Sometimes interview questions aim to reveal more than a simple answer. Interviewers might be analyzing your thought process, your confidence in your answer, or even further discussions your answer may spark. Feel free to take time to think before you answer. Hiring managers appreciate a well-thought-out answer with a pause over something rushed. Also, never be afraid to ask for further clarification! The better you understand what is being asked, the better you can answer. Here are a few common interview questions and a few tips on how to answer them.
Tell me about a time…
These behavioral questions are designed to see how you’ve handled situations in the past. Typically, the best way to format your answer is as follows: the issue at hand, how you solved it, and what you learned from the experience.
What’s your biggest weakness?
We beg you, please don’t answer with a strength disguised as a weakness, Michael Scott style: “I work too hard, I care too much, and sometimes I can be too invested in my job.” Instead, give a thoughtful example of something you struggle with and how you’re working to improve it. For example, “It can be hard for me to prioritize multiple projects at once, but I have started keeping a planner and utilizing my calendar to stay on track which helps a lot.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
This interview question can stump even the most seasoned candidates. How do you find a balance between showing ambition but not being overeager? Generally, it’s best to speak in broad terms. Reference the type of work you’d like to be doing (ideally aligned with the job you’re currently interviewing for), and the team you most desire to be a part of.
Why are you leaving your current position?
Don’t fall for this trap question! It is NOT an opportunity to bash your current/past employers or boss. The best way to answer this one is by focusing on future growth. Explain that you’re looking for a position that is more challenging or better aligns with your values.
Do you have any questions for us?
Your answer to this question should always be yes. Come in with a couple prepared (you can read our favorites here.) And try to come up with a few during the interview related to your conversation. This is where it comes in handy to take notes during your interview!