Common Interview Questions And Answers
Preparing talking points for common interview questions can help you feel confident and prepared. While every interviewer is different and their questions may vary depending on the job and industry, there are a few common questions you can expect and prepare for such as, “Tell me about yourself.”
Below, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of commonly-asked interview questions including what interviewers are looking for in your response, plus example answers to help you
Here are several common questions to use as practice for your next interview:
Have A Tech Backup Plan
Since you’re relying on technology which can be finicky just when you need it most have your computer plugged in and charging.
You’ll also need a back-up plan, in case you have issues with your Wi-Fi internet connection. If you have an unlimited plan on your phone, you can connect your computer to its hotspot. Or you can download the Zoom app on your phone and have the meeting there. While this isn’t ideal, it should work.
Signs A Job Interview Didnt Go Well
Not every job interview is going to be a home run to landing the position. There are external factors that can contribute to not giving your best performance, and thats okay. There will always be more interviews and great jobs. If youre at a loss for the status of your interview after reading the positive signs above, consider the following indications that it didnt go well.
It Ends Sooner than Expected
Employers conduct interviews on a set schedule for a reason. Theres a lot of questions and information that they have to cover before the end of the interview. Going in for an interview and leaving thirty minutes before your allotted end time isnt the best sign. It could mean that with your answers to the initial questions, the interviewer has already ruled you out as a potential employee.
They Dont Give Specifics
When a supervisor interviews an applicant that they want to hire, they make sure to provide them with lots of enticing information about their potential position. If youre leaving an interview without any new information about your responsibilities or start date, its not the greatest sign.
An interviewer who isnt giving any specifics about the company is usually disengaged from the discussion and ready to move on to the next candidate.
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How Do You Handle Stress
How you handle stressful situations is an indicator of your ability to solve problems. Employers want to hire candidates who react to stress constructively, so its important that your answer to this question demonstrates personal growth.
Spend some time thinking about your response to stressful situations and provide an example that communicates your abilities around perseverance, resilience and stress management.
Example answer:Im able to stay calm when I focus on the bigger picture and break down my projects into smaller tasks. I always start by asking myself, What is the ultimate goal Im trying to achieve? From there, I make a list of immediate and long-term action items with achievable but ambitious deadlines. Even if the big project is due tomorrow, I ask myself, Whats something I can tackle in the next 30 minutes? Before I know it, Ive made significant progress and that impossible project doesnt seem so impossible.
Create A List Of Questions To Ask The Interviewers
At the end of the interview, the hiring manager will probably ask you if you have any questions. Have a few questions prepared to show the hiring manager you’re interested in the job and company. Reread the job description and review the company’s website to craft thoughtful questions that can help you learn more about what it would be like to work there. Some good questions to ask include:
How would you describe the company culture?
What would my day-to-day responsibilities look like?
Who would I work with most?
How would my performance be measured?
Why is the position open?
What are the next steps in the interview?
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Phone Interview Tips That Will Help You Get Hired
While you’re job searching, it’s important to be prepared for a phone interview at a moment’s notice. Many companies start the interview process with a phone call to discuss the job opportunity with a prospective employee, determine whether the candidate is a good fit, and to gauge his or her interest in the position. In some cases, a phone interview may be the only interview you’ll have.
In many cases, your interview will be scheduled in advance by email or phone. In others, you may receive a surprise phone call asking whether you’re available to chat about the job.
You never know when a recruiter or a networking contact might call and ask whether you have a few minutes to talk, so always answer the phone professionally, especially if the number is unfamiliar.
You should also make sure that your voicemail message is professional.
Commit To Truth In Advertising
Its natural to want to present your organization and the job youre hiring for in the best light, but its crucial that candidates have a thorough and realistic understanding of what theyd be signing up for: the job, the organization, the culture, the manager, and the people. Resist any temptation to downplay less appealing aspects of the job . In fact, on the contrary, be proactive about disclosing those things. Otherwise youll end up with a hire who feels misled and who might not stick around.
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What Are The Benefits Of Interviews
Holding interviews allows you to get a full sense of what the candidate is actually like. In face-to-face interviews, you can get a better impression of the candidate’s personality, behavior, and poise in the context of discussing business and the type of work the candidate needs to be able to perform.
