How to Answer the Most Common Interview Questions

Wouldn’t it be helpful if you had a list of all the questions an interviewer is going to ask you before you attend the interview itself? That way you can have all of your fantastic answers prepared and would be able to go in feeling confident and ready to knock their socks off.

Unfortunately, you can never fully predict what your interviewer will ask. However, there are a number of common interview questions that it is well worth preparing for!

Of course your answers will depend on you, the role you are interviewing for and the company. But we can give you some pointers on the best ways to approach the most common interview questions and what interviewers are usually looking for when they ask them.

So, let’s get started!

1. Tell me about yourself

This is a very common interview opener that’s used to get you talking. You should approach this question by talking about what you like to do, what your strengths are, highlight some work experience that really lit you up, discuss why it lit you up, and talk about your key successes, ones you’re proud of.

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2. Why do you want this job?

If this job interview question pops up, it’s the perfect time to explain why the job is perfect for you. Think about it from two angles:

  • Why do you want to work for the company?
  • What interests you about the role?

When answering this question, you should start off by showing your enthusiasm for the company, then move onto why you are right for the role and finally round off by talking about your career goals.

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3. Why should we hire you?

This simple, yet vital, interview question leaves many job hunters unravelled. This question is an opportunity for the interviewer to find out:

  • Do you match the criteria?
  • Are you passionate about the opportunity?
  • Is your personality the right fit?
  • Can you sell yourself?

Try to think of the boxes you tick and the relevant skills and experience you possess that are in line with the role’s criteria. It’s best to compile a few main points you’d like to discuss in response to this question and talk through them conversationally at the interview.

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4. What are your greatest strengths?

The importance of tailoring your response to the role and business for this question is undeniable. You’ll need to research the company and review the role requirements before creating your own list of strengths. You should then pick out which strengths you have best tie in with what the interviewer is looking for. These are what you will want to showcase in your interview.

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5. What is your greatest weakness?

Interviewers love the weaknesses question – but rest assured they’re not trying to catch you out. Interviewers, instead, want to get a feel for your self-awareness, how honest and humble you are and finally how you overcome your weaknesses.

To answer this question you should be honest with yourself and identify your weaknesses. These weaknesses, however, shouldn’t question your ability to do the job requirements. Once you’ve identified your weaknesses, you need to define how you’re correcting these pitfalls.

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6. Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

This is an important interview question to prepare for as you’ll need to be able to demonstrate that you’re able to see the bigger picture.

Your future plans should involve the role you’re applying for as part of a wider vision. Therefore, the best way to approach this question is by putting yourself in the interviewer’s shoes. What do they want to hear? How can you answer in a way that is truthful but will also impress them?

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7. Why Did You Leave your Last Job?

If you prepare yourself well, be honest and stay positive, you’ll be unshakeable when answering this somewhat awkward interview question.

Stay with the positive vibes when answering this interview question and avoid negativity at all costs. Your interviewer doesn’t want to hear about what a tyrant your manager in your current job is or how much you hated your last job.

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Bringing it all together

Preparing for the common interview questions above will help you to give seamless answers and impress your interviewer. You don’t need to rehearse these answers and end up sounding like a robot, but you should have a few points in mind so that you can confidently go into your interview. Good luck!

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