Feeling unprepared for your job interview? You’re not alone. To help you properly approach interview questions, here is a guide to help you quickly learn how to answer the top 10 most commonly asked interview questions.
These are the questions that we will cover in this article:
- Tell Me About Yourself
- Why Do You Want This Job?
- Why Should We Hire You?
- What Are Your Goals?
- What’s Your Expected Salary?
- What’s Your Greatest Strength?
- What’s Your Greatest Weakness?
- What Are Your Hobbies?
- Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
- Do You Have Any Questions For Me?
We're sure you’ve heard of all these questions before. They are used widely and constantly so it’s important to master answering them. But practicing your answers, and even rehearsing them with a friend, can be incredibly helpful.
1. Tell Me About Yourself
“Tell me about yourself” is always prompted at the very beginning of job interviews after cordalities are exchanged. It seems like an easy question to answer but really it’s a major question that needs to be prepared for. You’ll be delivering an elevator pitch that is tailored to the role you’re applying for detailing your past, present, and future career work. This way you’ll show what you have accomplished, what you have to offer, and what you hope to do at the job at hand. To read more about how to answer this question, check out this article.
2. Why Do You Want This Job?
When the interviewer asks “Why do you want this job?” replying with “Uhh, money. Duh.” is an example of something not to do. Interviewers want to gauge how invested you are in the role you’re applying for and the company. Thus, you need to do research on the company beforehand to make a compelling case for why you are the right person for the job. Match your skills, your experience, your values, and what you have to offer the company. Do this by either showing your skills, enthusiasm, or your fit--to read more about how to do this, check out this article.
3. Why Should We Hire You?
To be ready to answer “Why should we hire you”, you have to prepare. The goal is to make yourself stand out from the other candidates and show why you’re the best choice for the job. Do this by selecting one relevant trait to the job that differentiates you, allowing you to outperform. This trait can be anything. Examples to choose from are: that you have a superior skill set, that you’re highly motivated, or that you’re a great fit for the company. To read more about picking the perfect trait to respond with, check out this article.
4. What Are Your Goals?
Interviewers ask “What are your goals” to see that your long-term career goals and vision match the company’s. Though they don’t expect you to stay at the company for years and years as employees come and go more frequently these days, they want to know that you want the open role and are eager to participate. To craft an answer that will impress interviewers, you want to tie your own personal skill set and your aspirations with the company’s goals. So to begin answering this question, think about what do you like to do? What skills do you have? What skills do you want to develop? What excites you about your current job? Now show the interviewer why your goal is relevant, tie the job you’re applying for into the big picture. To read a step-by-step guide on how to craft an answer for this question, check out this article.
5. What’s Your Expected Salary?
To begin thinking about your answer to “What’s your expected salary?”, take some time to scour the internet for information about average salary ranges for the role you are applying for. If you’re sure about an exact salary, then go for it. However, just know that providing a hard number for your salary expectation closes the door to possible negotiations. To keep the discussion open, provide a salary range. The employer may offer you the lowest number of your range so make sure not to go too low. To avoid getting an offer that’s lower than you desire, check out this article.
6. What’s Your Greatest Strength?
Have you ever been asked, “What is your greatest strength?” This is one of the most common interview questions that you must prepare to answer. The interviewer is looking for someone who is self-aware, shows humility, and can confidently list their skills. Interviewers also ask this because they want to see if you’re a good fit for the company’s culture and if your greatest strength is relevant to the role you’re applying for. If you can tie your greatest strength together with the skills needed to perform well on the job, you show that you have what it takes to be considered a top candidate. Read how to answer this question by checking out this article.
7. What’s Your Greatest Weakness?
Asking “What your greatest weakness?” isn’t meant to be a trap, exposing you. Interviewers ask this question to determine how prepared you are for the interview, how self-aware you are, and how motivated you are to fix your mistakes. Everyone has weaknesses and obviously there’s a ton you shouldn’t tell the interviewer about so be careful when choosing which weakness you’ll reply with. Telling a truthful story about how you overcame a weakness is the best way to answer this question. To learn about how to choose the right weakness and to prepare a story, check out this article.
8. What Are Your Hobbies?
By the point in the interview when the interviewer asks you “What are your hobbies?” the interviewer knows that you have the technical skills to do the job you’re applying for. Now they are wondering if you’d be a good teammate to work with for the upcoming years. Sure, an interviewer could be looking for a candidate with a particular shared interest in common with everyone else. They want to know if you will fit in, contribute to the company culture, and mesh with the rest of the team. You should reply with 2-3 hobbies that are slightly tailored to the job you’re applying for. To read more about how to answer this question, check out this article.
9. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
“What’s your reason for leaving your job?” Not only is this question one of the most commonly asked at interviews, but it’s also one of the most important. Interviewers ask this because they are looking to see if you have any reservations about the position for which you’re applying. Learning about what you disliked about your last job could give interviewers insight into whether you’d be a good fit at their company and if it’s somewhere you really want to work. The question is also asked because interviewers want to see if you can be loyal to a job--even if a better option comes along. They don’t want to hire an employee who will leave in a few months. Lastly, interviewers want to know if you have any potential red flags in your background. Candidates can draw attention to these red flags if they bad-mouth their previous employer. There are a bunch of reasons for making a career move, so we’ve put together a list of 5 great reasons. To read more, check out this article.
10. Do You Have Any Questions For Me?
You know when your job interview is reaching its tail when the recruiter asks, “do you have any questions for me?” Recruiters ask this question to help you understand more about the role but also because they are testing you. They want to know how committed you are to getting the role. The thought process is that someone who has done their research on the company will be brimming with questions they want to be answered while someone who hasn’t cared to do their research will say they have no questions. Types of good questions to ask are about the role, your candidacy, or the next steps. To read a list of questions to ask, check out this article.