#TipTuesday : 10 Most Common Interview Questions

August 18, 2015

Your qualifications got you the interview so now employers want to see your personality and how you interact in an interpersonal environment.  In order to do a great job, you have to effectively communicate how your background applies to the position.  Base on how you compose yourself, it will then determine whether or not you’ll be a great fit for the company.

There are questions that tailor to the position, but, typically, employers all ask the same questions.  Here are the 10 most common interview questions I’ve encountered:

  1. Tell Me About Yourself.  For a recent graduate, start off with your academic background, and explain how the courses you’ve taken helped you acquire hands-on experiences outside of your studies.  Then, end your answer with how these experiences are applicable to the position you’re interviewing for.  Don’t take no more than 2-3 minutes on this because then you’d just end up rambling.
  2. What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?  Be sure to have at least 5 answers for each of this.  Interviewers will sometimes ask for 1, 3, or 5 answers from you.  Many people struggle with listing their weaknesses, but not many realize that this is a great opportunity for you to WOW the interviewer.  Beware!  Don’t list out answers like “I work too hard” because that’s not a weakness at all.  List out your weaknesses, but explain how you’ve overcome them.  Provide examples from your academic and professional experiences to help back-up your responses.
  3. Tell Me About A Challenge or Conflict You Faced At Work and Describe How You’ve Dealt With It?  In some interviews, hiring managers will provide you a scenario and ask how you would respond to it.  This question can either throw you off or win you the interview, but whatever it is, you can easily prepare for these types of questions.  For example, if you’re interviewing for a customer service role, a lot of it entails dealing with unhappy customers.  Interviewers will typically ask how you would deal with that unhappy customer.
  4. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Position?  Give an answer that does not belittle your current employer.  The last thing you want to do is speak badly of your current employer because the hiring manager will wonder if you’d do the same to them.  Typically, recruiters have advised to give answers that suggest seeking further opportunities and growth.   
  5. Why Do You Want To Work Here?  Do your research!  Find something specific and detailed about the company or organization that you’re interviewing for, and personalize it.  Again, don’t bad mouth your current employer — nobody wants to hear that.
  6. Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?  Provide a specific answer to this question.  By giving an assured answer, the hiring manager will get a sense that you are mindful of your goals.  Thus, providing further insight to who you are.  Also, relate it to the current position and company that you’re interviewing for, but, of course, be honest about it.
  7. What Is Most Important To You In A New Position?  One of the most important values and factors in a work place that any job seeker has is the culture.  Another would be the support from the management and team.  Any answer within those lines are typically what has been said by most employees.
  8. What Are The Challenges You Think You’ll Face Here?  Find a specific challenge that you think you’re going to need more time to overcome than the others.  The most crucial thing is to always back it up with a “I know I will overcome it through hard work and persistence” kind of response.  Now, don’t give them a response where you’ll think the job itself will be a challenge…
  9. What Are Your Salary Requirements?  Again, do your research!  Check out Glassdoor for salary averages on a position within the company or organization.  Then, make your salary requirements off of that.
  10. Do You Have Any Questions For Me?  Never say no.  Hiring managers are not the only ones that should be asking questions, you should too!  I, personally, like to ask if they have any concerns about my qualifications because that way, if they do, I can address those concerns right then and there.  Most importantly, always ask what the next step of the interview process is.  I recommend being assertive about this because you want the employer to know that you really want this job!  In other words, always end it strong.

The most important advice that I can give you is to have confidence.  In order to do that, do your research, practice with a friend or family on these interview questions, and have your interview essentials ready in advance!  Confidence is key to your delivery, and it’s an energy that employers can’t get enough of.

Here’s a little clip from The Big Bang Theory to lighten up your spirits!



Good luck!

– Lori