Answers to frequently asked job interview questions

Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew exactly what your interviewer would be asking you in your next job interview? Well, there’s no sure way to tell but there are a few commonly asked questions that you should know about and prepare for.

Here’s a review of 10 frequently asked job interview questions and answers.     

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

Seems simple isn’t it? Don’t be surprise so many interviewees fail to prepare for it, but it’s very vital. It important to know that your interviewer will already have some information about you from your CV, and may not require you to provide your personal and complete employment history. When this question is asked, what is required of you is to share few of your accomplishments or experiences, then close with how such experience has positioned you for the specific role you are interviewing for.

How did you hear about the position?   

Most people find their first jobs via online listings, general postings or newspaper publications. This question might seem harmless when asked during an interview, but it is the perfect opportunity to stand out and show your passion to work with the company. Even if you found the listing through a random job board, an article or from a friend, share what specifically, caught your eye about the role because employers don’t want to hire people who just want a job; they want to hire people who want a job with their company.

Why should I consider hiring you?

This is another good time to review the qualifications and the requirements in the job listing, so you can craft a response that aligns with what the interviewer is looking for. But don’t forget that other people being interviewed may match or exceed your suitability. In such case, focus on other things you can bring to the table, perhaps with your added skills, if any.

What is your salary expectation?

What are you expecting to receive as salary? This question seems quite simple, but your answer can knock you out of the race for the job if you overprice or underprice yourself. Try not to be exact about a number but talk about pay in terms of ranges depending on your idea of the current pay rate in the market for the position you are applying for. Ensure to also include other benefits like pensions, time off, healthcare etc. within the framework of the salary.

Why are you leaving your current job?

When asked about why you are moving on from your current position, never try to be negative about your past employers. Instead, try to give the impression that you’re more motivated by the possibility of new opportunities and that the role you’re interviewing for is a better fit for you than your current or last position. Complaining about your current or past employers seems like gossiping. Besides, if you’re willing to speak badly of someone else, you’ll probably do the same to your prospective employer.

Why do you want this job?

This question provides you the opportunity to show the interviewer all that you know about the company and the job, ensure to find out about the company, its services and products, its working environment and the company’s vision and mission. You can go a little further by talking about how fit the position you are being interviewed  for is for you in terms of what you hope to achieve in future.

How do you handle conflict and stress?

Your interviewer would want to find out how you will respond to pressures and conflict. Anyone can seem nice in a job interview, but how will you react to that employee who is always getting on your nerves. What will you do if things don’t work out smooth at work? You can cite examples of previous times you were faced with such challenges and how you addressed it. Avoid claiming that you never or rarely experience stress. It’s not only difficult to believe, but can also make the interviewer conclude that you’ve never worked in a high-pressure environment and therefore won’t be able to handle difficult task if given. Try to present your answer in a manner that acknowledges workplace stress and how you’ve overcome it, or used it as an advantage.

What are your weaknesses?

Again, just like stress, never say that you have no weaknesses. Again, never say that you have no weaknesses. As an employee, try to speak positively about your skills and abilities by turning seeming weaknesses into strengths; that’s what your interviewer is interested about. So with every weakness you provide, ensure you let your interviewer know how you converted such weakness into a great strength.

Where do you see yourself few years from now?

Your interviewer wants to find out if you have plans to stay or move on as soon as you find a better opportunity. Try to keep your answers focused on the company and the job you’re being interviewed stating that the position aligns with your long-term goals but if the position isn’t, you can say that you’re not quite sure what the future holds, but that you see the experience of working in the company playing an important role in helping you make that decision.

Do you have any questions for me?

Try to prepare at least one question in advance. Ask smart questions about the company either on things you feel should be expanded or worked upon. Not only does it make you look interested, but it confirms that you have been listening attentively to what has been said. With this, you have left the interviewer with a good final impression about you.

What are you expecting to receive as salary? This question seems quite simple, but your answer can knock you out of the race for the job if you overprice or underprice yourself.

November 12, 2018
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