Common Interview Questions And How To Answer Them

The goal of the job interview is to determine whether you are the right candidate for the role, that you have the right skills required for the job, and that you fit in with the team. While each interview is different, some questions are asked frequently because they accomplish the objectives. The following are some of the most common interview questions and some tips on how to answer them.

How would you describe yourself?

This is your chance to introduce your qualifications, your work habits, your attributes, and achievements that make you a valuable employee.

What was your greatest accomplishment and how did you achieve it?
Briefly describe one to three work projects that made you proud or earned you pats on the back, promotions, pay raises, or other commendations. Talk about what the achievement means to you.

What is your biggest weakness?

Everyone has a weakness. Your interviewer is interested in hearing about how you overcome adversity and challenges. For every weakness you state, talk about how you work around it or what you are doing to improve.  

“Why do you want to change jobs?”
Avoid negative talk and resist the temptation to criticize current/former employers or coworkers. Answer this question in a positive manner and focus on what you seek to achieve with the role you are interviewing for: “I’d like to advance my career,” or “I would like to focus on xyz technology…”

If your reason for leaving is because your current employer is downsizing or shutting down, you can say that you are looking for a new job due to changes happening at your current company.

“What did you like/dislike about your last position?

This helps the interviewer decide if you will be a good match for their work environment. Resist talking about conflicts with other team members or managers. You can say that you enjoy(ed) the challenges that came with your last position.

“In what ways are you qualified for this position?”

Hopefully, you came prepared to the interview and reviewed the job description. To answer this question, pick out the particular skills and relevant experience you possess that will help you carry out the role. Talk about your ability to work in a team environment, your leadership skills, technical skills, or a story about your personal success.

“Describe your most important strengths”

Identify five strengths that you feel are most in line with the position for which you are interviewing. Talk about a situation, the task required, what you did, and the outcome.

“What is your ideal work environment?”

Show that you are interested in the job. If the job requires that you work alone, indicate that you like being a team player, but also enjoy working independently.

“How do you handle criticism?”

Talk about being receptive to valuable feedback and using it to improve upon your work.

“How do you handle pressure and stress?”

Talk about how you mediate work-related stress. You can talk about your time management strategies, routines you have incorporated into you rday to lower stress levels, such as exercise.

“Explain a time when you overcame an obstacle…”

The interviewer is evaluating your problem-solving skills. This is a good opportunity to highlight your organizational and leadership skills, as well as personality traits such as perseverance and diplomacy. Talk about a past situation, the task involved, what you did, and the outcome.

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Talk about a career advancement that is in line with the job for which you are interviewing. You can talk about management aspirations in general, but probably not a good idea to tell the hiring manager you are going after his or her job.

“Why should we hire you?”

Point out your positive attributes, technical skills, and relevant experience related to the job for which you are interviewing. State the key aspects of the job and describe how your qualifications meet the job’s requirements.