When you’re preparing for an important job interview, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the anxiety and stress you feel as you hope to make a good first impression. You can keep this worry at bay by looking at some of the more commonly-asked interview questions and coming up with some ideas of responses ahead of time.
While you certainly don’t want to be reciting memorized answers during the interview, knowing how to respond to some of the more common interview questions can give you a leg up on your competition.
- Tell me a bit about yourself.
This open-ended question gives you the chance to show a bit of your personality, but be careful not to go into too much detail about your personal life. However, you also don’t want it to seem like you’re hiding anything. A good go-to response is to share a bit about what you like to do outside of work, like reading, cycling, or practicing a hobby.
- Name your greatest strength.
This is a question that almost always comes up in a job interview. Remember that this isn’t about you, personally – it’s about showcasing some of the skills and attributes you have that will qualify you for the position, more than the other potential candidates.
- Name your greatest weakness.
Again, this question is typically asked by employers during the interview process. Be honest, but try to frame your answer with more positive aspects of your capabilities. Also, it’s helpful to let potential employers know how you address this weakness – this shows you take responsibility for your actions and you’re always looking for opportunities to grow.
- How do you work independently and as a team?
With this question, you have the chance to talk about some of your capabilities, and explain to potential employers where you will shine – if given the opportunity. It’s also a way you can feel out if this position is actually a good fit for you. Discuss things like how you might deal with conflicts, resolve customer complaints, communicate effectively, and how you manage your own time.
- Explain how you handle work-related stress.
Again, use this as an opportunity to explain how you take responsibility for your own short-comings – and how you use them to learn and grow. Offer some examples of scenarios from your previous working experience where things maybe didn’t go your way, and how you worked proactively to avoid running into the same situation again.
- Where do you see yourself in ten years?
The goal of this question is to see if you plan to stay with the company, or if you will leave as soon as you have the chance. Try to frame your response around this specific position or with the company you’re interviewing with to reassure them you are interested in the job long-term – but don’t be afraid to show your drive and ambition.
- Why should we choose you for this position?
This is a chance for you to explain why you are a better fit for the company than any of the other candidates. Talk about why you’re interested in the job, and how you would approach your new role. Show what you have to offer, and make them want to hire you!