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Interview Questions and How to Answer Them: The top 7

If you’ve been on the job search journey, you’re likely no stranger to the world of interviews, and let’s face it – tackling those interview questions can be quite a challenge for many of us. But don’t worry, we have you covered.

Here are some tried-and-true questions you can practice to feel more prepared and confident next time:

1. Tell me about yourself.

While worded as a statement, this is really a question where you can describe your work background and qualifications. If you capitalize on this opportunity, you can subtly explain why you’re the best candidate for the job. This is the time to outline your professional (not personal) journey, what you’ve learned along the way, and what you value in a job. Tailor your response to the job you’re interviewing for, and you’ll not only impress the HR person but also provide valuable information. Remember, this isn’t the time to describe your personal life journey, including the brief period of heartache when your fish, Fido, passed away. Check out more tips on how to prepare for the question ‘Tell Me About Yourself”.

2. Why are you leaving your current job? or Why were you fired from your previous job?

While this may seem like a tricky question, you can easily manage it if you give it some thought. Explain your reasons for moving on without bashing your previous boss or coworkers, and phrase them in a positive way. Talk about the growth opportunities at this job or, if you were laid off, it’s okay to explain the impact of the bad economy on your job. Be honest about the reasons for your firing, but also discuss what you’ve learned from the experience and how you’ve addressed the issues raised by your boss regarding your performance. Read more detailed answers here.

3. Why do you want to work at this job?

This is where you can demonstrate your research about the company (which should be done before the interview). Be able to explain the benefits of working in that environment and the specific opportunities it offers. Bring up specific examples you’ve researched. In this way, you show that they’re not just another company, but a place you have a strong interest in.

4. What is your greatest strength?

Another great opportunity to address the job’s specific needs, you can really shine with this question. Relate your strengths to your abilities and how they can help solve the problems the company is facing. Express your unique strengths and qualities concisely, but don’t let arrogance overshadow your appointment. Also, be prepared to give a brief story of how these strengths played out in your previous job.

5. What is your greatest weakness?

This is the question that often paralyzes people. Avoid the cliché answers like “perfectionist tendencies.” Those are insincere and don’t provide the HR person with any real insight into your weaknesses. Choose something that you’ve been working on or was an issue in your last job. Try to find something that doesn’t directly relate to the position you’re applying for. Once you identify your weakness, explain how you’ve been addressing it and give a specific example of how you’ve improved.

6. Why should we hire you?

Though potentially intimidating, this question allows you to explain what makes you unique. This is your opportunity to share what made you think you’d be suitable for the job in the first place. Remember, researching the company to understand their specific needs will be very helpful. Describe how you’ve solved a similar problem in a previous job. If your first interview is with a recruitment agency ask for some extra information about the client.

7. Do you have any questions for us?

Do not say no! It may have been a long, rigorous interview, but don’t let weariness keep you from getting the job! The majority of people say “no,” so saying yes will immediately catch their attention. Come prepared with thoughtful questions that you’ve considered ahead of time, addressing the company’s values or asking about the job itself.

Feel prepared to conquer your next interview by reviewing these questions and considering your response to each of them. You don’t have to have a memorized response to each question. In fact, if you’re going to several different interviews, that would be a bad idea. Do your research, know how you would answer, and you’ll be ready to excel in that interview!


Posted in: Job Seeking Resources

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