10 Most Common Interview Questions and Successful Answers

Mar 20, 2019

There is no accurate way to predict every job interview questions, so it is smart to prepare by considering a wide variety of topics. However, there are at least ten questions that almost all potential employers will ask in some form, and you can boost your interview performance by working on successful answers to these questions.

1. What attracted you to this job?

Even if you are applying for dozens of jobs in your field, it is vital to show the interview panel that this particular job stands out in some way. Mention why you think highly of the company or agency, demonstrate genuine passion for the role you would be occupying, and confidently explain why you think you would be good at the job.

2. How would previous colleagues describe you?

It is important to give potential employers a sense of your personality and demonstrate that you are a team player. It is good to not only indicate that you can work well with other people but also that you bring out the best in those around you by encouraging and challenging them where appropriate.

3. What is your greatest strength?

This is a fairly easy question that is often asked early in the interview process and invites you to share some of your best qualities. Concisely describe your skills and experience in the field, and mention some innate personal strengths that make you a natural fit for this career path.

4. What is your greatest weakness?

You need to be able to identify a genuine weakness while also showing that you know how to turn this weakness into a strength. For example, you might say that you can’t help but prioritize the needs of others and then explain how this makes you adept at customer service or suitable for work in a caring profession.

5. Why should we hire you for the position?

Make sure you not only list relevant accomplishments (such as qualifications, awards, and experience) but also suggest you are uniquely suitable. In addition, do not forget to show that you are personally invested in your potential employer’s success. The specifics of the job advert can often help you design an ideal answer, ensuring that you give a reply that touches on all of your employer’s key needs.

6. Why are you leaving your current job?

Avoid criticizing your current boss or colleagues, and instead focus on explaining why this new job opportunity will facilitate personal development, allowing you to engage with new challenges and enabling you to learn further skills.

7. How did you overcome one of your greatest challenges?

Avoid giving nebulous or vague replies. The best answers will focus on giving details of a concrete problem you faced in a working environment. After briefly describing the challenge, explain exactly how you used your logical skills and creative thinking to ensure a positive outcome.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Firstly, outline how you see yourself growing in the job and detail some of the ways in which you hope to have made positive contributions. Secondly, take this opportunity to clarify your commitment, indicating that you plan to stay in the job as opposed to going to graduate school or changing to a new career.

9. How do you cope with stress?

Communicate that you thrive in challenging situations and that you find stress motivating. Almost all interview panels will be pleased to hear you explain that you work well under pressure and that it encourages you to do your best work.

10. Is there anything you would like to ask us?

Finally, although this question is something of a courtesy, it is also a chance to show that you have really thought about the position and are interested in the reality of working for these particular people. For example, you might ask about the camaraderie in the department or office, and inquire about opportunities to go on training courses.

While there is nothing you can do to guarantee success, preparing rough answers to the above questions can certainly increase your chances of performing well in an interview and will help you to make a great impression every time.

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