Every job applicant's main concern is the job interview. This is the appointment that they either embrace with cool confidence or anxious terror. Commonly featuring a number of panelists, an interview involves a collection of questions that will determine whether you will get hired for a particular job or not. These questions seek to identify who you are as a person, the skills you possess and whether you are fit for the position you applied for. Some people are able to excel in interviews while others do not. The main difference between the two is the amount of preparation done before the interview. To improve your chances of passing, you should research as much as possible about the questions that are likely to be asked. To give you an idea, here are 15 most common interview questions and their best answers.
Tell us about yourself
This is the most commonly asked interview question. It is also one of the most challenging. Many job seekers fail the entire interview simply due to this question. When asked about yourself, maintain focus on your work. Tell the interviewer about your current professional position. Also, tell them about the things that you have learned from your past work experience and what excites you about the position you are seeking. Keep your answer short and straight to the point. Research the company and try to find out the qualities that they are searching for in employees. After that, adapt your answer to show the interviewer that you possess them.
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Why should you be hired for this position?
This is another commonly asked question. It gives you the chance to stand out and show your unique characteristics. It gives you an opportunity to show the interviewers that you are an ideal fit for the job. To answer this question, you need to first of all perform some research and find out why the company is hiring an individual for this position. Which problems do they wish to solve? Which types of solutions are they searching for? With this information in hand, structure your answer to show the interviewer that you are perfect for the position. Tell a success story from your past that highlights your ability to solve their problem.
What is your biggest strength?
This is a straight forward question in an interview. When answering, focus on a strength that you know the hiring company values greatly. This question gives you an opportunity to grab the interviewer's attention and guide proceedings in a direction that favors you. Tell your most impressive success story and highlight the strength that the hiring company is searching for.
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What is your biggest weakness?
This is a classic question that you should expect in your interview. Many job seekers are terrified of it. In answering this one, the first step is to avoid sidestepping. Face it head on and deliver a weakness that is not considered a competency for this job. In this way, your weakness is not a major threat to the wellness of the organization. Moreover, indicate that you have made some steps in eliminating this weakness. This is a sure way to answer this question properly.
Why do you want to work for us?
In this question, the interviewer is looking to see your motivations for desiring the job. Is your motivation a paycheck or do you genuinely want to be a part of the company and grow with it? In your answer, show that you want to become part of the company. Indicate that you want to "join the family". Let your answer show that your needs match their wants. Point out some characteristics of the company that you like. Indicate how you would like to experience them as part of the work force. Moreover, indicate that you admire the corporate culture and look to grow professionally in that sort of environment.
How did you know about this position?
Among the most commonly asked questions, this one is included. It is a perfect opportunity for you to show that you are connected and have passion for the position. Indicate that you found out about it from a friend or professional connection. Indicate their name, position and where they work. After that demonstrate how excited you were to hear about the position and therefore you applied. If you found out about it through the media, share the exact details of your source and indicate what attracted you to the opening.
Tell us about the most difficult decision that you have made in the last 6 months
By asking you this, your interviewer wants to assess your ability to reason. They also want to see if you have any problem-solving skills and how clear your judgment is. In addition to that, they want to see if you are willing to take risks that are intelligent. Formulate an answer that highlights your reasoning ability. For example, you can give an answer which shows that you are able to weigh between the needs of your team and the objective of your company. Moreover, show the capability to make decisions that have positive interpersonal effects. A great strategy is explaining some data-driven decisions which you made. Some potential answers would be team-work decisions that you have made in your past.
What do you know about this company?
Many would be tempted to memorize and narrate the "About Us" page of the company's website. Therefore, interviewers are wary about people who do this and mark it as a negative strategy. As such, perform enough and wide research about the company before you apply to it. After that, use this information to create a comprehensive answer that shows you are knowledgeable and excited about the company. Use words such as "passionate" and "believe" when describing your attraction to it.
What is your favorite type of working environment?
In this question, you need to give an intelligent, informed answer. Structure your response around the corporate culture at that company. You may be an introvert who prefers to work alone but are applying in a call center. This means that you will have to work in a social place around other people.Therefore, focus on the characteristics of the work environment at this company that you are comfortable with. Highlight how their corporate culture creates an environment that is ideal for you.
What is your top professional achievement?
Some of the qualities that can get you hired as fast as possible are professional achievements. Therefore, when this question is asked, you have just got an opportunity to tell your potential employer all about the most outstanding things that you have achieved in your professional career. You can use the STAR strategy to answer this question in an informative way. Begin by describing a Situation where you were responsible for a certain Task. After that, indicate the Action which you performed so as to achieve or exceed the desired Result. For example, you can say that in a particular month at your previous job, you were tasked to streamline a production process. By applying your special skills, you not only reached the target but increased efficiency by 25%.
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Why are you leaving your current job?
This is one of the strategically unsettling questions that interviewers ask job seekers. Many people are tempted to say negative things about their previous employer. This is definitely something to avoid doing. Instead, indicate that the new job offers you new opportunities which you could not find in your previous one. Indicate that you hope to learn, grow and accomplish new things. Show how the move will allow you to provide their company with your skills and offer you a learning opportunity. This shows that you have the decency not to bad-mouth your previous employer.
Describe a challenge that you faced in your job and how you handled it
By asking you this question, your interviewer desires to know how you handle conflict. People are emotional. Therefore, they may get angry or frustrated. They can release this negative emotion upon you. Therefore, you need to show that you can handle such a situation. The STAR method comes in handy once more. Describe a conflict Situation that emerged as you were handling a Task with your colleague. Go on to indicate how they Acted in an aggressive or conflicting manner and how you responded to them. Proceed to indicate the positive Results that you experienced eventually.
Describe your dream job
There are two main features to remember when answering this question. First of all you need to be honest. Secondly, your answers need to be relevant. To give an intelligent response, work backwards from the skills and qualities whch you hope to learn in this job. Describe how they could help you land your dream job in future. Better still, indicate how they could help you to set up your own business in future. It is okay to indicate that one day you might move on from this company. In modern times, employers see this as a sign of growth.
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Where do you see yourself in five years?
This question is posed to gauge your sense of ambition. The interviewer is interested in finding out which future goals. Moreover, they want to know if you are capable of setting realistic ones. In addition to that, they want to see if you can see the growth potential of the position you are applying for. In your answer, be honest. Also, ensure that you give specific explanations of your goals for the future. Look at the position and see how far it could take you in that time frame. After that, give a comprehensive and realistic answer.
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What style of leadership do you use?
The modern employee is a leader in their own right. When the situation calls for it, they will step up and lead a team. Therefore, one of the questions to expect when you are in an interview is how you would lead if called upon to do it. Your answer should be descriptive in nature. Structure it such that you give a few examples of how you have performed as a leader in the past. It is even better if you can describe how you led your team through a challenge successfully. By describing this, you will have clearly communicated your leadership style with supporting testimony.
The Important Take Away
Interviews are one of the most important activities in anyone's professional life. It marks the threshold between unemployment and a stable job. This border is characterized by a series of questions. If you answer them properly, you can earn a new stream of income and a chance to improve your career whle learning a lot in the process. Some of the most common interview questions are indicated above. By reading through them and understanding their counsel, you will be ready for this important event. All the best!