You’ve landed the job interview. The questions are coming at you rapid-fire, and you’re not sure how to respond.
Don’t panic. Job interview questions are predictable (even if you’re not). It’s in your best interest to prepare ahead of time for common questions that have specific answers.
Depending on the type of job you’re interviewing for and your industry, job interview questions could range from surprisingly simple to very complex.
Take time before the interview to learn about the company, the position and even some common interview questions. By studying information about what to expect ahead of time, you’ll be able to answer any surprises with more confidence. Learn how to deal with job interview questions and answers for fresh graduates in this article. The following are some great initial interview questions and answers that might prove useful.
Top 10 job interview questions and answers
1. Tell me about yourself
It is a classic interview question: “Tell me about yourself.” The question really means, “Give me an overview of your experience and qualifications for the job, starting with your current or most recent position.” If you are asked this question, it’s a good idea to have a brief statement prepared in advance. This will help you focus your answer and avoid rambling.
Here is an answer example: “I am a self-starter with strong interpersonal skills.
I am able to organize and prioritize my workload effectively and efficiently. I enjoy working with people, solving problems, and exceeding customer expectations.”
Explain what your responsibilities were, and how long you held the position. Then briefly describe the other positions you have held in reverse chronological order (starting with the most recent).
2. Why did you leave your last job?
If you are being asked the question “Why did you leave your last job?” I would advise you to stay positive regardless of the circumstances.
Never refer to a major problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers, or the organization. If you do, you will be the one looking bad.
Keep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an opportunity, a chance to do something special (cross-train, assume additional responsibilities), or other forward-looking reasons.
You could explain that you have a history of being able to grow and flourish in different situations, and that you are at your best when there is plenty of responsibility, variety, and challenge in your work.
You might even say that the new position appeared to have all of those things and it seemed like the right time to move on.
3. What experience do you have in this field?
This is the most common job interview question – everybody should be expecting it. If they don’t, you might be in for an unpleasant surprise. Have this answer prepared.
Rehearse it. Make sure it’s smooth, and that it has a good flow. You’re not trying to win an Oscar here. Just say something like:
“I’ve been working in retail for 2 years now and I have excellent customer service skills and experience in handling difficult customers with care.”
4. Why do we need to hire you?
Remember, the interviewer wants to know your motivation and why you’re interested in this particular job.
Your answer should be based on research into the company and position as well as your own qualifications and professional interests.
5. What is your greatest strength?
Typical interview questions include what is your strength and weaknesses are, why you want to work with us, as well as questions about your ability to work in a team. Additionally, you were asked to respond to this scenario: The decision made by your superior was not in accordance with the business strategy.
Some great strength that fit the bill includes:
● Prioritization skills
● Problem-solving abilities
● Focus on projects
● Professional expertise
● Leadership skills
● Ability to work under pressure
6. Are you applying for other jobs?
This question is asked to determine what your priorities are. Are you committed to finding a job or just looking for any job?
When answering this question, be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. Keep the focus on this job and what you can do for this organization. Anything else is a distraction.
7. What kind of salary do you need?
Find out the salaries of people with your skills and experience in your area and compare them to yours. A good place to start is www.salary.com.
If the interviewer does not bring up the subject first, you should resist the urge to tell them what you are looking for unless he or she brings it up themselves.
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose if you answer first. So, do not answer it.
Instead, say something like, “That’s a tough question. Can you tell me the range for this position?” In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell you. If not, say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then give a wide range.
8. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization
We all want to be an asset to the companies we work for.
You can express your interest and enthusiasm for the organization, and share how you’d contribute.
Example 1: I would like to work for a company with a great reputation like this one has.
From what I understand, you are leaders in your industry and I’m confident that my skills would make me an asset to your team.
Example 2: This is exactly the type of position I’ve been looking for. Your company has a very strong reputation in the industry and I want to be part of a winning team.
9. Why do you think you would do well at this job?
Give several reasons why you think you could do well at this job, and include your skills, experience, and interests. Although personality and work ethic are also important factors, they do not contribute directly to success.
10. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure
The interviewer would like to know that you are able to handle stressful situations. Give an example of a time when you have had to work under pressure, and what the results were.
Next time you find yourself in a high-pressure situation, remember that stress is nothing more than a state of mind.
It is not necessarily bad. Stress can be harnessed to help you perform under pressure by keeping you alert, motivated and focused.
Whether you’re a college senior interviewing for your first job, or you’ve been in the workforce for years and are switching careers, it’s important to practice ahead of time. No one likes surprises (well, okay, some people do), and it’s always better to be prepared.