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Home Student & Career Tips 8 Common Job Interview Questions and Answers

8 Common Job Interview Questions and Answers

This article contains information on a list of 8 common job interview questions and answers.
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8 Common Job Interview Questions and Answers

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Getting an invitation for a job interview is something every applicant desires. When this eventually happens, the excitement is usually out of the world. For many people, as days to the job interview draws by, the excitement they once felt on getting the invitation fades away due to fear, panic and worry about what questions to expect.

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If you feel this way sometimes, don’t be too hard on yourself. We’re many on this ship.

As you prepare for your interview, you may be considering which questions the employer is going to ask you. There is no way to know exactly what questions will be thrown at you as tables may turn. This is because every interviewer is different and their exact questions may vary.

However, there are different types of popular interview questions you can expect to be asked and thus, be prepared to discuss. Whether or not you have an  interview at hand, preparing answers for these common interview questions can  help you develop compelling talking points  and confidence to make a great impression during your next job interview.

These frequently asked questions touch on the important things hiring managers want to know about every candidate. It basically revolves around questions like; who are you, why you’re a fit for the job? etc.

These questions may not come exactly in these words, but if you have answers in mind for them, you’ll just want to be prepared for just about anything the interviewer throws. To give you clues that will help you in this daunting situation of worrying about what questions to expect in a job interview, this article will contain some of the most commonly asked interview questions with tips on what interviewers are looking for in your answers.

While there will be examples on how to go about answering such questions, it is not professional and wise to  have a canned response for every interview. Do not memorize the same response to present at different interviews. Spending some time to familiarise and get comfortable with common questions will help you give your best in an interview and not restrict yourself.

Eight (8) Common Interview Questions And Answers

1. TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF

This is one question that most interviewers are likely not to miss asking. Your interviewers will likely start out with a question about yourself and your background to get to know you. It is more like an invitation. This question seems simple and as such, so many people fail to prepare for it. The fact is that it’s a crucial question. A spider web kind of question that requires wisdom.

ANSWER TIPS:

You are expected to talk about your family background, education, work experience and passion. Of everything listed, spend more time talking about your passion and work experience in relation to the job requirements.

Your education should be the second least priority since the basic information about that is contained in your CV.

Avoid giving your complete employment or personal history. This is not time to tell your life’s story and how you are almost dead  in your current job. The answers you give may be red flags  to the  interviewer. Rather, pitch yourself, one that’s concise and compelling and that shows exactly why you’re the best for the job.

MIT career counselor Lily Zhang recommends using a present, past, future formula.

EXAMPLE:

“Currently, I serve as the assistant to two of the company’s CEO. From my 12 years of experience as an executive assistant, I have developed the ability to anticipate roadblocks and create effective alternative plans. My greatest value to any executive is my ability to work independently and freeing up their time to focus on the needs of the business.

As someone with an eye for detail and a drive to organize, I thrive on making sure every day has a clear plan which is clearly communicated.”

2. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?

This question may come in another form such as: How do people describe you?

Irrespective of how it is being asked, it is another opportunity for you to sell yourself and stand out from others. Everyone claims to be hardworking, team player, good communicator, attentive and lots more. The question you should ask yourself is, how many of these are problem solvers? How can they help a company to achieve their goals?

ANSWER TIPS:

When an interviewer asks you to talk about yourself, they’re looking for information about how your qualities and characteristics align with the skills they believe are required to succeed in the role. If possible, include quantifiable results to demonstrate how you use your best attributes to drive success.

Be creative, and have stories to back it up. The interviewer will want to know why you or someone thinks you are one of these things you mentioned. Every organization expects her employees to be hard working. So, it is a normal thing in an office, but then, you can be hard-working in various dimensions. Maybe you work hard, but also help others work fewer hours by helping them do their job better. This is a plus.

Being a team player is not out of place. It is very common. A very social, jovial and approachable person can easily be a team player.  What have you done, beyond your job description, that saved the team from a disaster or helped them make an impossible deadline?  Speak more on such and watch yourself stand out from others.

EXAMPLE:

“I would say that as a copywriter, I’m creative, articulate and research oriented. In my five years of experience, I have written sales copies that did not only generate leads but also got prospective clients to make purchases from top brands I write for. My years of experience in this profession has made me understand human psychology. With this, I’m able to  tell compelling stories that will leave the target audience with no choice than to buy products and services I advertise.

Also, I’m able to tell these compelling stories with facts gotten from thorough research I make. I know how to tell these stories in a clear and concise way that even a layman can understand. That is where my mastery in being articulate and organised comes to play. These attributes as a copywriter have put me on the spotlight for two consecutive years as the content creator of the year for Global Impact Award in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

With such a response, no sane employer would risk not having such an asset in their organisation.

3. WHY ARE YOU LEAVING YOUR CURRENT JOB?

In a situation where you have already quit your job, it can be asked as “why did you quit your former job”.

This is another tricky and very sensitive question. Therefore, you need to be thoughtful in answering this question. Maybe your reasons were negative: a coworker or boss made your life miserable, the commute was terrible, your workload was unbearable, you were forced to resign, etc..

On the other hand, your reasons can be on the  positive: you relocated, you went to further your  education, your spouse got a new job and you had to relocate, you were ready for a career change, or some other reasons.

ANSWER TIPS:

Whether or not your reasons are negative, prepare a thoughtful answer that will convince your interviewer that you’re being deliberate about the job change. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your current or previous role, focus on what you hope to gain in your next position.

You need to understand that quitting your job is not a taboo and doesn’t make you unemployable. So, be confident while giving your answer. A short answer is always the best. You don’t need a lengthy explanation.

