Every company and interviewer has a different style and approach. The one constant across all interview techniques is the fact that you will, at some point, be asked some questions. And while it’s impossible to predict exactly which questions you will encounter, we’ve gathered some of the basics to help you prepare.
Tell me about yourself.
This is usually the first question asked and it’s a great opportunity to kick off the conversation about your career. Leave the personal details out and keep it focused on your “professional self.”
What do you know about us?
Here’s your chance to show off your extensive research! Be sure to share details beyond the initial paragraph on their “about us” page. (Ex: I’ve known about ABC Company and your work in the industry for a long time, but I recently saw that you were named one of America’s Best Companies to Work For.)
What are your strengths?
Keep this answer specific to the job you are interviewing for. It’s best to review the job description keywords ahead of time and work them into your personal strengths.
What are your weaknesses?
A legend in the job world, this question is a doozy. The best way to answer is to discuss something that is a genuine weakness and how you are working to improve it. (Ex: I can be fairly unorganized, but I’ve found that if I create a daily plan for myself, it helps me stay on task and organized.)
Tell me about a challenge you’ve faced at work.
When asking this question, the interviewer wants to get a real sense of how you operate in a work environment. Give a concrete example, the steps you took along the way, and the end result.
What would you consider your greatest achievement?
Again, use this as an opportunity to showcase what a great fit you are for this position! Walk your interviewer through the entire process, focusing on your actions. Make sure you don’t skip details like teamwork, organization, and measurable results.
Why do you want this job?
In today’s day and age, companies want to hire people who are not only passionate about what they do, but where they work and who they work with as well. You want to prepare a strong answer that incorporates all three of these components while being completely genuine.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Whether this position is a part of your “5 year plan” or not, explain how this opportunity aligns with your long-term goals.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Feel free to venture into your personal life to answer this question, but still keep it professional. After all, companies are hiring YOU not just your resume. Stick to leisure activities that you genuinely enjoy like hiking, cooking, or catching up on Game of Thrones.
Why should we hire you?
Here’s your chance to close the interviewer on you and your skill set. Focus on the contributions you could make (short and long term) and the information you’ve shared and gathered throughout the interview.
Now that you’ve come up with some stellar answers to typical interview questions, see what else you should do to prepare for your job interview here.