As a job seeker, the interview process can be challenging at times due to the numerous questions that you’ll be encountering. Before facing your interviewer, you need to research and prepare very well for the interview. This will determine your chances of making it to the next selection process.
One of the best ways to get ready for a job interview is to practice your responses to the most common interview questions and answers. To help in that regards, we have compiled some of the most common interview questions candidates get asked during interviews. We have also outlined how to answer these questions.
Before your interview, you need to practice how to answer some of the interview questions. You can start by practicing in front of a mirror or ask a friend or family member to listen to your answers to the following questions. By so doing, you grade yourself and improve on your weaknesses.
Common Job Interview Questions and Answers
1. Tell Me About Yourself
The “Tell Me About Yourself” question is one of the most popular interview questions examples people should look out for. This question might be simple but difficult to answer.
The best way to answer this question is by keeping it professional when answering. You don’t need to divulge your personal details.
To answer, walk them through your background, starting at how you began your career or your current line of work. Take them through key accomplishments, key career moves you’ve made, and end by sharing what you’re looking to do next in your career and why you’re job hunting.
2. Would You Like Something to Drink?
Well, this question may sound silly and insignificant. However, you don’t need to write it off. In case you come across this kind of question during your job interview, even though you are not thirsty, just take water.
3. What Do You Know About Our Company?
The “what do you know about our company” question is one of the most common job interview questions to practice for. This question shows that you have done your research about the company and didn’t apply to the company without knowing anything about them.
Ensure to research the company before the interview on their website, their social media pages and from employees. Understand what industry they’re in, what they sell and how they make their money. Also, try to understand the company size.
4. Why Are You Interested in the Role?
As a job seeker, the best way to answer this interview question is to emphasize the merits and exciting aspects of the position. Pick something specific that interest you the most about the position. If you say you love their products and services, tell them why. That’s the key to giving a convincing answer for this job interview question.
You don’t need to sound desperate, or like you just want to get the job. Even if you were laid off from your previous job, it’s okay to say that, but re-focus the conversation on exactly what you’re looking for in the next opportunity.
You need to sound confident in your abilities. Companies want the best performers, and the best performers are picky in their job hunt. Well, know that this is not the time for complaint or negative remarks. Don’t bad-mouth your current company or boss. Dwell more on the positives of the company you’re interviewing with.
5. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job
Although not everyone is job searching while employed, if you are, then this is one of the most important job interview questions and answers to know.
In answering this interview question, you need to stay positive and never bad mouth. How do you do this? Rather than complaining or talking badly about your current situation, say that you’re looking for something more.
Show gratitude for your current job e.g. “This job has been great and I’ve learned a lot in the 3 years I’ve been here, but I feel I’m ready for something more now”. Sound like you’re ambitious, motivated and eager to find the next challenge in your career.
6. How Did You Hear About the Position?
While the “how did you hear about this position” interview question might not really seem that important, however, the interviewer just want to know if you’ve taken the time to research the company.
Mention a product, a mission statement on the website, a reputation for talented employees, or whatever else seems applicable to that specific company. Give them a cogent reason why you are interested in the company.
Maybe you heard about it from an acquaintance who is a current employee. In that case, mention the employee’s name—this can help you establish a connection, which can help you achieve a more favorable impression.
Or you might have come across the position on a job board. Still, something caught your eye, so rather than dwelling on the fact that you’re just looking for any job, explain why you chose to apply to this one in particular.
7. Why Are You Currently Unemployed
Well, the interviewer might not be so blunt to ask this kind of question. Typically, this question is asked in the following way: “Tell me about why you left your last job”.
What they really want to know is whether you were fired or not, if so, why? People are reorganized and fired all the time for reasons that have nothing to do with their individual performance. On the other hand, some people are fired for cause as well.
Whether you were fired or not, be sure to spin the best story possible without being defensive. The more casual and confident you can be in your answer, the easier it will be for your interviewer to conclude and agree with you.
8. What Challenge Have You Faced and How You Handled It.
When you encounter this kind of question, focus on a specific work-related challenge. Talk about how you overcame obstacles, used it as a learning experience, used the resources around you, and ended up with a positive result.
9. How Much Money Are You Looking to Earn?
This interview question is very simple but difficult to answer. Giving the wrong answer here can cost you a lot of money in the negotiation later on.
Some people will say don’t say a number as you might end up underpricing yourself or overpricing yourself and scare them off.
Our advice is that you do compensation research and understand the salary possibilities for the role. It is not wrong to state the number you believe you should receive for the role. However, ensure it’s more than what you would settle for, just in case it sets an anchor figure for future pay negotiation.
9. Why Should We Hire You
The “why should we hire you” interview question is very common. To answer this question, tell them how you’ll help them not the other way round. What do they stand to benefit if they hire you? Tell them what you will do to add value to them.
Show them that you’ve done your research. Make it clear that you know what this position involves, and you’re ready to perform the tasks. Be confident in your skills and abilities. Talk about specific things you can help them do or achieve if they hire you. Do your research before the interview and understand their needs and tailor your answers and target the specific things they’ll need if they hire you in this role.
10. What Are Your Weaknesses
Whenever you are faced with “what are your weaknesses?” question, it is important to mention something skill-based rather than personality-based.
To address this question, be brief and be comfortable with silence. You need to brainstorm examples of weaknesses. You never want to say you struggle to work with others, or you’re bad at resolving disagreements, or taking direction from a manager, etc. Those things will get you rejected in the interview.
Pick something that won’t severely impact your ability to do the job. For example, “I can be a little too aggressive in setting goals” or “I can be very impatient when I’m working on a project I really believe in”.
Finally, end your answer by explaining what you’re doing to overcome or improve your weakness.
11. Tell Me About a Time You Failed
This is a common interview question that you should expect from your interviewer. The essence of this question is to see if you’re able to learn from mistakes and bounce back when things don’t go your way.
They also want to see if you can own up to your mistakes and be accountable and actually admit to your failures.
So when answering this question, admit a real failure, describe the situation and what went wrong. Show that you take responsibility and show you learned from it.
12. What Will Your Previous Boss/Manager Tell Me About Hiring You
You need to think about this in advance. It’s probably easy to come up with an honest answer. What would your boss or manager say about you? And why? Think of an anecdote that will indicate why you’re a pleasure to work with, are a team player and have the right skills for this position.
13. Do You Prefer Working Independently or on a Team
This is a common question when the interviwer wants to assess whether you will be a good fit. This question can also come in this form “are you a team player?”. When aswering this question, be honest but make sure it’s clear you’re comfortable working collaboratively and on your own.
Companies want to hire people who are fun and easy to work with — but also those who can manage whatever they need to on their own.
14. Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years
The “where do you see yourself in 5 years” interview question has three broad reasons. Now, the interviewer wants to see if you’ve thought about your professional future. They want to know whether you’re ambitious and hard-working. They also want to know the job they’re offering fits with your goals.
It is advisable to pick a work-related goal of where you’d like to be 5 years from now and make sure it’s slightly challenging or ambitious-sounding. Make sure to share a goal that is related to the type of job you’re interviewing for.
15. Do you Have Any Questions for Us
This particular question is very common almost when the interviewer has exhausted all their questions. You can ask about the work, the training, the challenges you’d face, the overall direction of the company.
You can ask about the interview process e.g. when will I hear feedback, and who will be in touch after this?