13 Most Common Interview Questions: What Are They & How to Answer?

13 Most Common Interview Questions: What Are They & How to Answer?

13 Most Common Interview Questions

Most likely it is not your first personal interview: you had a meeting with the college board when applying for an internship or starting your first job. That is why you know that there is always a set of standard questions that are designed to make sure you are the best fit.

In this article, we will introduce you to interview questions and answers that will help you to prepare for a meeting.

1. Can you tell me a Little about Yourself?

Probably the first question a hiring manager will ask you is to tell you about yourself. At first, it may seem a rather simple question but it is crucial, so you need to prepare in advance.

The main advice is not to give your full employment or personal background. The best way is to give just enough information to show the manager why you are a perfect fit for the position. Highlight two-three main achievements and experiences, which you are most proud of and then explain how that experience made you ready for this particular job.

2. Why do you Want this Job?

This one is another basic question of an interviewer, so you will surely face it during a personal meeting. Companies want to hire passionate specialists, so you need to prepare a solid answer. If you can’t come up with a good answer, the best solution is to look for another vacancy.

First, distinguish key features that make this position a perfect fit for you. For example, I love teaching, because I am doing great with children and I love the feeling when you see the results of your work. Then say why you like their company. For example, I have graduated from this school and I have only positive memories about it; so now I want to give my skills back.

3. Why should we Hire You?

There are many behavioral questions that you will face during an interview (questions that are based on your past experiences), giving managers a chance to evaluate how well you managed to face particular problems and obstacles.

That is why the question ‘Why should we hire you?’ is rather tricky. However, if you are prepared for it, you have a great opportunity to sell yourself and to show the best skills you have.

Your task is to cover three main issues: 

  • You can deliver outstanding results;
  • You can become a part of the corporate culture;
  • You are a better candidate than others.

4. What is Your Greatest Professional Strengths?

The best answer will be to concentrate on your actual strengths, not on those that you think your interviewer prefers to hear. Choose only relevant strengths, which are important for a particular position and make sure that they are specific. Instead of saying ‘I have strong communication skills’, say ‘Good at building connections inside the team’. 

Don’t forget to back every strength with an example of how those traits reflect your professionalism.

5. What do You Consider to be Your Weaknesses?

The actual question behind this one is how honest you are and how good you understand yourself. That is why you need to find a proper balance between ‘I don’t have any weaknesses’ and ‘I rarely meet the deadlines’.

Think of the weaknesses that you managed to improve or even overcome. For example, you can say that you had trouble with mastering common MS Office programs but you have just finished a training course and can utilize Excel and Word without any problems.

6. What is Your Greatest Professional Achievement?

The best way to show that you are a good candidate for a particular position is to tell about all the achievements and outstanding results during your career. That is why put your shyness away! 

Here you can use the STAR approach: set up a certain situation and the task you had to complete. This will give the interviewer the context of the situation. However, use most of the time to describe how you acted and what your results were. Situation-Task-Action-Result!

7. Tell me about a Challenge or Conflict you’ve Faced at Work, and How You Dealt with It

There are many types of job interview questions, so you should be ready to answer the trickiest ones. Especially when it comes to behavioral questions, which aim to show the interviewer how well you are able to manage conflicts.

Here you can also use the STAR approach. This will help you to focus on the action and to show that you are not only professional but stress-resistant and are able to find solutions and compromises.

8. Where do You See Yourself in Five Years?

This question is probably one of the most popular, so it is quite difficult to come up with unique and original interview answers. But you should still do your best!

Remain honest and try to be quite specific about goals for the future. Remember that the interviewer wants to know whether you have realistic expectations about career and whether you are ambitious enough.

The best answer will be to depict where the discussed position can take you in five years. It is fine if you don’t have a clear picture but in such a case you need to say that you are sure that this experience will surely play a great role in your future.

9. What Other Companies Are You Interviewing With?

There is nothing illegal in such questions, even though most potential employees prefer not to answer it. Companies may ask it for several reasons: some of them want to see how competitive you are, while others want to make sure how serious you are about the field.

The best answer is to remain quite general and to say something like ‘I am exploring a few options in the industry’. You can also mention that similar characteristic of the jobs you are considering allows you to apply all the specific skills and abilities that you have.

10. Why are You Leaving Your Current Job?

This question is quite challenging but it is surely on the list of every company. That is why it is better to prepare the answer in advance. Remember to stay positive – being negative won’t add scores.

It is better to emphasize that you are looking forward to all the opportunities the company can offer and explain why the new role fits you better. But what should you say if you were fired? Then you can simply say ‘Unfortunately, the company had to let me go’.

11. What are You Looking for in a New Position?

It doesn’t matter whether you are having a phone or a personal interview: try to remain positive and to tell what exactly you want to get from the company. Remember that it is not a one-sided meeting and you can also expect something from the potential employee.

 Don’t be shy but still remain objective. It is better not to concentrate on financial aspects: instead, tell about the skills you would like to gain.

12. How Would Your Boss and Co-workers Describe You?

This question is also rather popular and your answer should be prepared in advance. Remember that the business world is rather tight, so if you get a job offer, most likely the hiring manager will call your former boss or co-workers.

Just tell about the strengths you haven’t discussed yet and highlight your work ethic.

13. How do You Deal with Pressure or Stressful Situations?

Even though this question comes last in our list, it is surely one of the top questions during an interview. No one wants to hire an employee, who is not able to deal with stress and pressure at work.

Your answer must show that you are able to deal with such situations in a positive and professional manner. Don’t forget to mention that nothing can stop you from achieving your goals. You can also describe a typical situation from your past work and share how you managed to deal with it.