The Most Asked Interview Questions and How to Respond
One of the main reasons for pursuing your degree or certification is that it offers the greatest doorway to your desired profession and landing that dream job. What most people don’t realize is that academic achievement is only one piece of the job puzzle. As a candidate you will have between fifteen minutes to an hour to show why you are perfect for the position, and answers that come off the top of your head won’t impress. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the more popular questions asked by interviewers and practice your responses. We’ve put together a list of those questions for you and ideas on how best to develop your response.
- Tell me about yourself?
Potential employers want a broad overview of who you are. Prepare a one minute response that summarizes your career, what you’re good at, and what you want to accomplish in the new position.
- What interests you about this job?
Focus on the job description and what about the position piqued your interest. Avoid mentioning the benefits, the salary, or the vacation time and focus instead on day-to-day tasks.
- Why are you looking for a new job?
Many candidates say they are in need of new challenges, so create a version of this answer that will make you a stand out candidate. Try to steer clear of on-the-job conflicts, complain about your work, boss, or badmouth co-workers. If you have to bring up a less than savory situation find a positive angle, such as a lesson learned.
- Tell me about a time when…
When interviewers begin with this phrase, they are giving you opportunities to brag about your leadership skills, problem-solving skills, or ability to think on your feet.
- What is your greatest weakness?
This question is usually followed by a greatest strength question. The interviewer is giving you an opportunity to show you are capable of self-assessment and what you do to ensure personal growth and development.
- How would you excel at this job?
This is the perfect opportunity to describe why you’re the right fit for the job. Have a strong answer prepared that points to your skills and experience, then make sure they fit the needs of the job.
- What’s most important to you in a new position?
It’s best to be candid and specific when you respond to this question. The more honest your answer, the better your new position will align with the kind of job you desire.
- What would you do in your first 90 days?
While you may be tempted to respond with action and wanting to jump in, it is a good idea to acknowledge you’ll need time to get your bearings and learn the inner workings of the company. Interviewers are looking for answers that reveal how you set goals and solve problems, and whether you are ambitious yet cautious.
- What questions do you have for me?
At the very end of every job interview, you’ll likely be asked this question. Use it as an opportunity to ask about office culture, role clarifications, next steps in the hiring process, and the employers timeline for responding.
Remember, practice makes perfect. Write down your responses and practice with a friend or in the mirror. With some repetition and time your answers will become second nature.
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