Two women asking another job interview questions in an office

The 5 Most Common Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Interviewing for a new job can be overwhelming. The good news is that being prepared for an interview can help keep you from getting too overwhelmed. But how do you prepare for a job interview? Well, you might consider brainstorming answers for the most common job interview questions. While you don’t want to sound robotic in your interview, having prepared answers for these common interview questions can help you prove that you’re the right person for the job.

1. Tell me about yourself

The dreaded question – Tell me about yourself! Being that it’s such a broad question, how do you even answer it? The Muse suggests giving a pitch:

“Talk a little bit about your current role (including the scope and perhaps one big accomplishment), then give some background as to how you got there and experience you have that’s relevant. Finally, segue into why you want—and would be perfect for—this role.”

2. How did you hear about this position?

Now, this should be an easy one. Did you see the job listed online? Hear about it from a friend or family member? If someone told you about the position, be sure to let the interviewer know. If you came across the job opening yourself, tell the interviewer what made you apply for the job.

And if you worked with a recruiter? The Harvard Business Review recommends explaining why you “took the bait.” The Harvard Business Review continued, “Even if you weren’t familiar with the organization prior to being recruited, be enthusiastic about what you’ve learned and honest about why you’re interested in moving forward with the process.”

3. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Easy, right? Not so fast! The Muse suggests keeping the following in mind when it comes to answering this job interview question – “A hiring manager wants to know a) if you’ve set realistic expectations for your career, b) if you have ambition (a.k.a., this interview isn’t the first time you’re considering the question), and c) if the position aligns with your goals and growth.”

That means answering this question with your long-term career goals in mind. Don’t hesitate to connect those long-term career goals to the position that you’re interviewing for, either. 

Two women asking another job interview questions in an office
Job interview | Unsplash

4. What are your biggest weaknesses?

Answering this job interview question can be difficult. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. While many would choose to disguise a strength as a weakness, Inc. recommends taking a different approach to answering this common job interview question:

“A better approach is to choose an actual weakness, but one you’re working to improve. Share what you’re doing to overcome that weakness. No one is perfect, but showing you’re willing to honestly self-assess and then seek ways to improve comes pretty darned close.”

5. Why do you want this job?

If there’s one job interview question that you must have the answer to, it’s this one. When it comes to answering this interview question, you first must know the following – Why are you a good fit for the position that you’re interviewing for? What would you achieve if you were hired for the job? You should not only be specific about what makes you a fit for the job you’re interviewing for, but you should also be sure to mention aspects of the job that appeal to you most.

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