Are you preparing for an upcoming job interview? Mastering how to answer the top 5 most common questions asked during job interviews is crucial to interviewing well.
In this blog, we outline the five most common interview questions and walk through some helpful tips we have picked up through our experience on how to best answer them. Let's get started.
“Tell Me About Yourself…”
During the interview, you should always be prepared to tell the hiring manager about your work experience and why you are a good candidate for the position. It is important to get the balance right with a relatively open-ended question such as this. You can give them a brief overview of your work history, what you have done in the past, and what you plan on doing in the future. This gives them context about why you are applying and it is a good opportunity to reference any qualifications or skills that you have that make you a desirable candidate.
Try to provide the right amount of information to the interviewer so you can express how you are the right fit for the job. Giving too little or too much information for this answer can often have a negative impact.
Sharing information about yourself gives your interviewer a better idea of who you are as a person and what you are interested in. It is also important to make sure that your experiences reflect positively on you, so be sure to include things like highlights from your education or a brief account of where you grew up, your education, and what motivates you.
Why Are You the Best Person for the Job?
One of the most important things you need to do when interviewing for a position is to show why you are the best person for the job. You should be able to address the interviewer's concerns and answer any questions they have about your qualifications.
When answering this question, you should think about why the company or organisation would be a good fit for you. Are they looking for someone with experience in the field? Do they want someone who is motivated by making money or an alternative? Is the company looking for someone who is innovative?
Once you have identified why the company or organisation is a good fit for you, think about how your skills and experience would match up with what they are looking for. Do your skills and experiences match what is listed on their job posting? If not, why do you feel that your skills and experience would make you a good fit for the position?
Be sure to research the company before interviewing so that you can answer questions about its brand and what its values are. Make sure that your resume matches the job listing and requirement. This is the best time to review the job qualifications the hiring manager is looking for in an applicant so that you can better craft the best response to what the interviewer is looking for.
Why Do You Want This Job?
When you are interviewed for a job, the first thing that employers want to know is why you want the job.
One way to answer this question is to describe what you see as the benefits of working at the company. State what you think your skills and experience could bring to the table and why you believe this job is a good fit for you.
Next, explain how your previous experience has prepared you for this position. Talk about what you learned at your previous job and how it applies to the position you are applying for. Describe how your skills and abilities will help the company achieve its goals and how your mental picture of the future supports the company’s overall mission and vision. All of these details help display that you are confident you can fill the role and knowing the value you will bring to them is a primary reason that you want the job.
Why Are You Leaving (or Have Left) Your Job?
From what we have learned through our experience in the recruitment industry, some people who leave their current jobs to find another don’t do so under the best circumstances. And that’s okay. A common reason people use when answering this question is that the vision and values of your current company don’t align with what you are looking for in an employer. This can set you up to walk through how the company and position you are now interviewing for does align on these fronts.
When answering this question, you may want to be direct and state the facts yet not share too much information. It is important to lean toward relatively positive remarks about the company you worked for and how your decision to leave is in the best interest of the company and also yours.
What Are Your Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses?
Highlighting your best attributes and how they set you apart from the other candidates is a primary opportunity to describe why you are the most qualified applicant for the job.
It can be useful to share a story about how you applied your strengths and demonstrated their effectiveness during a task you were assigned to do. This method is valuable as you are “showing” rather than “telling”. Align what you feel your strengths are with the job requirements where possible.
As for the weaknesses, it can be obvious but still worth noting to discuss something that will not prevent you from succeeding in the role. Craft a response that will convince the hiring manager that you can succeed should you be faced with challenges at work and how you can possibly restructure your way of thinking to turn a weakness into a strength.
It is important to pair a weakness with either a learned strength or an already existing one. If you consider yourself weak at a certain task, you can outline what steps you took to improve on this, and more importantly, during that process what additional skills did you pick up along the way. For example, if you feel that you are disorganised at times, describe how the use of project management tools helped put structure to your work life.
The purpose of this question is to understand how you approach difficulties at work, so regardless of the weakness, present a logical path you took to combat this. This shows that you are thoughtful, aware, and resourceful.
If you have an upcoming interview, we wish you the best of luck with your preparation. Our team is on hand should you be interested in seeking more guidance throughout your job hunt.