Remember The Interview Starts As Soon As You Leave The House
The interview starts long before you shake hands and sit down around the table. You never know who you might bump into as you get off your bus or train , or enter the companys building for all you know, your interviewer could be in the same coffee-bar queue as you. So make sure you project a friendly, confident, professional air from the moment you set off.
Doubtless youll have made sure you arrive early. Give yourself time to have a comfort break and make sure youre hydrated. Make conversation with the receptionist, switch off your phone and take in your surroundings you might notice something that will make a useful small-talk topic later. Dont try and cram in any last-minute facts you want to come across as calm and organised, not flustered and under-prepared.
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I Have Been Uncomfortable Working With Ambiguity
Many jobs require candidates who are comfortable individually defining tasks and working towards goals. This means they should be experienced, thoughtful and responsible with ambiguity in the workplace. While it is certainly a beneficial skill to closely follow detailed instruction, it is also necessary to be able to determine what it takes to achieve the desired outcome.
If this is the weakness you are presenting in an interview, explain the success you have found following instructions but also your career potential when finding comfort with ambiguity. You should also explain the steps you are taking to define your workday when given ambiguous tasks or goals.
Example:In my last position as a marketing intern, I found that my supervisor gave very specific instructions regarding my responsibilities. Because I became familiar with having a strong direction, I tend to be unsure when approaching an ambiguous assignment or goal.
It is a goal of mine to become not only comfortable but successful working with ambiguity. To do so, I have created a personal framework for times when I feel overwhelmed or confused by an ambiguous task including conducting structured research and asking subject matter experts for advice. Doing so has helped me thrive when working on ambiguous tasks or when working towards less specific or defined goals.
What Makes You Unique
Employers often ask this question to identify why you might be more qualified than other candidates theyre interviewing. To answer, focus on why hiring you would benefit the employer. Since you dont know the other applicants, it can be challenging to think about your answer in relation to them. Addressing why your background makes you a good fit lets employers know why your traits and qualifications make you a strong candidate.
To help you prepare this answer consider the following:
Example answer:”What makes me unique is my ability to meet and exceed deadlines. In my previous role, my manager consistently praised me for completing my projects efficiently with a high level of quality. This allowed me to take on additional responsibilities and eventually led to a promotion.”
Read more: Interview Question: What Makes You Unique?
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Why Are You Interested In This Company
Researching a company before the interview always pays off â the more, the better. Does the company have a new product release next week? Was the CEO on the cover of Forbes last month? If so, you should know. Itâs also important to not just research the companyâs history and the latest news stories itâs been mentioned in, but additionally to gather as much information as you can about the internal company culture. That way, you can speak intelligently about why the companyâs culture and values attracted you, and why youâll be a good fit there.
Treat Everyone You Meet As Your Interviewer
Make sure that youre polite and friendly to everyone you come across in the interview process. From greeting the receptionist, to the people you share a lift with, to walking through an open-plan office to reach your meeting-room These are all touchpoints with your potential future employer, and co-workers will often share their impressions of visitors afterwards, so you want everyone who comes into contact with you to see you in as positive a light as possible.
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Read And Review The Job Description
Youve received a call for that dream job, so how do you prepare for the interview? The first step in the preparation process should be to go back and review the job description. Most job descriptions follow a similar pattern and are usually categorised by the following points:
- Job title/Department
- Duties and tasks
- Skills required
The job title and department will give you an understanding of the major purpose of the position and where the role fits into the organisation, allowing you to discover who your potential line manager could be.
Read and review the job description very thoroughly and be sure to align your competencies with the skills required for the job. You will consequently ready yourself for questions around your previous experiences, performing similar duties in other organisations.
Dress For The Job Or Company
Today’s casual dress codes do not give you permission to dress as “they” do when you interview. It is important to know what to wear to an interview and to be well-groomed. Whether you wear a suit or something less formal depends on the company culture and the position you are seeking. If possible, call to find out about the company dress code before the interview.
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Tips For How To Do A Zoom Interview
Due to COVID-19, your next job interview will likely be on Zoom. Here’s everything you need to know.
If you have a job interview coming up on Zoom, you might feel intimidated especially if you’re not super familiar with the platform. But you’re already taking the right steps. One of the keys to nailing a video job interview is to make sure you’re familiar with the video software. This guide covers everything you need to know before your Zoom interview.
