Friday, November 25, 2022

What Are The Most Common Interview Questions

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Tell Me About A Challenging Situation And How You Overcame It

Answers To The 3 Most Common Interview Questions

For this question, the interviewer is testing your ability to be resilient and cope under pressure. Your answer should focus on a work-related issue, explain clearly the measures you took to overcome the problem.

This question gives you the opportunity to demonstrate how you can use your initiative and act with integrity. Dont fall into the trap of criticising your company or colleagues and trying to present yourself in a superior light. This will come across as unprofessional and arrogant.

Tell Us What You Know About The Company Common Interview Questions

Unless youre applying to work at a top-secret organisation, interviewers will expect you to have researched their company prior to the interview. When finding out about a company, try and learn and revise the following:

The year the company was established The name of the founder and the current CEO The vision of the company and some of its core beliefs The companys main competitors The number of staff that they have currently employed What the company actually does!

You dont need to know the ins and outs of the company. Just find out enough to demonstrate your genuine interest in them and the work that they do.

Example: While researching your company, I found out that your company was established in 1998. You currently employ 60 people, and provide your service throughout the UK.

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.

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  • 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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    Question No 1: What Are Your Salary Expectations

    Hint: If they start talking about salary it is mostly a good sign. It means that they consider hiring you .

    Anyway, you should say that your salary is not a deciding factor, and that you didnt apply having a number on your mind. If they insist on hearing a number, however, you should have something to backup your claim . Lets have a look at some answers.

    I like the job description, I like your bank, and I would be happy to have this job. But as far as my knowledge goes, average salary for a teller in your institution starts at $29,000. I would accept that number for the start.

    This is my first job application, and I am motivated to learn. I understand it is an entry level position, so the salary offer wont be great. At the same time, however, the possibilities of promotion are almost endless, so I would accept your standard salary offer for the newcomers.

    What Were Your Starting And Final Levels Of Compensation

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    What They Want to Know: Hiring managers will want to learn how much you earned to see if you’re a competitive candidate for the company from a salary perspective. Be honest when discussing how much you were paid because employers can ask about salary when checking your background.

    However, also be aware that in some locations employers are prohibited from asking about your prior wages. Some employers have also implemented policies that restrict questions about salary from being asked.

    When I started my entry-level job as an accountant, my annual salary was approximately $42K I then became a CPA and currently take home around $80K.

    More Answers: Interview Questions About Your Salary History

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    Describe Yourself Common Interview Questions

    Depending on the interviewer, you might be faced with this question immediately after starting the interview, or after a few introductory questions. In either case, this is generally used as an ice-breaker. One of the easiest things to talk about is yourself, so this question is meant to get you talking and flowing into the subsequent questions. Try and focus on your qualities and work life when answering this question the interviewer does not want to hear extensively about your home life, family, or hobbies. You should only talk about these things if the interviewer asks about them.

    Instead, gear your question around your skills and qualities to give the interviewer an idea about your personality. Tell them what one of your skills is, followed by an example of when thats served you well in the work place.

    Example: I consider myself to be incredibly motivated. This was helpful in my previous position, where I achieved XYZ despite it being a big challenge.

    Whats Your Biggest Weakness Interview Question

    My biggest weakness is that I am too trusting sometimes. In my previous job, I was working with a number of other team members on an important project and I made sure the task I was working on was completed on time, and also to the required standard. As the project deadline approached, we all got together to discuss the final stages and it became apparent that two team members were way behind with their tasks Id trusted them to do their job, and they simply had not delivered. I actually learnt a lot from that experience, and whilst I still think its important to trust your work colleagues, I now make sure I hold regular update meetings with team members, to make sure we are all working toward the same goal and the same timeframe.

