
It is common knowledge that you should research the company before you go into an interview, but it goes deeper than reading the “About Us” page on the website. Most companies have their mission statement included somewhere on their website. Choose one line out of that mission statement that you identify with and use a few keywords from the website in your answer. Be sure to make the job interview answers to this question personal. For example, “I really believe in your company’s approach to….” and conclude with your thoughts on the subject.
Why should we hire you?
This is one of the most intimidating questions asked in a job interview, but it is also one that allows you to pitch your skills and knowledge. Your answer should include details on how you are qualified for the job, how you can deliver better results than other candidates and how you will fit in well with the team.
How did you hear about this position?
This seemingly innocent question could actually provide a lot of insight to the interviewer about your resourcefulness. If you learned of the position from a contact, use that person’s name and explain why you were excited about it as well as why you believe your contact suggested you apply. If you learned of the position through a newspaper article or at an event, explain why you were reading the article or at the event, tying in what drew you to the position. Even if you applied through a job board or a classified advertisement, your answer should include what it was about that particular position that stood out to you and encouraged you to apply.
What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
Although these are two questions, they often are asked in conjunction with each other. When telling the interviewer about your strengths, be honest. Don’t just recite the answers you think the interviewer wants to hear. Be sure that the strengths you mention are relevant to the position and be specific. When it comes to weaknesses, the interviewer is not only trying to identify potential problems, such as the inability to meet deadlines, but also to determine how insightful and honest you are. Choose a weakness that you know you can face or one that you have been working to correct. Be sure to include how you have worked to fix this weakness.
Make a Good First Impression – Know the Common Job Interview Questions
Job interviews can be very stressful but having an idea how to answer some common job interview questions can make the process go smoother. It is important to remember that many interviewers throw in some strange interview questions as well. Apple asked interviewees “If you were a pizza deliveryman, how would you benefit from scissors?” Dell asked “Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?” Therefore, it is important to be prepared for almost any question you are asked so that you have a better chance of landing that dream job.