Top Questions to Expect in a Job Interview
Job interviews consist of two types of questions — questions about you and questions about what you know. The latter type, knowledge questions, are usually related to the particular requirements of the job you’re applying for and are very specific. Here are the top questions to expect:
Tell me about yourself.
This may be your best opportunity to highlight what you believe are your most important characteristics related to the job. Maybe you have a passion for a particular part of the position. For example, “In my previous role as a customer service representative, I enjoyed helping people solve their problems.” Or maybe you were recognized for a special talent. For example, “I won several awards for training new employees at my last job.”
You may also consider explaining large resume gaps when responding to this question. If you’ve decided to disclose your disability during the interview, you can explain medical leave. You can also use this as a chance to talk about any hobbies or volunteer work you pursued during the employment gap that helped you build your skills and gain experience.
Why are you interested in this position?
Before your interview, learning more about the company or the job is prudent. Is there something about the job requirements that you think is a good fit for your strengths? Maybe your skill set aligns well with the job tasks or company goals. Perhaps it’s their reputation for how well they treat their employees. Answering this question with facts about the company or the job tells the interviewer that you care enough to have done your homework.
What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
Talking about your assets can be tricky. Make sure you’ve thought about how your strengths will relate to the job requirements and come up with an example of how you’ve used your skills.
If the interviewer asks about a weakness, indicate that you’ve thought about that question and identify a particular trait that will not affect the job position. For example, if you’re applying for a programming position, acknowledging that you aren’t a skilled public speaker may not hurt your chances if the job doesn’t require public speaking. It is also good to mention what you are doing to address your weakness or provide an example of how you learned from it.
Why are you the best person for this position?
As you prepare for the interview, reread the job description to see how your skills match the job requirements and responsibilities. During the interview, discuss how you’ve used the same skills in previous jobs or had similar duties during training, volunteer work or internships. As you detail why your background is a good match for the position, explain what excites you about the job and how you think you can make a difference for the company.
Can you tell me about a time when you faced a challenge and how you handled it?
Many employers use this question to seek concrete examples of skills and experiences that relate directly to the position. This type of question is based on the idea that your success in the past is a good gauge of your success in the future.
It may be hard to answer a question like this “on the spot,” so take some time before your interview to prepare. Think of an actual situation you faced that had a successful outcome. Describe the situation and give details on what you did and why. Then describe how it turned out. You may even want to add what you learned from the experience and how you might apply that to future challenges.
Do you have any questions for me?
It’s always a good idea to have a few questions prepared to ask the interviewer. It allows you to learn more about the position and responsibilities, the person interviewing you and the company. It also shows the interviewer that you’re enthusiastic about the job. However, this is not the time to ask about salary or benefits. Instead, ask questions about the company or position to demonstrate your interest.
Keep in mind that an interview helps hiring managers determine that your skills and experience match well with the responsibilities of the job, but also that your personality would fit well with the other employees on the team. Preparing to answer questions about yourself and your professional experience may help you feel confident and leave a lasting impression during your next interview.
Consider practicing your responses with family members and friends. Going over your answers with someone else may help you find a more conversational tone and cadence, which can help you relax when answering questions during an interview.
Source: Ticket to Work