A great impression at a job interview sets you apart from the crowd. It is essential to prepare for the common questions asked during the interview process. Necessary preparation includes gathering information about the specific job and practicing your answers to frequently asked questions so you come across as poised and confident.
Research the Company
The first step in acing your job interview is understanding the company. Google the company and check out their website. Find out what their mission statement is, what products and services they sell, and note any information that’s relevant to your work experience.
Research the Position
You need an in-depth understanding of the job you are interviewing for to convince the hiring personnel that you are a good fit.
Researching both the company and the job description will give you a holistic understanding of what the job entails. Incorporate the needs of the company into your answers to the common interview questions.
The Most Common Interview Questions
Every interview is unique. However, there are specific questions you can expect to be asked in most interviews. Preparing answers to these questions does not mean you need to memorize or rehearse your responses. Just get a general idea of how you want to respond when faced with these questions.
Why do you want this job?
This question is your cue to show your understanding of the position and the company. Let the employer know you have work experience that matches the skills and responsibilities of the job. Tell the interviewer you are the person for the job because you can meet the company’s needs through your skill set.
This question is specific to each company and job, so research is essential for an adequate answer. If positive media coverage caught your attention, mention it to the interviewer by relating it to why you want to be a part of the company.
Can you tell me about yourself?
Employers use this question to understand who they are hiring and how you see yourself. Consider the professional context and your goals for the job; include information that is relevant to the role, such as related interests, education, or similar professional experience.
Keep the self-summary concise and focused on your career. Tell the interviewer about your career path, how it has led to this new job, and how it prepared you to succeed at their company.
Can you tell me about a time when…?
This specific interview topic is called a behavioral interview question. The hiring manager’s goal in asking these questions is to understand your behavioral responses to situations in the past to predict how you will act in the future.
The question is often about a time you had to deal with a coworker you did not like or when you had to overcome a professional failure. It is hard to think of specific experiences during the interview process, so write down scenarios before the interview to ensure you have a relevant answer.
Stay positive when answering these questions. Interviewers often explicitly bring up challenging times to see how you react. When you have a positive response, the hiring manager is left feeling good about your ability to handle adversity.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
For this job interview question, tailor your answer to the specific job and company. The strengths you mention should be related to the skills needed for the job. For example, if the work environment will involve customer service, note your exceptional interpersonal skills.
Interview questions and answers about weaknesses are often the most challenging, and you need to find a positive spin for your response. It is best to recall weaknesses you have significantly improved upon to demonstrate personal growth and ambition. Tell the hiring manager how you struggled in the past but have made measurable improvements because of specific motivations.
What are your salary expectations?
Hiring managers need to know if your expectations align with what the company is willing to pay. Tell the interviewer that you can give them a salary range if you are being seriously considered for the position. By not immediately giving the company a number, you keep a wider pay range available to you.
Research your job’s average salary or hourly wage to get familiar with what a fair offer is. When it is time to give your salary expectations, provide a wage range. This leaves room for negotiation.
While you may be tempted to appear easy-going by approaching salary expectations casually, this can be detrimental to your job prospects. Ask for what you want and know your worth. Not offering an expectation of your wages can make you seem inexperienced and unprofessional.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
A hiring manager asks this question because they want to know how you view the job you are applying for. Again, understanding the needs of the company can help you answer this question. For instance, if a company needs a long-term employee, telling them this is a temporary job for you would be counterproductive.
If the interview is for your dream job, then you have an easy answer to this question. Tell them that your career goals are to help the company succeed and that you would like to grow with the company for the next five years.
Few people know where they will be in five years, so refer to your work experience to demonstrate the kind of worker you will be in the future. This is an excellent time to address any previous job hopping in your work history. Letting the employer know why you have switched jobs frequently is essential when you want them to view you as a long-term asset to their business.
Land Your Next Job Interview Today
Nailing your interview is the key to transitioning from job seeker to employee. Practice answering these questions and tailor your responses to the company’s needs for the best interview outcomes.
When you’re ready to find jobs in your area and start landing interviews, visit Jobsfuel.com for a quick and easy job search. Then check out our blogs for information on improving your resume, what questions to ask at an interview, and more.