Common Interview Questions
Being prepared for an interview is the most important thing you need to do during your job search. Even though this is common sense for most people, many job seekers are not prepared for an interview. Below you’ll find a list of several common interview questions, and advice how to answer them.
Why Do You Want to Work for our company?
There is a catch here :). The interviewer wants to hear that you have researched the company, you know what line of business they are in, and you would like to work for them. So do your homework and research the company, before the interview.
Why Should I Hire You?
The short answer should be “I can get the job done”. After the short answer, elaborate on your skills, experience and education and how they will benefit the company. Assert that you are confident you have everything needed to be successful in this position.
What Are Your Weaknesses?
There is a very high chance that you’ll be asked this question. Answering question like this is not easy, but there is a way to take advantage of such a question. For example you can answer that you are constantly working on improving your people and communication skills. You can also answer that you are usually too anxious to get the job done, which might be considered as a weakness when working in a team.
Why Did You Leave Your Previous Job?
The best policy here is to be honest, but this doesn’t mean you have to present the leave as your fault. Your answer again depends on the reasons because of which you left, but you want to make it sound nice. If you were laid-off, explain that you survived several lay-off rounds, but the last was a severe one and you were part of it. If you are contractor, explain that you have completed your project and you are looking for new opportunities, etc.
Why are you better than the rest of the candidates?
By asking this question, the interviewer is trying to assess your unique qualities. You can answer referencing your experience, education and skills. For example “I speak 4 languages fluently” or “I have a PhD in Physics” or “I have worked on a very similar project, and I know exactly what to expect”.
What Are Your Career Goals?
Of course this answer will depend on your actual goals, but it doesn’t hurt to present the answer to please the interviewer. Something like this might work: “I would like to work for a reputable company, where I can continue to develop as a professional”.
What Salary Are You Seeking?
You will be in a better bargaining position if the employer tells you want salary can they offer. Of course that’s not always the case, and if the employer asks what salary do you want, then you have 3 choices. The first one is to say what salary you expect and explain why you are worth that (experience, skills, education, job market conditions). The second approach is to answer the question with question – What budget did you have in mind for this position? The third approach will be to say something like “I’m sure that if you decide to hire me, we can work out a salary figure, which will work for both parties.”
The important thing is to be prepared for the interview. You can practice answering all the questions above (or any other question you might be asked) and this will make the interview process smoother and you’ll look better in the eyes of the employer.