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Common questions asked in interviews

11 common questions asked in interviews, and how to prepare for them.

Preparing for the common questions asked in interviews should be a part of your interview preparation procedure. If you are not should what steps to follow while preparing for an interview you should also check out this interview preparation checklist I complied. (I will also add a link to that page at the bottom of this article for you.)

You will be asked questions in any interview. Knowing what the most common questions asked in interviews are will make you feel more confident and prepared.

So you prepared a great CV which has landed you an interview for your dream position. You don’t just want this job, you need it. You have got to nail the interview! Wouldn’t it be absolutely fantastic if I could give you a list of all of the questions the hiring manager is going ask you so that you could prepare the best possible answers? Unfortunately I am not a mind reader so I can’t do that for you, but what I am going to do is discuss some of the most common questions asked in interviews. Preparing for these questions will make you appear more confident and will undoubtedly give you a huge advantage over the other candidates.

I feel that I should make it clear that preparing robot like response to the questions below is not at all recommended. Rather I suggest that you get comfortable with the questions, have an idea about how you would like to answer them. This way the answers will flow more naturally during the interview.

1) Tell me a little about yourself.

This is almost certainly going to be the first question you are asked. It is possibly one of the most common questions asked in interviews. It seems like such a simple question, but so many people are not prepared for it and end up giving their life story. Rather focus on our recent employment history and how these experiences have prepared you for the new position. Make sure you include any accomplishments that you want the interviewer to know about. It is vitally important to make sure that you are comfortable answering this question because if you struggle you are going to feel a lot more pressure and nervous for the rest of the interview.

2) Why do what to work for [company name]? or What do you know about {company name]?

Both questions require you to do some research on the company. In the first question question the hiring manager not only wants you to tell them why you want to work for their company but they are also checking to see if you have done any research on the company. Make sure you read up about the company, check if they have appeared in any news reports recently and answer honestly as to why you want to work for them.

3) Why are you looking for a different / new job?

This question can make or break your chances of securing the position. Interviewers use this question to weed out candidates who are 1) Just looking for any job 2) Were fired from their last position or 3) Who do not stay in a position for very long. Make sure you know why you are looking for a new job and make sure your reason does not reflect negatively on you.

4) Why should we hire you?

Don’t give vague answers to this question. Recruiters want to hear what skills you are going to bring to their organisation. Mention your experience, mention you accomplishments and mention skills that are going to make you a valuable team member in their organisation.

5) What are your strengths and/or weaknesses?

Give this some thought, you want to be honest. You also want to make sure that any strengths you mention are applicable to the position being interviewed for and vice versa any weaknesses do not apply to the position. This is one of the questions that you might want to have a very specific answer prepared in advance (But don’t make it seem like it was a prepared response of course!)

6) Where do you see yourself in five years?

The interviewer is not asking about your personal goals for the next year, they are interested in your professional goals. Make sure that the goals you give are realistic and make sure that they align with the position you are applying for. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious but keep it within reason. If you not sure where you see yourself in 5 years you can mention that you are not sure, but you believe that the potential for growth in this position is going to help you navigate yourself in the right direction.

7) What is your management style?

If you are interviewing for a management position be prepared for this question. Ideally you want to convey strength and flexibility in your answer, but remember, it is best to give an honest answer. If you give the answer you think the interviewer wants to hear your natural management style will come out eventually and this might cause conflict. If you can, give a few examples of situations that displayed your management style.

8) What are you salary Requirements?

Make sure you do your research and come up with a range that you know similar positions are offering. Then ask for the highest number in that range, but make sure that the interviewer knows you are flexible. This communicates to the interviewer that you know you are worth top dollar because of your experience and skills but you want the job and you are willing to negotiate.

9) How do you deal with stress?

In this question the hiring manager is looking for any red flags you might have. Make sure they know you handle stress in a positive manner. Make sure they know that stress will not keep you from completing your tasks or goals. It is a good ideal to be specific about what you do, like mentioning that your take a 10 minute walk ect..

10) What do you hope to achieve in the first 30 days of this position?

This is another common question that managers will be asked. The interviewer wants to get a better idea of what you want to achieve in the first month (sometimes 3 months) in the new role. Start by mentioning what information you would need to get started. Focus on your skills that will help you succeed in the position, and if you know of any short term goals the company would like to achieve make sure you mention how you would help the company to reach these goals.

11) Do you have any questions for us?

This is usually the last question in an interview. This is your chance to stand out, many of the other candidates would have answered along the lines of “Not at this point in time” or “All my questions have been answered.” Make sure you have at least two questions in the back of your mind to ask at the end of the interview. The question could be as simple as “Do you enjoy working here?” or more serious such as “What is the companies approach to failure?” Most interviewers actually like to answer questions or talk a little about themselves at the end of an interview. Come up with your own, and make sure you are remembered positively. Also check out our blog on what questions you should ask when being interviewed.

Remember to have a look at my checklist for preparing for a job interview.

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