10 Common Job Interview Questions - and How to Answer Them
Everyone finds job interviews nerve-racking. The key is to find methods to help you overcome your nerves and to allow your true self to shine through in the interview. One way to fortify yourself against the stress of the situation is to prepare your answers ahead of time.
We’ve compiled ten common job interview questions with suggestions for how to answer them. And remember, off-the-wall questions are your opportunity to display your thought process, to give your potential employer insight into how you perform under pressure, and to express your character.
You’ll notice that every answer we suggest is career-focused. If you find the stress of the situation leaves your mind blank, the only thing you need to remember is to revolve your answers around your career.
1. Tell me about yourself…
While it may seem like this is an icebreaker, treat this phrase like you would any other question in an interview. Skip your life story and head straight to your career and any aspect of your life connected to your career.
2. Why do you want this job?
Talk about what you hope to accomplish in this role, both in the short and long term. Talk about what you admire about the company and why you would want to work there.
3. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Use this question as an opportunity to confirm that the role you seek is a part of your career path. You’re not just looking for a paycheck. You see yourself in this industry in five years. Be realistic about expectations while still ambitious in your path.
4. Do you have an example of a time when you had an issue with a co-worker? Was there a resolution?
When interviewers ask questions like this, have a story prepared with a beginning, middle, and end. For this question, highlight your people skills by providing the best example of resolving a personality conflict in the workplace.
5. Why are you leaving your current position?
No matter the real reason, avoid talking about anything negative like the fact that you don’t like your boss. Take a positive spin on your decision to seek another position, e.g. you want a more challenging role. Also, share the positives you’ve found from your current job.
6. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Your strengths are the easy answer – you’re a team player, hard worker, detail-oriented. Only share weaknesses that you’ve overcome – you used to turn in projects late until you and your supervisor problem-solved, and now you are turning everything in on time.
7. What is your greatest professional achievement?
Bring the answer back to the role for which you’re applying. If you’re interviewing for a sales position, share the time you increased your sales by 20%.
8. Why should we hire you?
Explain how your professional background makes you the ideal candidate for the job. Share how you’ll contribute to your department and to the company as a whole.
9. What are your salary requirements?
As with the five-year question, this question is really asking about expectations. If possible, avoid a direct answer and say that if they’re seriously considering your application, you can provide a salary range.
10. What questions do you have for us?
Ask substantial questions such as “What will you expect of me in the first 90 days?” or “What are the company’s goals and how will this role contribute to those goals?” Show that you’re genuinely interested in deciding if you and the company are a good fit.
Let Optimum Staffing Solutions Guide You
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