Good interview preparation goes beyond just researching the company. One of the best things you can do is to write out answers to common interview questions. This will increase your confidence during the interview with the hiring manager. Below is a list of the most commonly asked interview questions, as well as tips for the best answers.
1. Tell Me About Yourself.
This “question” is one of the simplest things you might be asked during your interview, but also the most crucial. Instead of giving your complete employment history, provide a concise and compelling answer that shows why you are the right fit for the job. Bring up your current role and talk about any big accomplishments that show how you got to where you are today. Finally, segue into why you want the position and why you be the best fit for the job.
2. Why Do You Want to Work at This Company?
Research before the interview is vital—now put it to good use. Point out something that you find unique about the company and why you would want to work for them. Talk about how you were impressed with the company’s development and growth and how you can contribute to it. Focus on the organization’s opportunities for future growth, and how you would love to be part of it. Identify a couple of key factors that make the role a great fit for you and share what excites you about the company.
3. Why Should We Hire You?
Take advantage of this question when the hiring manager asks you. You want to craft an answer that will cover three important factors:
1. You can not only do the work, but also deliver great results;
2. You will fit in with the team and culture; and
3. You would be a better hire than any of the other candidates.
4. What Are Your Greatest Strengths?
When you answer this question, keep in mind quality over quantity. Pick one or a few (depending on the question) specific qualities that are relevant to this position and illustrate them with examples. Stories are always more memorable than generalizations. Show off your accomplishments in past jobs and describe to the hiring manager how you were able achieve them. Give an example of a situation and the task that you were required to complete, then describe what you did and what you achieved.
5. Tell Me About a Challenge or Conflict You’ve Faced at Work, and How You Dealt With It.
Be honest about a difficult situation you have faced in your past jobs, as most hiring managers are looking for evidence that you are willing to face these kinds of issues head-on and come up with a resolution. Stay calm and professional as you tell the story and spend more time talking about the resolution than the conflict.
6. Where do you see yourself in five years?
This is an opportunity for you to discuss your goals in a way that demonstrates you are focused on building your professional career. Mention that the position you are interviewing for fits in with your short- or long-term plan. For example, “I would like to learn as much as I can about this industry and eventually move into a management position.” Advancing your skills is important, too. You should be able to share what areas you want to strengthen in the near term (but be careful not to state areas of expertise that the company needs now).
7. What Salary Are You Looking For?
This can be a difficult question to answer but knowing the market rate for the position and industry can help. Research the typical salary range for someone of your experience, employment background, and education/qualifications prior to the interview.
Above all, be authentic and genuine when preparing your answers. The questions asked during an interview will highlight what the employer is looking for in a candidate and will allow you the chance to convince them why you are the best fit for the role. If your true and authentic self isn’t a good fit, you don’t want to work there anyway!