Nearly all employers conduct interviews to fill open positions. While you can never know exactly what questions will be asked in an interview, many common interview questions appear across the board. To thoroughly prepare for an interview, it’s a good idea to come up with possible answers ahead of time. Think about what you are going to say so it is less stressful during the actual interview process.
Here are the top 10 most common questions asked in interviews and helpful tips on answering them:
"Tell Me About Yourself." By far the most popular way to open an interview, asking you to introduce yourself is an easy and open-ended way to break the ice in an otherwise tense and stressful situation. Interviewers often ask this question to get the interviewee talking, get to know them a little better, and gain insight into their personality and general disposition. When answering the question, refer to a certain point on your resume relevant to the position you are applying for and try to incorporate it into the conversation. Be careful not to indulge in giving too much information, as the interviewer does not want to hear your whole life story.
"What are Your Strengths?" This is a good chance for you to mention additional strengths that may not appear directly in your resume. For example, you can tell the employer that you are detail-oriented, then providing an example from your resume as evidence to back up your claims.
"What are Your Weaknesses?" Be careful with this one, as you neither want to claim that you have no weaknesses or down yourself. A wise approach to answering this question is to first state a weakness, and then demonstrate how you have taken steps to try to overcome it, referencing specific on-the-job examples.
"Why Did You Leave Your Previous Job?" Even if there were fair and legitimate reasons for leaving your previous job, you do not want to outright bash any of your past employers. Try to answer the question in a positive manner instead of just complaining or appearing ungrateful. Explain that your last job did not coincide with your ultimate career goals, and that this position offers a better atmosphere for growth.
"Tell Me About Your Past Experiences." Provide examples of experience directly related to the position. Be creative to match the experiences with the job requirements.
"What Interests You About This Position?" If you are asked this question, the interviewer wants to better understand your motivations and find out how much you already know about the job. Make sure to point out specific examples that illustrate your career goals.
"What Do you Know About Our Company So Far?" To stand out as someone genuinely interested in the company and position, do some research before the interview so you can offer the interviewer some solid information pertaining to the background and overall goals of the company.
"What Are Your Goals?" With this question, it may be better to discuss immediate and short-term goals than to push too far into the distant future. For example, claim that your immediate goal is to work for a growth-oriented company.
"What Salary Range Are You Seeking?" Salary negotiation is a difficult matter, so you must be careful to not aim too high or too low when asked this question. Make sure you research the suggested salary range for the position ahead of time to get a good idea of what salary you should rightly be earning. It is a better idea to provide a large range instead of a specific amount. You could also ask the interviewer what kind of salary the position provides. Make sure you place emphasis on the nature of the job and not the salary.
"Do You Have Any Questions?" Don’t sweat it"once you hear this question, the interview is almost over! Since this is typically the final question asked in an interview, use your answer as an opportunity to finish your interview with a bang. Even if the interviewer has done a good job of letting you know the details of the position or answers a question you were already prepared to ask, do your best to replay with at least one question. If not, the interviewer may think you are not sincerely interested in the company or the position, for that matter. Make sure to ask questions that you cannot find obvious answers to by research alone. Try to incorporate as much knowledge of the field and company as possible in your response.