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12 Most Common Job Interview Questions and How to Nail them

Whether it be for a large corporation or a startup, job interviews are always a nerve-racking experience. You go through a plethora of job posts on different websites and forums, and you think about applying to a few. Finally, you’re selected then invited to one and you find yourself smiling with glee. However, soon after the initial phase, you begin to feel anxious and nervous about the range of interview questions that you might come up against.

You need to nail that job interview and make a good impression, right? That’s why we’re here for you!

We cannot be certain of the exact questions. However, we have compiled a list of the most common job interview questions asked by employers today. Continue reading and you might just increase your chances of getting employed!

  1. Tell me about yourself.

The question seems simple enough, but believe it or not, many candidates fail to understand the point of it. The employer isn’t looking for a lengthy description about your life, but rather, a detailed brief about your work experience, skills, and educational background. The employer also observes your communication skills and evaluates accordingly. Highlighting key points in your career would also help boost your chances of getting hired. Keep it light and simple, but packed with valuable information!

  1. Why should we hire you?

This interview question seems to be focused around you, but you need to make sure to have the company’s best interest involved. The employer wants to see how you differentiate yourself from others, and in doing so, many candidates end up blabbering about irrelevant things in hopes of coming off as unique. At the end of the day, your employer is looking for someone who is altogether passionate and eager to work for the job position. You need to, essentially, sell yourself and your talents to the employer, making them see that you fit perfectly for the role. It is nice to add a few additional flairs that may wow the employer and compel them to hire you.

  1. What are your greatest strengths?

This question may seem redundant since your employer has read your CV, but you need to keep in mind that communicating your most valuable assets is key. Make sure whatever you list down is relevant to the job position. Providing a few examples along with your key strengths will amplify the said attributes to your employer.

  1. What are your biggest weaknesses?

The primary reason for this question is for your employer to identify any indicators that may deem you unfit for the job, so the challenge here is to disclose a weakness by also backing it up with improvement. Meaning, you could say you aren’t good with time management, but back it up by adding that you have cut down on procrastination and divided your work into sections for easy time management. It is good to be self-aware and genuine about your flaws; the employer wouldn’t find it plausible if the candidate said they have absolutely no weaknesses.

  1. What are your goals for the future? / Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

As a candidate, you need to be honest and clear about your plans for the future. The employer isn’t exactly interested to hear that you want to run the place one day, or climb up in the corporate world, but rather, where this job position could take you in your professional life and how that could become a potential bridge towards your goals and ambitions. On the other hand, it is perfectly understandable if you are uncertain of your goals, but you need to let the employer know that you want to gain this job experience as it would definitely serve as a vital stepping stone for your future plan-making.

  1. Tell me about the time you faced a great conflict or issue during your work, and how you overcame it.

Remember, it is important to be truthful and genuine with your answer, don’t pretend you never experienced workplace conflicts because you’re the perfect workmate. When asked this interview question, you need to focus on a situation that had a positive outcome. You need to be professional and humble when recalling the event, as that would leave a good impression. For example, if you had a conflict with a workmate regarding tasks, don’t focus on how the conflict transpired, but rather what you did to resolve it. The employer is looking for authenticity and self-reflection.

  1. Why did you apply for this job?

The focus here isn’t on your overall qualities and talents, but on the job itself. Why did you choose to apply to this specific job and why do you think you have what it takes to wow the employer. Do some research prior to the job interview, so you could talk about the company’s portfolio and integrate your long-term and short-term goals along with it; this would show the employer you are truly interested and know a thing or two about them. It is good to know that your work serves a purpose, so go ahead and tell your potential employer why you find their company so interesting.

  1. Why are you leaving your current job?

This may not apply for every candidate as some might be new to the game. If that’s not the case with you, then you might just want to learn a few tips. As someone who is hiring you, they’d want to know what made you leave this job… or perhaps, if you’ve been discharged from it unwillingly. It might be tricky to answer this, but keep in mind that being positive would do more for you than being negative. Bad-mouthing a company would get you negative points in the hiring process, so avoid complaining and instead, tell them how you want to gain more experience, accomplish more milestones and work in a place that is a better fit for you. But if you were dismissed from your job, then be truthful and straightforward. There is no reason to fabricate or lie about what happened, trust us, your employer would find out one way or another.

  1. How would others describe you?

You can always throw a variety of adjectives at your employer in hopes of differentiating yourself from the general crowd, but that in itself is overly used and inadequate in terms of getting your point across. You need to be creative and always have a supporting examples to boost your claim. If you’re a team leader, recall an incident that illustrates it. If you’re a reliable person, recall an incident that illustrates it. Don’t say or make things up that you won’t be able to prove upon further questioning by the employer.

  1. How did you find out about this job vacancy?

This question is more of a routine survey for the company’s marketing tactics, so you needn’t worry about it too much – there is no wrong answer. Employers aren’t generally interested to know that you heard or saw the job ad on a forum or job-seeking website as it doesn’t truly show that you were specifically looking for this job. Instead, mentioning that you heard it from a friend or a current employee and expressing your excitement would show the employer that you were specifically looking for this job.

  1. Tell me about your greatest accomplishment.

You can always use this question to your utmost advantage without coming off as needy or narcissistic. If you’ve had a good amount of work experience, then answering this question won’t be so difficult. But if you possess little work experience, this could be a difficult question… but that’s why we’re here to make it easy for you. The accomplishment doesn’t have to be work-related, you could mention academic achievements or perhaps a volunteering job you did that improved your skills. It is always a good idea to connect your accomplishments to the job position you’re applying for. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up achieving an even greater accomplishment with the new job!

  1. Do you have any questions?

This usually comes right at the end of the job interview, and as a candidate, you should use this opportunity to ask questions from your employer. No question is silly, but make sure it is of an appropriate and relevant nature. Ask more about the company’s portfolio, the company’s growth, company-employee rapport or even the department and its members. Ask smart questions that show you are eager to learn about the company.

Conclusion

Job interviews can become boring really fast for the employer, so keep in mind to be memorable by adding humor throughout the interview process, but only when appropriate. Be smart and quick-thinking, and always answer truthfully.

We think you’ve already prepared enough for your job interview, so are you ready?

life @ ibex.

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12 Most Common Job Interview Questions and How to Nail them

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