Before you attend an interview, for a better outcome, you need to know the common interview questions and the perfect answers that work.
Familiarizing yourself with these interview questions helps you to pull off an outstanding performance on the day of the interview.
The purpose of some of the common interview questions is to determine whether you’re the right fit for the open job or possess the right background, skills, and qualifications that are suitable for the role.
If you can be able to provide thoughtful and perfect answers to the common interview questions that come up in your interview, it shows how confident and qualified for the position.
And if done properly, it helps increase your chances of landing the job.
But when you’re unfamiliar with the common job interview questions, you may miss out on the benefits you stand to gain.
However, do not worry. In this guide, we will be discussing the common interview questions with sample answers that work.
Why is Preparing for Common Interview Questions Important?
If you intending getting the job you’re interviewing for, you would want to make a good impression during the interview.
Preparing for these common interview questions will give you an added advantage during the interview because you’ll be asked a lot of them, and you’re expected to give thoughtful and compelling answers.
So, to succeed in the interview, you need to have thoughtful responses ready for any of the common interview questions which shows you’re more than eager to land the job.
The majority of the common interview questions require thoughtful responses that showcase tour relevant skis and past experiences.
Therefore, preparing thoughtful answers for such interview questions will make you stand out amongst other candidates for the job.
Take note that the goal of every interview is to connect you with your interviewer, proving to them that you got all it takes to excel in the job.
Common Job Interview Questions
Here are the top 10 common interview questions including answer tips and sample answers which you can use when interviewing for a job.
1. Can you tell us about yourself?
This question is unarguably the most asked common interview question. It’s the question that’s asked first before subsequent questions.
Simple, the best way to approach tell me about yourself interview questions is by abstaining from giving too many details about your personal life.
What you need to do is give an insight into your career, interests, and hobbies outside the work environment.
Your response will determine whether you are a well-rounded person, which will in turn earn your extra points.
Sample Answer: “Of course. I grew up on a horse farm in Montana, helping my family tend to over 20 horses at a time. Growing up with animals around me is what inspired me to become a vet technician. I’ve been in this career for the past five years, treating mostly cats and dogs, though I have experience with other pets. When I’m not caring for animals, I enjoy playing hockey with some of my old teammates. We meet up once a week at our local gym to play. Some of my other interests include hiking, mountain biking and wildlife photography.”
2. Why do you choose this career?
Whenever an interviewer asks you why you choose your current career, they are curious to learn more about your background.
Additionally, they’re interested in learning more about your personality and passion.
Answer Tip: Provide a thoughtful response about what inspired you to choose your current career. Make sure to stick with a positive response since they are trying to know you better as a professional.
Sample Answer: “Ever since I was a child, I have been interested in science. My dad used to buy me chemistry kits to play with because I had little interest in conventional toys. As I got older, I took advanced chemistry and biology classes in high school. It was an easy choice for me to major in chemistry when I got to college. As I explored the field, I knew research was the right career path for me.”
3. Why are you interested in this company?
The interviewer asks this type of common interview question to know if you’ve done your research about the company before showing up for the interview.
What you’re expected to do is to share the things you love about the company, so the best way to learn about these things is by researching the company.
Answer Tip: Before you go for an interview, always spend time researching the company via their website and social media handles.
You may as well find valuable information about the company from Google search and other websites which you can also use to properly answer this interview question.
Sample Answer: “I’m interested in working for your company because of how innovative it is. I recently saw that your engineering team is working with the government to develop a more eco-friendly way to recycle plastic. As someone who cares a lot about the environment, I would love to work on a team that’s creating more sustainable practices.”
4. What are your strengths?
Why they are interested to know your strengths is to give them an idea of the kind of value that you might be able to bring to the company when hired.
This is one of the most crucial common interview questions that you’ll likely be asked in your upcoming interview, and you need to nail the answer perfectly.
Answer Tip: When reflecting on your strengths to share with the interviewer, it’s advisable to revisit the job description to know the key skills the company seeks in every candidate.
Tailor your answers to reflect on those skills and qualities, and doing so, will make you stand out from other candidates.
Sample Answer: “One of my strengths is my communication skills. Along with being able to convey my ideas, I am a skilled listener. I show others I value what they have to say and add to the conversation. Another strength of mine is my organizational skills. I am good at keeping all my tasks in order, and I enjoy developing streamlined systems to prioritize my work.”
5. What are your weaknesses?
This interview question can either be in the form of- what are your weaknesses? Or, what are your greatest weaknesses?
