When it comes to interviews, questions, nervousness and everything that comes with it, the best advice I can give you, is to STAND OUT.
Don’t get stuck not knowing how to answer these most common interview questions. It happens all of the time. A hiring manager asks a candidate a common question and get the wide-eyed, blank stare they know all too well. The candidate looks away trying to think of an answer, even adding in some “ums” and “ahs”, and by the time they start speaking they’ve already lost the job. Don’t be that person!
When job hunting you must know the most common interview questions so you can ace your interview and land the job. No hesitations. No wondering. Get to know the questions and what your answers would be.
Question #1: Tell me About Yourself
So, the first one’s not technically a question, but it is. The hiring manager wants to know what you want her to know about you. Still following? She wants to know what you are going to highlight about yourself. What she wants to hear about is how your experience, work history, education, and career goals relate to the current job opening.
Choose your best experiences that show why you are the perfect candidate for the job.
I studied at X University where I earned a bachelor’s degree in ABC. I completed an internship at Y Company where I (be specific about your accomplishments, and make sure they’re relevant). My studies and internship solidified my passion and excitement for this line of work.
Question #2: Where Will You be in 5 Years?
This question determines whether you’ve given a thought to your future. If you don’t have a career plan with goals, why are you even there? With this common interview question the hiring manager is seeing if you have any career goals and if they relate to the job opening.
If you haven’t already create a career plan with goals. Where do you want to be in 5 years? Your answer needs to include the company you’re interviewing at, because if your 5 year career plan doesn’t include that company, why are they going to invest their time, money and efforts into hiring you?
Avoid talking about your personal goals.
Question #3: What is Your Biggest Weakness?
This one gets a lot of people nervous, but when you figure out how to answer it you’ll be fine. The hiring manager just wants to know if you are aware of yourself, your weaknesses, and if you have improved on anything.
The best way to respond to this most common interview question is by referring to a career-related weakness that you have overcome. A lot of people are afraid of public speaking, but it’s a great skill to have when job hunting and during your career. Maybe a previous employer pointed this weakness out to you, so you decided to work on it.
In my previous job my employer noticed that I didn’t like giving presentations and was often extremely nervous, so I decided to sign up with Toastmasters where I learned how to not be afraid of speaking in public. Now I can give a presentation without worry.
Question #4: Why do You Want to Work Here?
Don’t let this one stump you. It sounds like a trick question, doesn’t it? Well, you’re at the interview for the job position so of course you are interested in it, but why? The hiring manager is asking this common interview question because she wants to know if you are interested in the job, and if you are a good fit for the position.
It’s time to talk about the company. That means you need to do a little research before your interview. Read up on the company, find out what they sell, what’s been said in the news about them, how and when they were founded, and more. Find out all you can. Use some of the information you gather to show that you are a great fit, and that the job opening fits your career goals. Talk about how you would benefit from the job and how the company would benefit from having you as an employee.
Question #5: How Many Couches Are There in America?
What the what? I know. It’s a weird one, but it is always good to be prepared for a question you don’t know the answer to. Candidates for Google were asked this very question when interviewed.
The hiring manager wants to see how you handle pressure and if you can think on your feet. Avoid getting too thrown off. Think about it. Where do you find couches? In homes, furniture stores, hotels…Talk about where the couches would be found and go from there. You don’t have to give the right answer. You just have to show you can keep cool under pressure and you can think quickly.
Study these most common interview questions so you’ll be ready for your next job interview.