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The Most Common Interview Questions

Although interview questions vary depending on the industry and job position, there are many interview questions that interviewers tend to use frequently.

Having a good understanding of what those questions are and what your responses would be before you go into your interview can help you to be prepared and have a successful meeting.

Interview questions are designed to help the interviewer learn more about you and your work history to see if you are a good fit for the position. Most questions are designed to help uncover information about you that may not have been outlined in your resume. When you answer the questions, you can explain your work history and also demonstrate why you are the best choice for the position.

Keep in mind that some questions do not have one correct answer, and the answers may vary depending on the role you are applying for. However, by looking at the interview questions, you can tailor your answers to what is likely needed in your situation. If you can tie the answers back into how you can help the company while also staying completely honest, you will likely have a successful interview.

Personal Questions

In most interviews, the person conducting the interview will open up with asking open-ended questions about you. This allows you to describe yourself while the interviewer gets a feel for your personality and how you may fit into the position. These personal questions are asked in nearly every industry at all levels. A few of the most common personal questions include:

Tell me about yourself? Make sure you have a concise but informative answer ready for this question. Keep the answer tailored to your professional life and your skills set, although you should not be afraid to mention a few personal details such as favorite hobbies if you wish.

Why do you want to work for this company? This question is a great opportunity to demonstrate how much you know about the company and the specific role you are applying for. Provide a detailed answer about how you can fit into the company and contribute your skills and experience.

What are your strengths/weaknesses? This infamous question can be intimidating, but if you know how to answer it appropriately, you will be fine. Be honest about what you consider your strengths to be, and make sure that they are related to the position you are applying for. However, when you answer the weaknesses part, it is best to choose weaknesses that are not related to the position. Also, be sure to mention how you have been improving that weakness.

Work Style and Qualifications Questions

It is important for the interviewer to learn more about your work style and the qualifications that you have before he or she makes the decision to hire you. He or she will aim to learn more about your education and accomplishments by answering the following questions:

What is your biggest motivator? This is your chance to explain what the most rewarding part of your work is and the aspects that motivate you to be more successful. Mentioning that you are motivated by overcoming challenges, working in a team, helping clients or finding creative solutions can all be great responses.

Why should we choose you over other candidates? Use this question to explain what sets you apart from other candidates. Highlight the strengths that are unique to you that can apply directly to the job position.

What are three things that a former boss would say about you? This question helps the interviewer to learn more about how you worked with management in the past. It is often easier to quote someone else’s praise for you so that you do not feel like you are bragging. This is a great opportunity to explain what your previous boss liked best about you and really sell your positive attributes.  

Questions About Your Future

The interviewer also wants to learn more about your goals and plans for the future and whether they line up with the future of the company. He or she is more likely to hire someone that seems like they will be loyal to the company for years to come versus someone that doesn’t stay at a job for longer than a year. A few examples of these types of questions include:

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? This is a very common question, so it is important that you practice your response ahead of time. Include both personal and professional goals and highlight anything that can demonstrate that you intend to commit to the company for the long-term. This may include mentioning that you wish to buy a home in the area or somehow invest locally. This question allows you to show the interviewer that you can think about the future.

What are your biggest goals? Your response can include both short- and long-term goals, and while you can mention personal goals, it is best to focus your answer on professional and career goals.

Questions About Your Work Experience

It is important for the interviewer to learn more about your previous work experience to learn more about your qualifications and work ethic. Ensure that you study the job description so that you know exactly what experiences you should mention that can relate to the position. A few examples of questions you may be asked includes the following:

Why did you leave your previous job? Or, why do you want to leave your current job? Most employers want to learn more about the circumstances that led you to find work elsewhere to ensure that if they hire you, you won’t leave due to the same circumstance. Make sure that you do not talk badly about your former company or coworkers, and instead focus on how the company you are interviewing with will help you reach your goals or be a better fit for you professionally.

What accomplishment are you most proud of? Make sure that you highlight your favorite projects and the professional accomplishments that you are most proud of. This may be a favorite design you created, a sales award you won or even the degree you earned at university.