You got shortlisted for an interview and are concerned about questions your potential employer might ask you during the interview. While there’s never a way to anticipate all the interview questions, you can at least prepare yourself for common job interview questions.
Generally, the interview questions can be categorized into two topics, “why you?” and “why this job?”. By the end of this blog, you would get an overview of common job interview questions. Furthermore, you’d get tips on how to prepare these questions.
Common Job Interview Questions
‘Why You?’ Questions
This section concerns questions about your background, skills and personality traits.
Tell me about yourself
This question is usually the ice breaker between the interviewer and you. The Interviewer’s intention is to make you feel comfortable and get to know you. Don’t simply repeat information from your CV. Instead, try to highlight the details that’re most relevant to the position you’ve applied for. Moreover, you can end it in such a way that it leads to follow-up questions, which you’ve already prepared.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This may fall in the category of the most disliked interview questions. However, it’s one of the common job interview questions. It provides a golden opportunity to showcase your talent in analyzing yourself critically. When it comes to strengths, mention the ones that are most relevant for the role that you’ve applied for. Instead of simply naming the strengths, mention how that quality is your strength and how you’ve used it to achieve different goals in life.
However, the tricky part of the question is mentioning your weaknesses. Though you’ve to share your flaws, you should set a positive tone. Nobody is perfect and we’ve all got weaknesses. The interviewer just wants to see if you’re bold enough to admit that you’ve a weakness and are working on it. Mention briefly the weakness and explain what you’ve been doing about it. Don’t forget to mention the progress of your actions. This demonstrates your drive to better yourself, which is a good selling point.
Describe a challenge and how did you overcome it?
Choose an incident where you got challenged but overcame it despite the emotional turmoil. This can relate to any of your university projects or work experiences. The interviewer wants to know how you were able to manage the stress and acted rationally. So prepare an answer which gives your potential employer the impression that you are cool-minded and proactive.
What’s your greatest personal achievement?
The best way to prepare is to think of a few achievements that portray your work ethic and values. You should pick examples that closely relate to the role you’ve applied for and reflect positive leadership. However, you also should not come out to be boastful even if you’ve accomplished a lot. If you’ve an achievement regarding social responsibility, we’d suggest describing that instead of simply narrating something related to work efficiency.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
This is also one of the common job interview questions. However, don’t think that it’s just another question. Your potential employer wishes to understand if your goals fit with the company’s goals. To answer fittingly, provide a gist about your goals, skills you want to develop, and what you aspire to be. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box here and dream big.
Give us an example where you demonstrated xyz quality
Depending upon the role you’re seeking, the hiring committee might ask you examples that demonstrate that you’ve dealt with similar situations in the past. With the help of these examples, they’d like to know that you’re capable of handling the responsibility.
‘Why this job?’ Questions
This section is related to questions that show your interest in the job position and the company.
Why are you interested in our company?
This is a commonly asked job interview question. Interviewers want to determine if you took the time to research the company. You’ve got to do your homework. Dig deeper than the company’s homepage and learn about the company; what it does, its history and culture, its goals and social projects, etc . You can mention the points that appeal to you and align with your career objectives. The more relevant and personalized your answer, the more likely you appear to be a ‘good fit’ for the company.
Why are you interested in this particular job/role?
Your potential employer asks this to check your interest in the job you’ve applied for. It may sound similar to the previous question but your approach to answer this question should be different. You should be able to explain how the role of the job fits with your development goals, interests, values and current skills.
Why should we hire YOU or why are YOU the best fit for the position?
This question is similar to the one about your strengths. While answering this one, you should focus on your unique selling point. Explain what personality trait and skill set makes you a better fit than other applicants. This is like your bestselling hashtag or your top three hashtags.
What are your salary expectations?
While talking about common job interview questions, we can’t ignore this one. Your answer to this question should show your potential employer that you know your worth and the market average for the role you’ve applied for. Do your homework and come up with a number that’s a win-win for both parties. If you’re flexible with your salary expectations, you can tell the hiring committee about your salary range.
If you’ve applied to work abroad, you may be asked the following questions as well:
- Are you willing to settle abroad by yourself or with your family?
- Would you be fine with learning a new language?
- What challenges do you think you might face while working abroad and how will you tackle them?
We hope this post gave you an overview about common job interview questions and tips for good answers. There will almost always be some unanticipated questions. However, you can prepare good answers for common interview questions and enhance your chances of leaving a good impression on the hiring committee.
There’s more to an interview preparation than common interview questions. Check out our blog post How to Prepare for a Job Interview and make sure you’re ready for that important interview.
If you want tips on how to work abroad and prepare documents required for a job application such as CV, Cover Letter and Letter of Recommendation (LOR), check out Steps to Work Abroad.
Ace your job interview and get a step closer to your dream job with the help of our Interview Preparation Services.
Author: Adil Ilyas
Editor: Andrea Sijp