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    Why Should We Hire You Interview Question

    I can understand in your position you want someone who will excel in this role. You are investing time, money and resources and therefore, you want to get the right person. Having studied the job description in detail, I feel I am that person. The job description requires an ability to deliver excellent customer service, an ability to consistently meet targets and to also fit quickly within your already established team. My resume and previous work experiences makes me strongly believe I can do all of those things. I am a hard worker, professional, self-motivated and committed to achieving your goals and the company mission. I feel confident that, if you hire me, you will be more than happy with my performance and dedication within the role.


    Tip #1 Focus on how you can add benefit to the role you are being interviewed for.

    Tip #2 Mention the key qualities and attributes of the job within your interview question answer.

    Tip #3 Match previous experience to the job in your response.

    What Is Your Leadership Style

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    This is a tough question to answer without dipping into platitudes. Try sharing leadership examples instead. Say, “The best way for me to answer that is to give you a few examples of leadership challenges I’ve faced,” and then share situations where you dealt with a problem, motivated a team, worked through a crisis. Explain what you did and that will give the interviewer a great sense of how you lead.

    And, of course, it lets you highlight a few of your successes.

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    Tell Me About Yourself

    This question seems simple, so many people fail to prepare for it, but its crucial. Here’s the deal: Dont give your complete employment history. Instead, give a pitchone thats concise and compelling and that shows exactly why youre the right fit for the job. Muse writer and MIT career counselor Lily Zhang recommends using a present, past, future formula. Talk a little bit about your current role , then give some background as to how you got there and experience you have thats relevant. Finally, segue into why you wantand would be perfect forthis role.

    Are You Willing To Relocate

    While this may sound like a simple yes-or-no question, its often a little bit more complicated than that. The simplest scenario is one where youre totally open to moving and would be willing to do so for this opportunity. But if the answer is no, or at least not right now, you can reiterate your enthusiasm for the role, briefly explain why you cant move at this time, and offer an alternative, like working remotely or out of a local office. Sometimes its not as clear-cut, and thats OK. You can say you prefer to stay put for xyz reasons, but would be willing to consider relocating for the right opportunity.

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    What Is The Reason For Your Current Unemployment

    Usually, this is asked in an accompanying way: “Explain to me about why you left your current job.”

    What they truly need to ask is: “Were you fired and if it is so, then why?” People are reorganized and fired all the ideal opportunity for reasons that have nothing to do with their execution. On another side, some people are fired for cause as well. You should answer this question with a casual and confident approach, as it would be easier to be interviewer to conclude.

    Tell Me About A Time You Disagreed With A Decision What Did You Do

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    No one agrees with every decision. Disagreements are fine it’s what you do when you disagree that matters.

    Show that you were professional. Show that you raised your concerns in a productive way. If you have an example that proves you can effect change, great — and if you don’t, show that you can support a decision even though you think it’s wrong .

    Every company wants employees willing to be honest and forthright, to share concerns and issues, but to also get behind a decision and support it as if they agreed, even if they didn’t.

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    From Your Resume It Seems You Took A Gap Year Would You Like To Tell Us Why That Was

    Gap years are more popular in some cultures than others. In some professions, gap years may have a negative connotation .

    Let your interviewer know that your gap year wasnt about procrastinating over your transition from childhood to adulthood, but that it added value to the confident professional you have become. Based on what part of the world youre in and how common these are, employers are likely looking to hear stories of what you did and how your experiences have benefitted and prepared you for this role.

    Provide a short explanation of why you decided to pursue a gap year, then focus on what came out of it that made a positive difference for your future.

    Example: During my last year of high school, I didnt feel ready to choose my educational path, so I took a wilderness course for a few months to sort out my life goals. It may seem a little random, but the time I spent actually helped my develop so many new skills in the areas of leadership, communication, . During that time, I realized that I wanted to earn a degree in to align with my passion .

    To make a winning impression, youll need to answer each question with poise and passion. But practicing first really helps. Meticulous preparation will allow you to appear confident and in control, helping position you as the ideal candidate when the competition is tough.

