One of the most important things you can do to prepare for an interview is practice, practice, practice. While you won’t know every question the interviewer will ask, you can be sure they will ask at least some of the most common interview questions.
Practice answering these questions to better prepare for your upcoming interview.
Tell me about yourself
Give the interviewer a brief overview of your professional history. Take this opportunity to focus on notable achievements throughout your career. Practice summarizing your career in one to two minutes.
What interests you about this job?
Many job seekers make the mistake of focusing on what’s in it for them — salary, benefits, etc. Instead, use your answer to tell the interviewer what you will bring to the table. Whether it’s the challenges of the position, the day-to-day responsibilities, or the chance to work for a thriving company, figure out what genuinely excites you about the opportunity.
Why did you leave your last job? \ Why are you looking to leave your current job?
Even if you left your last job on bad terms, keep your answer to this question positive. Bad mouthing your last employer will only raise red flags. Maybe you’re looking for an organization with more growth opportunities or a position greater challenges. Whatever your reasons, keep it positive.
What do you know about our company?
One of the most important things you should do before an interview is research the company. Not having an answer to this question will almost surely disqualify you from the candidate pool. Visit their website, search for any relevant news on the organization, and check out their social media pages to get a complete overview of the company. Be prepared to tell them everything you learned.
Tell me about a time when …
Interviewers ask this question because they want to see how you handle certain situations. Whether it’s a difficult coworker or a mistake at work, they want to hear that you handled the situation with tact, have the ability to think on your feet, and solved the problem professionally. Prepare for this question with a real example of how you dealt with a problem at work and how you fixed it.
What questions do you have for me?
Nothing will eliminate you from the candidate pool quicker than having no questions to ask at the end of your interview. The interview wants to see if you are actually interested in the job, or if it’s just a placeholder until you find something you’re really interested in. If you’re truly interested in the opportunity, then these questions should come naturally. You might want to know what the culture is like, more details about the day-to-day responsibilities, or what the expectations are for the role. Think about the position and decide what questions you need answered before you can take the job. Always end by asking about the next step in the interview process.
What is your greatest weakness?
By asking this question, the interviewer wants to see if you’re honest and self-aware. Everyone has weaknesses, so saying you don’t have any won’t cut it. The best way to answer this question is to think of a weakness you’ve already taken steps to remedy, giving concrete examples of what you’re doing to improve.
What is your greatest strength?
The interviewer wants to learn what you can bring to their organization. Prepare by determining what strengths you have related to the position. Avoid cliché answers like “I’m a people person” or generic answers like “I’m a great communicator.” Give them an example of how your greatest strength has helped you find success in your previous roles.
What is your greatest professional achievement?
Be prepared with a specific example of an achievement in your career. Back up your claim with numbers: “Because of (specific action), I was able to boost sales by (X percentage).” Don’t be shy! This is a great chance to show off your skills.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
The interviewer wants to know if you have realistic expectations for your career and if those expectations align with the job opportunity. Be honest. Where do you want your career to be in five years? If your goals don’t match the role, you might not get the job, but at least you won’t take a job that doesn’t fit your aspirations.
An interview is your chance to show an employer why you’re the best candidate for the job. The worst thing you can do is try to wing it. Prepare and practice answers to all the most popular interview questions. You’ll boost your confidence and have a much better chance of landing the job. Good luck!
Did you know that 80% of open jobs are never advertised?
That’s because organizations either hire internally or work with a staffing agency like Burchard & Associates. We work on an exclusive basis with many St. Louis companies, meaning the only way to find out about their career opportunities is to work with us. If you’re looking for the next step in your career, start your search with us. Contact us today.