Common Interview Questions and How to Navigate Them
Now that your resume has caught an employer’s attention and gained you a foot in the door, it’s time to prepare for your upcoming interview. You need to always prepare for interviews, with questions rehearsed and practiced until you’re positive of your answers to them. Of course, this is easier said than done, especially since you have no idea what questions your interviewer will ask.
It is possible, however, to prepare for an interview by preparing for common questions that the employer will most likely ask you. These questions don’t pertain to any particular industry, but rather employers of many industries use them as a gauge to determine if candidates have the right qualifications and are the right fit for a role.
How to Navigate the Following Questions
List three strengths and three weaknesses you have.
Employers use this question to gauge how accurately you can describe yourself and if you’re willing to admit to faults. In answering this, only bring up strengths that pertain to the job you’re applying for. The only weaknesses you bring up shouldn’t be deal-breakers. They should be faults the interviewer will construe as positives.
Describe a difficult situation you were recently in and how you handled it.
Remember, this situation should be in a professional environment. Don’t bring up an event from your personal life. Discuss the situation briefly and focus on how you handled it. Include if you collaborated with other co-workers.
Describe a time you disagreed with a superior and how you handled it.
Briefly describe the disagreement and focus most of your time discussing how you handled the situation. Bring up how it led to changes in your relationship with your superior. Highlight how professional you were in handling this.
How do you handle working under pressure?
Be honest in answering this, but don’t say anything that’s a deal-breaker. If you’re not good at working under pressure, underscore that you finish each task to completion and prioritize based on deadlines and urgency.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?
Discuss sports you love. Or the books you like to read. Or the art you love to create. Talk about any hobby you have and love. Show that you’re passionate about what you do. This would also be a good place to highlight any volunteer work you do.
Do you have any questions for me?
Always have questions for your interviewer. It could be asking what a typical day in the position is like. Or it could be asking what software the company uses. It doesn’t matter what it is, so long as it’s relevant to the role and the content of the interview. Having questions shows that you’re invested in the position and that you paid attention to what they said in the interview.
- “50 Most Common Job Interview Questions.” Glass Door, 21 October 2019.
Other Common Interview Questions
There aren’t just six common interview questions – many more exist! To further help you, we’ve listed 29 other commonly asked questions below so you can practice your interviewing skills.
- Why are you interested in working for [insert company name here]?
- Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
- Why do you want to leave your current company?
- Why was there a gap in your employment between [insert date] and [insert date]?
- What are three things your former manager would like you to improve on?
- Are you willing to relocate?
- Are you willing to travel?
- Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
- How did you hear about this position?
- Discuss your resume.
- Describe yourself.
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why should we hire you?
- Why are you looking for a new job?
- Would you work on holidays/weekends?
- How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?
- What are your salary requirements?
- What motivates you?
- What’s your availability?
- What is the name of our CEO?
- Are you a leader or a follower?
- What would your direct reports say about you?
- Who’s your mentor?
- What were your bosses’ strengths/weaknesses?
- Would you work 40+ hours a week?
- What was the last book you’ve read for fun?
- Who are our competitors?
- What are some of your leadership experiences?
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