Most Common Interview Questions
Whether you are a fresh university graduate or an experienced professional, you will always have to go through the interview process to get your desired job.
First, you should know that a job interview is not a test on which your professional career rests. It is simply a conversation between you and the company you seek to work for, which is normally represented by the persons who will interview you. They want to know more about you and evaluate your potential to determine your ability to meet the needs of their company. So, even if you are not successful in getting the job, going through an interview gives you experience, especially if you are a recent graduate. It is a valuable opportunity to develop your social skills, gain more confidence, and improve your ability to make a good first impression.
Good planning yields better results and preparing for an interview will significantly reduce the stress you might experience during the process. A good move is to train yourself in advance to answer the questions that are likely to be addressed to you during the interview.
Dozens of questions might be asked during the interview, including general questions or specific ones that concern your field of study or experience. The interviewer may also want to ask you other questions unrelated to the job to evaluate a specific skill.
There are no typical answers to any job interview questions. It varies from one person to another, depending on his/her past experiences. However, we offer you here five of the most common interview questions and some tips to help you answer them, provided you have carefully researched all the essential information about the company, and that you are fully aware of your most distinctive skills and qualities that match the tasks listed in the advertised job.
Tell us about yourself
A classic question that almost all interviews begin with. Unless you are asked otherwise, you should focus on your professional and academic career, and try to be as brief as possible by answering the question within two to three minutes. Talk about your most important accomplishments during your studies or work, and provide an overview of the most distinctive skills and abilities that suit the profile of the job you are applying for.
What are your weaknesses?
This question often follows a question about your points of strength. Be careful not to mention a weakness that is directly related to the job you are applying for. You can mention a point of weakness that you have experienced and succeeded in overcoming by acquiring a new skill. You may also give an example of a weakness that might be useful for the job in one way or another, such as your keenness to finish your work even if you do not get any time for rest. Whatever your choice, you should make it clear that you are fully aware of your weaknesses and that you are working hard to overcome them, if you have not already done so.
Why are you interested in this job? Or, why should we hire you?
This is one of the most important questions that, if answered well, may be the key to landing you the job. This requires that you have inquired well about the company and drawn links between your most important points of strength and the tasks required by the expected job. Be sure to give the interviewer an answer that highlights your enthusiasm and confidence in being able to make the right decisions to perform the job tasks to the fullest and contribute to the overall growth of the company.
Why did you leave your last job? Or, why do you want to leave it?
Avoid talking negatively about your current or past employer. Even if your experience has been very negative, you should find a way to recall some of the positive points related to that job, and gratefully acknowledge the contribution of your previous company to the development of your skills and personality. Thereupon, you can explain how the job that you applied for will give you an opportunity to develop a specific skill or allow you to be creative in a specific area that you could not achieve in your current or past job.
What are your salary expectations?
The answer to this question depends on your experience and abilities, and only you will know the value of what you can offer the company and what your financial requirements are. To avoid getting too far out of the range of salaries offered by the company or the labor market, a quick search on the salaries of employees in similar jobs or reaching out to experienced professionals in the same field will enable you to provide reasonable salary expectations. You may also ask about the salary ranges provided for this position but note that you should only start to negotiate the expected salary after receiving an official job offer.
As mentioned earlier, the interview is just a conversation, so when you get a chance to put questions to the interviewer, you should use it well to demonstrate your enthusiasm and interest in joining the company. Try as much as possible to focus on the requirements and potential of the job.
How can an employee in this role exceed your expectations?
This question shows that you do not only want to perform the job optimally, but that you also seek to excel and gain recognition for what you can achieve.
If I am not offered this job, what could be the reason?
An answer to this question gives you a chance to find out if there are any misconceptions you should clear up before the interview ends. Also, any feedback you receive will be useful for future interviews.
What type of training or development opportunities are available to employees in the company?
This question indicates that you want to develop your long-term career within the company rather than considering this job only as a gateway to acquire experience before moving to a bigger company.
What do you like most about your job in this company?
People like to talk about their personal experiences, and the answer will give you an opportunity to learn more about the company.
Are there any plans to develop the company or expand its services in the near future?
Demonstration of your interest in the company’s future growth gives the impression that you want to be part of any success that will be achieved.
During the interview, you might be asked to mention a situation that clarifies one of your answers. Instead of consuming time during the interview to recall these situations, you can prepare in advance. Think about situations where you successfully dealt with pressure, overcame a challenge, or demonstrated leadership skills. You might also mention stories related to your biggest achievements or projects that required collaboration with your colleagues. Make your answer as brief as possible.