The Most Common Interview Questions (Part 1)

Interview Questions, Job Application, Hiring Process, Core Values

A good interview might be the biggest factor in landing a job. While each meeting is different, those who have been interviewed enough times know what to expect. There are questions that always make it to the interview, after all.

Want to be prepared and be more confident for your next interview? Here are the most common interview questions and some ways to answer them:

Tell me about yourself.

You’d be shocked to know how some people (including yourself) can be unprepared for this question. The first thing to remember is that this question is not about your work history. It’s about YOU. The other end of the spectrum doesn’t work too: don’t overshare. One way to answer this question is to specify the WHAT, WHO and WHY.

The “what” speaks about the highlight of your work experience. Here, you can talk about your expertise, specific skills and past or present employers. The “who” refers to your transferable skills and your values. Let them know what kind of person you are. Then, provide concise examples of how that is reflected in your professional life. Finally, the “why” emphasizes why you are applying for the position. The best way to create the “why” is by adding “what” and “who.” Present why you are a good candidate based on those two aspects.

Remember to keep things precise and to avoid mentioning personal details. Age, religion or cultural background–unfortunately–can be used to discriminate against you. Might as well focus on your professional strengths and core values.

Why do you want to work here?

The trick to this question is to be specific. If your answer applies to every other company you’re working for, you might consider changing it. You can stand out from the crowd by doing your research. Talk about a unique trait, product or innovation by the company that you connect with. Boost your knowledge of the company’s growth, and talk about that. Tell them how you foresee the company will evolve over the years. Let them know how you plan to contribute to this change.

If you’re not excited or even interested in highlighting these points, take a pause. Reconsider applying for this company. You might not have your heart set on this job after all.

Why do you want this job?

This is a test of passion. Nothing shows dedication like knowing your purpose and explaining why this job fits it perfectly. Again, if you feel like this job is not connected to your purpose, reconsider your options. Keep your answer concise and direct to the point. Begin by stating why the job is perfect for your set of skills and your values. Then, talk about what you love about the company. Explain how the job and the company are the ideal environments for your talents to thrive.

 

That’s it for the first instalment of the most common interview questions. Stay tuned for the next round of questions and answers. Good luck!

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