The longer your answer, the more attention you are bringing to what can be a sensitive topic.  Carefully, explain the situation without getting personal or sounding negative. It is not an avenue to talk about how your former boss was a jerk, not when to talk about the lack of coordination of your former organization.

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Doing this can ruin your chances of getting employed.

EXAMPLE:

I cherish the years I spent in G&S enterprise but I needed something better the moment a new management took over the company and had my responsibilities shared with others. I decided to quit the job as I wasn’t challenged to give my best.

I decided to leave so that I could focus on finding a position where I could do my best work. Based on what I’ve learned so far, this job and organization seem like a great fit.

4. WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK HERE?

Interviewers often ask this question to determine whether or not you took the time to research the company and to learn why you see yourself as a good fit. The best way to prepare for this question is to do your homework and learn about the products, services, mission, history and culture of this workplace.

TIPS: In your answer, mention the aspects of the company that appeal to you and align with your career goals and skills. Explain why you’re looking for these things in an employer. Bear in mind that the question is not asked for you, so avoid talking about the attractive salary the company pays her workers, do not talk about the  benefits and incentives the company gives. These will only show you’re interested in the company for your personal gains only.

Instead, talk about the company’s wins and reputation in general. Talk about how they are loved and talked about by all, etc.

EXAMPLE:

This company has a wonderful reputation. You place high value on your employees and encourage them to learn,innovate and grow inside the company. This means that employees happily work here for many years. According to your customers, the high quality of your products and services reflect your high employee satisfaction.

Being an innovative person, this company is a perfect place to explore and have the opportunity to contribute in helping the company achieve more goals with that regard. I would be very happy to join this organization.

5. WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST WEAKNESSES?

This is a trap question. If you carry out a survey you will discuss that even a genius dreads being asked this question. But no matter how tricky and implicating it is, there is a way around everything.

This question may be old fashioned in this era but interviewers still ask it. That is why you need to prepare for any and every question. This question is asked for two main reasons; they want to be sure that outside your catchy CV, you can be able to do the job; they want to identify a part of you that did not reflect in your CV.

ANSWER TIPS:

It can feel awkward to discuss your weaknesses in an environment where you’re expected to focus on your accomplishments. However, when answered correctly, sharing your weaknesses can show that you are self-aware and want to continuously get better at your job.

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It is normal to quickly give replies such as “I’m a perfectionist”, etc. That sounds woke. Even a baby can not buy that. Remember to start with your real weakness and then discuss the measures you’ve taken or still taking to improve. This way, you’re finishing your answer on a positive note.

So not implicate yourself in trying to be sincere and realistic. Always give answers that show you’re open to self improvement and development. Choose your best weakness

EXAMPLE:

“ I’m a Technology freak” I have had a hard time disconnecting from technology. I always have my smartphone with me and, of course, I have my PC at home.

As one who loves being updated with recent events, I’m always glued to my gadgets. I was constantly checking in with my work email, visiting and checking competitor’s apps, and industry news. I don’t use technology when I’m busy with work.but I do spend too much time outside of working hours and even on weekends looking at some sort of smart phone or computer screen related to work.

I promised myself that I would stop being so obsessed with technology, and pay more attention to real life to my family, my friends, and what’s happening around me.

Detaching from technology is restful, good for my eyes and keeps me better-connected with the real world. I’m even reading a book, printed on paper, currently. So, I think I’m a more balanced person, now.

6. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS TIME?

How you imagine your life in the future can help employers understand whether the role and company fits in with your personal development goals. In five years, you should have made a significant impact on the company.

Think about how you can achieve this in the role you are interviewing for. In technology careers, advancing your skills is important, too. You should be able to share what areas you want to strengthen in the near term.

ANSWER TIPS:

To answer this question, provide general ideas about the skills you want to develop, the types of roles you would like to be in and things you would like to have accomplished. Do not go too personal. They are not interested in your plans of getting married and having beautiful kids in five years time.

EXAMPLE:

In five years time, I see myself growing in my understanding of social media marketing to the point where I can take on additional responsibilities and. Once I gain the experience, I would like to progress to the point where I can manage the social media marketing for some big brands.

7. WHAT IS YOUR SALARY RANGE EXPECTATION?

Interviewers ask this question to make sure your expectations are in line with the amount they’ve budgeted for the role. Nomatter how much you love money, avoid messing up your chances with greedy responses.

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ANSWER TIPS:.

If you give a salary range exceedingly lower or higher than the market value of the position, it gives the impression that you don’t know your worth. Research the typical compensation range for the role on Indeed Salaries and tend toward the higher side of your range. Be sure to let the hiring manager know if you’re flexible with your rate.

EXAMPLE:

“My salary expectation is between $X and $Y, which is the average salary for a candidate with my level of experience in this part of the world. However, I am flexible.” This gives room for negotiation. If you’re unsure about what salary is appropriate to ask for the position you’re applying to, make research.

8. DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?

No matter how in a haste you’re to leave the interview room, avoid giving a negative response. No is never an option, you must not try it. This might be one of the most important questions asked during the interview process because it allows you to explore any subject that hasn’t been addressed and this shows the interviewer you’re excited about the role

ANSWER TIPS:

You’ll likely have already covered most of the basics about the position and the company, so take time to ask the interviewer questions about their own experiences with the company and gain tips on how you can succeed if hired.

EXAMPLE:

“What do you love about working for this company? “What are some of the challenges people typically face in this position?” and lots more.

Going for a job interview is not as scary and daunting as people think. Once you know the tricks around some of these questions, you can be certain of landing a job for every Interview you attend. There are a thousand and one interview question. What is contained in this article is just 2% of many questions. Thus, make more research and get familiar with them. Between, I hope this helps.

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