No matter your experiences and qualifications, certain areas may be your weak point, and you need to improve.
Hiring managers or interviewers ask such a question to know those areas that you are weak, in and the actions you are taking or plan to take to perfect them.
Answer Tip: For a better answer to this question without being seen as an unfit candidate for the job, talk about a skill that will not affect you from doing your work.
Also, let them know that you’re currently taking some measures to improve in those areas.
Sample Answer: “One of my weaknesses is managing a work-life balance. I am someone who leaves my work notifications on after work, making myself available during my time. It’s my goal to create some boundaries between my personal and work life so that I can feel more recharged when I start my workday. Another weakness is taking on too much work. It’s my goal to make sure I prioritize my tasks before offering to help my colleagues.”
6. How do you stay organized?
Well, no matter the role you’re applying for, organization skills are considered to be a must-have for every candidate.
Every hiring manager wants the best candidate for their open position. No one wants to employ a worker who cannot be focused.
They ask this type of job interview question because they are curious to know the routine or your use to stay focused and organized.
Answer Tip: Discuss with your interviewer what keeps you focus to do your work. Make them understand the strategies you implement and convince them about their effectiveness.
Sample Answer: “My digital planner helps me stay organized. Each morning, I look through my planner, updating it based on my priorities for the day. It has all kinds of helpful features, such as event reminders and colour-coding. I can also sync my work calendars to it, helping me stay organized wherever I am.”
7. What were your responsibilities?
The interviewer asks about your past responsibilities to learn more about what your capabilities are.
Endeavour to go through your CV or resume, so you can discuss what you did at your previous job with the interviewer.
Answer Tip: When discussing your previous responsibilities, try to talk about those that match the new job’s requirements.
Discussing that you’ve done similar work in the past will be an asset for you during the interview. So, focus mainly on the responsibilities that align with the job you are interviewing for when giving your answers.
Sample Answer; “As a special ed teacher, I’ve worked with grades K-6 at a large inner-city school, partnering with parents and other teachers to design IEPs and support the inclusion of students with disabilities in regular classrooms.”
8. What did you like or dislike about your previous job?
This is a very tricky question and if not answered well can deprive you of getting the job.
What you like or dislike about your previous role or company is an indicator of a possible outcome if you were to be hired.
Answer Tip: Be very cautious of your response when you’re interviewing for a similar job. If the job is similar, you should keep what you Dislike about your past job to yourself so you don’t mess things up by yourself.
Also, it’s important to be positive and enthusiastic about landing the job you’re interviewing for.
Sample Answer: “I liked the progressive, staged training program my employer used to teach new hires the ins and outs of financial services – there was always something new to learn, and we knew we would be steadily promoted as we became more experienced. I didn’t like the commute, though, which is why I’m now applying for jobs closer to home.”
9. How do you handle stress and pressure?
Whether you like it or not, you are most likely to face stress and pressure in the workplace.
So, the interviewer asks this question know what you do when work gets stressful? Do you stay calm and focused when under pressure? Or do you have difficulty coping in difficult times?
Whatever role you are looking for, interviewers are always inquisitive to know how you can be able to handle stress and pressure if eventually, it comes up in the workplace.
Answer Tip: Briefly talk about moments in your past work where you were able to handle stress and the actions that you took.
Sample Answer: “I’m pretty good at recognizing when I’m beginning to feel stressed. When this happens, I take five minutes to focus on my breathing. I also practice guided meditation in the morning before work for 30 minutes and exercise for an hour in the evening. This keeps me on an even keel.”
10. Why should we hire you?
Here’s the last question on our list of top 10 common interview questions – why should we hire you?
This question can determine whether you will be called up for the second interview, get the job, or be rejected. So, you need to provide a thoughtful and convincing answer to why you want the company to hire you instead of other candidates vying for the same job.
Answer Tip: The best way to answer this question is to share what you can do for the company if hired.
For instance, what would you bring to the table? What skills and qualifications do you have that benefit the company? What goals do you plan to achieve if hired?
Sample Answer: “I am an outstanding consultative salesperson, never failing to surpass my quotas and break prior personal sales records because I truly enjoy working with customers to match them with the brands, I know they’ll love as much as I do.”
Read Also – Top 10 Reasons to Turn Down a Job Offer
Job interview questions are a must learn for every professional at some point in their career.
And precisely, the common interview questions are the most looked out questions in every job interview. So do well to practice the top 10 common job interview questions with answers that work as highlighted in this article.