Job Interview Questions and Answers

Has a recruiter just informed you that you're scheduled for an interview next week? Don't panic; you can prepare by reviewing job interview questions and answers beforehand.

The technique above provides three advantages. First, you are able to structure your thoughts, which will enable you to answer more coherently. Second, being aware of typical interview questions helps boost your confidence about facing the interviewer. Third, the interview will be less stressful; you will feel comfortable in expressing your thoughts verbally and nonverbally.

You may start your preparation with the job interview questions and answers provided below. Take note, however, that these common questions are used to either start the interview process or to shift the conversation from one topic to another. More often than not, interviewers will ask you follow up questions based on your initial answers. It is therefore advisable to stay mindful of every word you speak during your interview as they can be used in your favor or against you.

Tell Me Something about Yourself

Recruiters often use this statement to begin the interview. To respond, you don't need to memorize your biography and describe every detail of your first job. Instead, ask yourself the following:

  • What information is relevant to the desired position and the company?
  • How will I structure and articulate my answers in a comprehensible way?
  • How can I compose my answers to sound positive and focus on my strengths?

After answering the questions above, finalize your one-minute answer. Consider this your elevator pitch. Don't elaborate and engage in a long-winded speech; the recruiter is only after information that will be useful to the company.

How Do You See Yourself Ten Years from Now?

Your answer to this question tells the recruiter if your goals are aligned with the direction of the company. This information is essential for the following reasons:

  • It implies how long you will stay with the company.
  • It tells the recruiter your career goals and if the company can help you achieve them.
  • It conveys your sense of direction.

If you are applying for a long term position, it is wise to give an answer that indicates your desire to grow with the company. Employers dislike turnover because it costs them time, effort, and money in recruitment and training. Therefore, don't give them the impression that you'll only be with them for a short time.

What Inspired You to Apply for This Position?

This question gauges your knowledge about the job and the company. Answers like, "Honestly, I don't know that much about this position," is a major turnoff. It tells the recruiter you're venturing into something you don't understand. It's like going to war without a battle plan or without any idea of who your enemy is. To answer this question, research answers about the following:

  • How does the company operate? What is it known for? What makes it prestigious?
  • How does your desired position contribute to its operations?
  • How can your competencies be used in the company's day-to-day operations?

Ensure that you establish a connection between you and the firm so the recruiter can appreciate your presence in the interview room.

How Did Your Education Prepare You for The Job?

Recent graduates often encounter this question. Recruiters want to know how your educational background has prepared you for the position. To formulate the perfect answer, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How did your major enhance your know-how and prepare you for the job?
  • How did your extra-curricular activities develop the skills required for the job?
  • How did your training prepare you for your chosen career?

Mention the positive values and abilities you've developed such as leadership (e.g., you served as club president), time management (e.g., you juggled academics and part-time jobs), and social skills (e.g., you encountered different personalities at different events). Also, tell the recruiter you can do the job with sufficient training and supervision.

What Are Your Weaknesses?

Recruiters don't expect you to be perfect, but they'd like to know your weaknesses as they may affect your work performance. Some interviewers directly ask you what your weaknesses are and some rephrase the question indirectly to get a more accurate answer. Example questions include:

  • What negative comments have you received from your friends and professors?
  • If I call your previous supervisor, what do you think he or she will say are the areas you need to improve?
  • Which of your characteristics will hinder you from achieving your goals?

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