    Tell Me About A Time You Messed Up

    This one is pops up in many of the most popular interview playbooks and guides, it’s a great test of humility and self awareness. No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes. The important thing is what happens next.

    Does the candidate learn a valuable lesson and use it as a motivation for self improvement, or do they point the finger and blame colleagues.

    The answer to this question should show whether a person is willing to take ownership of their work or will be quick to shirk responsibility when the going gets tough.

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    Why Did You Leave Your Last Job

    This question can really make a lot of job seekers nervous. If you were literally fired from your last job, youre going to have to own up to it and show what you learned from the experience and what measures you have taken to address the reasons you were let go.

    If you left voluntarily be sure to explain why. For example: You wanted a different challenge. Hint: A challenge offered by the company and position youre interviewing for

    We tackle this question in more depth in our blog post here.

    • If it was because you left voluntarily then reference a specific characteristic that the company you are interviewing for has that you are attracted to. One that your previous employer didnt have.
    • If you were let go, be honest and explain the situation and own it. Explain what you learned from the experience, because the interviewer knows youre human, you make mistakes, and just wants to see that you were able to do something about it
    • Words like downsizing and budget cuts and bad economy are good defenses if they are true and are the reasons for departure from the job.


    • Dont bash your last company or boss or anything along those lines.
    • Dont say, Its time for a career switch and Id like to try my hand at the job you are offering or Im tired of doing the same old thing. Give a pointed, Positive reason for why you want to head off in a new direction.
    • Dont lie if you were fired.

    When Were You Most Satisfied In Your Job

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    The interviewer who asks, “When were you most satisfied in your job?” wants to know what motivates you. If you can relate an example of a job or project when you were excited, the interviewer will get an idea of your preferences. “I was very satisfied in my last job, because I worked directly with the customers and their problems that is an important part of the job for me.”

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    How Did You Find Out About The Job

    This is a simple question that can be answered in a short sentence, although you can also use it to get your foot in your door by stating that you keep up to date with company activity or that youve had your eye on a position in the IT Department for a long time etc.

    If youve been genuinely following the company for a while, you might want to mention here what specific activities of the company really appeal to you or if youve spoken to some employees of the company and heard great things about working for them, you can comment on that here, too.

    Why Did You Change Your Career Path

    If you recently changed your career path, the interviewer is sure to ask about it.

    Dont worry – theres nothing wrong with this.

    A lot of people go through a career change. Some even do it several times in their lifetime!

    As long as youre good at what you do, no one cares if you were a pediatrician in one year, and a professional chef in another.

    When asked this question, all you have to do is answer truthfully. Explain how your old job just wasnt for you, and how the job youre applying for is so much more interesting.

    Possible answers:

    • Sample Answer

    I realized that being a doctor is not for me. While I did enjoy my 3 years in med school, the 6 year study period was too much.

    I wanted to start making money and help out my family way before that, so I dropped out of university and started taking online courses in accounting.

    At this point, Im pretty good at it, having done 2 internships so far in and .

    • Sample Answer 2

    Simply because I enjoy doing sales much more than accounting. After 5 years of working as an accountant for Firm X, I decided I wanted to try something new.

    I asked my boss at the time to let me transition to the sales team, and I ended up liking it AND being pretty good at it.

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    Why Is There A Gap In Your Employment

    If you were unemployed over a stretch of time, its justifiable that you would feel nervous about being asked this question. For employers, this could be a potential red flag, so its expected that theyd want to know about the reasons behind your employment gap.

    The best policy to follow here is to be honest about the situation and show that you used your time in a proactive way. Be direct and avoid drawn-out answers in an attempt to dodge the question. Instead, talk about your reasons for taking time off, whether it was to raise your family, you were laid off or to pursue further education.

    If you want to impress the interviewers, talk about other activities which you took on at the time, such as volunteering, learning new skills or travelling and what you gained from them. Plus, make sure to steer the conversation towards your career and emphasise the reasons why youre entering the workforce again.

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