Regardless of your field, specific job interview questions are practically guaranteed to come up during your job search. As a result, it’s wise to prepare for what’s inevitably getting asked, allowing you to practice answers that showcase you in the best possible light.
Generally, starting with commonly asked interview questions is the ideal starting point. Here are a handful of widely-used interview questions and tips on how to answer them.
Tell Me About Yourself
While this prompt seems like an open invitation to discuss any aspect of yourself, it’s wise to focus on your professional history. Additionally, you want to deliver a response in the style of an elevator pitch, not a full chronological retelling of your entire career.
Focus on key points that showcase how you can provide value in that specific position. Mention a few skills you saw in the job history, and discuss the results you’re able to deliver when using them. When possible, quantify the details to make your pitch more compelling. Additionally, close out with a future-focused sentence or two, highlighting your excitement for how the position fits into your career vision.
Why Are You Interested in Working Here?
When you answer this question, you want to focus on what intrigues you about the company and its culture, not necessarily the job itself. With this one, you’ll need to do some research in advance. That allows you to effectively discuss the company’s products or services, culture, recent achievements, or other features that make you feel it’s the ideal place to work.
Why Do You Want This Job?
For this question, you want to focus on the role itself. Again, the idea is to cover what about the position enticed you most. However, it’s best to concentrate on how you can provide the company value and why that idea is exciting in your eyes. With that strategy, you’re showcasing your enthusiasm while speaking to the hiring manager’s needs, which can make your response more compelling overall.
Along the way, try to be specific. Generic responses – for example, describing a basic love of customer service without correlating it to that particular role – aren’t as compelling as those that dig into the idiosyncrasies of that position, so keep that in mind.
What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
While companies may also ask about your greatest strength, discussing your weaknesses is typically more difficult. Avoid trying to position a strength as a shortcoming, such as by using cliché answers like stating you work too hard. Additionally, steer clear of weaknesses that relate to a core part of the role, as that makes you seem like a poor fit.
Instead, mention a legitimate weakness that wouldn’t negatively impact your performance on the job. For example, calling public speaking a weakness when talking in front of groups isn’t a core responsibility isn’t typically an issue. Plus, if you can follow it up with information about how you’re trying to improve in that area, it demonstrates your willingness to push yourself and grow, which can work in your favor.
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