How to Respond to Common Job Interview Questions

Going to an interview can be scary, especially if it’s your first one. It helps to anticipate and prepare for those interview questions. Why do recruiters ask these questions anyway?

Because they want to you who you are as a person and as a professional. They will be wasting paying you money so they want to make sure you will contribute to the company.

Just a few tips before the interview questions below.

1. Don’t ever memorize your answers to these questions.

The recruiter will know if you’re reciting versus coming up with a spontaneous and heartfelt response. Better to know your answer but not the exact words to say. That would be like reciting a poem or a declamation before the recruiter.

2. Practice. Grab a friend and do role plays.

Ask your friend to ask you follow-up questions that may not necessarily be included in the list below. That will help you become more spontaneous. It will also help you think on your feet.

3. I strongly suggest doing a career planning session.

That way, you know what you want to accomplish in 5 years and 10 years. A recruiter friend complained to me that a lot of new graduates these days don’t really know what they want out of their careers. If you know what you want, then you already have an edge over other job seekers.

Here are Common job interview questions, including some tips on how to answer each.

Tell me about yourself.

DO: Tell your qualities and qualifications, educational background, some of your hobbies and interests.
DON’T: Tell the juicy parts of your life, family problems, insecurities, and frustrations in life. Don’t share more than you have to.

What are you strengths?

DO: Share what you think are your strengths: some special training you possess, subjects you excelled at, and skills relevant to the position you’re applying for. It’s also okay to mention good habits you developed while you were in College.
DON’T: Brag, especially, if you’re a new graduate.

What are your weaknesses?

DO: Share a weakness you have identified lately and how it affected your performance. If you’re a new graduate, go back to your College habits and look for some weakness. Make sure to also share how you are able to turn your weakness around.
DON’T: Wallow in your weakness. Also, don’t ever say you don’t have a weakness. The recruiter will just come to the conclusion that you don’t know yourself that well or you’re being arrogant.

How do you see yourself 5 years from now? 10 years?

DO: Before the interview, spend some time planning your career, or at the very least, you should know what you want to accomplish in your personal and professional life.
DON’T: Don’t give the impression that you will only commit to the job for a very short period of time, unless if you’re applying for a project-based job, which will only last for a short period.

What do you know about the company and the job you’re applying for?

DO: Research about the company before you even arrive at the doorsteps of the company. Google exists, you know. Research about the industry the company is in. Look for their Vision & Mission, if any.
DON’T: Show up at the company without a working knowledge of the products and services offered by the company.

Why are you interested in working for this company?

DO: Look for ways in which your knowledge, skills, and interests coincide with the company’s vision, mission, or services.
DON’T: Don’t just focus on the money and say that you want to work for the company because you heard it pays good money.

What can you offer the company?

DO: Point out your knowledge and skills and how that could be used for the company. It would also be good if you share your willingness to learn and improve yourself for the sake of the company. Focus on the key skills you can contribute to the company.
DON’T: When you answer, don’t make it sound as if you’re God’s gift to the company because of your awesomeness.

What are your hobbies & interests?

DO: Share some of your hobbies and interests. This is a great way to demonstrate how you live a balanced life.
DON’T: Don’t get carried away in talking about your hobbies and interests. You might give the impression that your number one passion in the world is your hobby.

What are your leadership experiences?

DO: Talk about the instances where you took the lead in a project or an organization. Show how you used your skills to solve problems and work with other people.
DON’T: Dwell on your failures.

What questions do you have for me?

DO: Ask specifics about the products and services of the company.
DON’T: Don’t ever ask about salary. It’s good practice to let them make the first offer. After that, you can negotiate for a higher one.

Some articles about Job Interviews that can help you out:

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