Common Interview Questions
The first one is usually
1. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
This question confused me for quite some time. I didn’t know whether to list my hobbies and latest traveling exploits or mention that I was an award-winning sports writer back in college. But now I definitely know it’s the latter. Yes, it’s important to have a personal life, but they want to know your relevant skills, experiences and strengths. So you’ll ace this question by listing your accomplishments, achievements, and relevant side jobs not listed on your resume.
2. Why do you want to work for us?
If you didn’t do your research on the company when you applied, shame on you! You need to know Company A is the leading so and so, and they just acquired Option C, which will change the way we all do E, F and G. Employers are always impressed with someone who knows what they’re talking about. Knowing the company’s latest news shows initiative!
3. Why did you apply for this position?
“I need a job” can’t be your answer. This question again aims at your strengths, likes and dislikes, and of course your skills. Is this the opportunity of a lifetime for you? Are you finally getting your “dream job”, or is this the company you’ve always wanted to work for? If so, mention it. For example, I love A and B, and I feel working for you all in this particular field was the only choice because it’ll give me the opportunity to showcase C and D all while acquiring the knowledge I need for E and F.
4. Why should we hire you over our other applicants?
If you can’t add something beneficial to a company, then you shouldn’t work for them. Furthermore, if you can’t make yourself sound better than the other contenders, then you shouldn’t be working period. At the end of the day there will always be more qualified people applying for the same job. But that shouldn’t stop you or scare you. That should motivate you to become a salesman, so you can sell yourself to the employer!
5. What are your greatest weaknesses professionally?
Whoa buddy! Why on earth would I tell you that? Because you have to. So here’s how you come out on top with this tricky question. Don’t be ridiculously honest. If you’re always late, please keep that to yourself and learn to use an alarm clock. But whatever you come up with, end with a positive note. For instance, I dislike working with people because most of the time their work is never up to par, BUT I’ve been attending team building workshops to help with me with that issue. 😉 The example I provided would work great if I’m applying to work with animals or for a stay-at-home gig. It would not be in my best interest to tell my boss I don’t like working with people if I want to be a teacher, manager, doctor, etc.
6. Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.
This isn’t a question, but whatever. You still need to know how to address it. Think of something that makes you look unstoppable and determined. Mention the time excel V-Lookups stopped working, so you had to come up with an alternative solution to update your spreadsheets. Or tell them about the time your co-worker took credit for your work but you still managed to get that promotion.
7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
You know the saying, ‘Anything is possible,’ so don’t hold back on this question. No matter the position you’re applying for, you can be the CEO or Owner in 5 years with the right plan, if that’s what you want to be. But if you don’t want to be that bold play it safe and mention key phrases like “increased responsibility”, “leadership duties”, “building global relationships”, “accruing major stakeholders”, etc, etc.
Updated Jan 26, 2016