Choose Your Interview Attire
The day before your interview, choose what you intend to wear so you don’t feel rushed. Make sure your clothes are free of wrinkles and stains and they fit correctly. If you’re unsure of the dress code at the company, it’s best to dress more professionally to make a good impression. You can also call or email the person you’ve been communicating with to get more information about the dress code.
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Talking Only To One Person
Many interviews have two or more interviewers in the room, and ignoring certain people in the interview committee can ruin your chance of landing the job. Be sure to address every person conducting the interview, making eye contact and speaking directly to them in turn. Many job candidates tend to only address the highest-ranking person in the room, which comes across as rude.
What Are 3 Good Weaknesses In A Job Interview
What are 3 good weaknesses in a job interview? To help you succeed in job interviews, Indeed has put together 10 ways to successfully answer the what is your biggest weakness question.
- I focus on details too much.
- I struggle to let go of a project.
- I dont like to say no.
- I get impatient when deadlines get extended.
Hereof, What is my weakness best answer?
Example: My greatest weakness is that I sometimes have a hard time letting go of a project. I am the biggest critic of my work, and I can always find something that needs to be improved or changed.
Similarly What are good weaknesses? Some examples of weaknesses include:
- Shy/Not adept at public speaking.
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Whats The Biggest Decision Youve Had To Make In The Past Year Why Was It So Big
Here’s a great way to figure out how a candidate approaches decision-making. Were they quick to make that big decision, or did it take them a long time? Did they spend most of their time reflecting on it by themselves or fleshing it out with others? How did they make a plan?
A good answer to this question:
Candidates’ answers could be work-related or personal. In addition to revealing their thought process, as described above, an effective response to this interview question will also show how the candidate was able to prioritize what was most important when each possible option might have had its own advantages and disadvantages.
If your candidate had hiring power in a previous position, for example, maybe they found it hard to choose between two job candidates of their own. A good answer might show that they saw immediate skill in one candidate but long-term potential in the other. Although both people had usable strengths, your candidate chose the second person because he or she offered he best return on investment.
Make Sure You Can Be Seen And Heard And Emote
Just like you would for an in-person interview, it’s necessary to practice and prepare questions you want to ask but there are a couple additional things to keep in mind. First, make sure your audio works and your video camera is clear. If it’s not, check out your Zoom settings by clicking the arrow next to Stop Video. You’ll find the audio settings there and can adjust accordingly.
Second, make sure your excitement and personality shows through the computer. This can be more difficult than it would be with an in-person interview, so focus on your body language, eye contact, tone and energy while you practice. If you want feedback, you can always record yourself and watch it over, or connect with a professional interview coach, who will set up a mock video interview and provide feedback.
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Get Ready To Follow Up After The Interview
After your interview, you should prepare to follow up with the employer. Doing so reminds the employer of your conversation, shows them you are genuinely interested in the position and gives you the opportunity to bring up points you forgot to mention.
Here are a few steps you can follow when crafting a follow-up note:
In the first paragraph, mention the specific job title and thank your interviewer.
In the second paragraph, note the companys name as well as a conversation point and/or goal that seemed especially important to the person you spoke with. Connect that point to your experience and interests.
In the final paragraph, invite them to ask you any additional questions and close by saying youre looking forward to hearing back.
Final tip: If you dont know the answer to a certain question, it is perfectly acceptable to pause for a moment and simply state, Let me think about that for a moment. The employer will appreciate you taking the time to give them a thoughtful answer. Be sure to provide specific examples wherever possible. Taking time to prepare for an interview will ultimately help you feel more relaxed and confident during the process.
How To Prepare For An Interview
Use these questions and example answers to prepare for your interview by making them your own and tailoring them to fit your experience, the job and the company youre interviewing for. Its important to get comfortable with what you could be asked and understand what a good response might be.
Much like preparing for a test in school, the best way to succeed in your interview is to study and practice. Research the company and the job, and practice your talking points until you feel confident about your answers. The more you prepare, the more likely you are to leave a lasting impression and outperform fellow candidates. Come equipped with examples of work from previous jobs, as well as ideas for the new job. Try and make the interview as conversational as possible by showing genuine interest in the job, company and your interviewer.
How would you describe yourself?
What makes you unique?
Why do you want to work here?
What interests you about this role?
What motivates you?
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