Acing the Most Common Interview Questions and Answers
Once you submit your resume, the next step toward a future position with a company is the personal interview. Whether it happens over the phone or in person, most candidates want to appear confident.
The best way to ensure that you can speak in a self-assured manner about your accomplishments is to review answers to the most common interview questions and answers.
There are a few top interview questions and answers that employers are likely to ask when they meet you for the first time. Questions and answers to interview questions are ultimately designed to reveal whether you are a good candidate for a job.
Take the time before your meeting to prepare your best interview answers, focusing on your own accomplishments, strengths, and past performances. AdvisoryHQ is going to help you to prepare for your upcoming interview by reviewing tips for coming up with the best interview questions and answers.
If you’re worried about what a potential employer might throw at you in an interview, take a look at these frequently asked interview questions to put your mind at ease. When you feel prepared, you’re far more likely to ace your interview and score the job.
Top 7 Best Interview Questions and Answers | Brief Comparison
Top Interview Questions and Answers
Why It Matters
|Tell me about yourself.||Show potential employers who you really are with a greater degree of freedom.||Discuss 2-3 specific accomplishments that relate to the position.|
|What is your greatest strength?||Show employers what you can offer the company.||Back up a claim with a specific demonstration or accomplishment.|
|What is your greatest weakness?||Demonstrate your self-confidence, willingness to improve, and humility.||Offer a real weakness and a tangible way you are working to improve it.|
|Where do you see yourself in five years?||Evaluate your commitment level to the company.||Show commitment to the position and outline a plan that shows a mutually beneficial future relationship.|
|Why did you leave your last job?||Determine what went wrong in your last job and whether it will be an issue with a new employer.||Answer honestly but have a positive tone. If you were let go, be honest and share areas where you are working to improve.|
|Why do you want this job?||Prove to hiring managers that you know something about the company.||Share facts that you have learned about the company and why you would be a great fit for them and this position.|
|Why should we hire you?||Show that hiring you will be a worthwhile investment.||Summarize key accomplishments from your professional history.|
Table: Top 7 Best Common Interview Questions and Answers | Above list is sorted alphabetically
How to Answer Interview Questions
Interviews are an unavoidable part of the hiring process that we all go through to secure a new position. According to research, the average length of an interview is a lengthy forty minutes of common job interview questions and answers.
Unfortunately, the first 90 seconds can determine a lot about a candidate: 33% of hiring managers reach a decision during this time period.
Within that short window, you likely will not have time to offer any of the common interview questions and answers.
The best way to ace your interviews is to enter the room prepared and confident in your accomplishments. Learning how to answer interview questions can go a long way toward helping you get hired.
Remember that frequently asked interview questions are designed to allow you to share your qualifications and past experiences. The best answers to interview questions can paint your strengths in the best light possible while demonstrating to employers that you can perform this new job function.
Your answers to interview questions are just as important as your body language, though. Maintain a professional air about you, being certain to sit up straight and keep your body language positive.
Experts recommend incorporating some of these body language tips to go along with the best job interview answers:
- Sit up tall and lean back firmly against the back of your chair.
- Keep feet on the floor and refrain from crossing at the knee.
- Nod your head and lean in slightly while listening.
- Offer a firm yet gentle handshake.
- Use small hand gestures as you speak but keep them from appearing frantic.
Ultimately, the interview process is nerve-wracking even when you’re prepared with the most common interview questions and answers. Remind yourself to take a deep breath during the typical interview questions and recite your well-rehearsed best job interview answers.
Image Source: Monster.com
Detailed Review – Best Interview Questions and Answers
Below, please find the detailed review of each question on our list of top interview questions and answers. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these common interview questions and answers to score so highly in our selection ranking.
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Tell Me About Yourself
The open-ended possibilities associated with these most common interview questions and answers makes questions like “tell me about yourself” commonplace for employers. This is an opportunity for you to impress a potential manager with information about yourself.
When asked one of these most common interview questions and answers, you want to present yourself in the best light possible. This is not the time to share your life story nor is it the time to give an unflattering glimpse at yourself.
Some experts recommend reframing the question in your mind to say something more along the lines of: what do they really want to know?
“Tell me more about yourself” gives you an opportunity to share details that may not otherwise arise during the course of an interview. This catch-all question is one of the best interview questions and answers to give potential employers a feel for who you are beyond your resume.
However, there are still a few things to keep in mind when it comes to how to answer interview questions such as this one.
Paint yourself in the most flattering light possible, only giving information that directly pertains to why you could be a good fit for the position or the company. Remember that your personal life will have very little bearing on your employment, so keep details regarding your family or hobbies to a minimum in the best answers to interview questions.
Experts recommend coming up with two or three specific accomplishments you can discuss when faced with these top interview questions and answers. You may also want to include prior experiences when faced with these frequently asked interview questions. Don’t portray yourself as overqualified or underqualified for the position at hand.
What Is Your Greatest Strength?
Employers want to know what you can bring to their company when you fill a new position. Understanding your greatest strength allows them to assess whether your skillset aligns with the vacant position their company needs to fill. “What is your greatest strength?” is easily one of the best interview questions and answers for employers to ask.
These top interview questions and answers give employers a sense of your past accomplishments and an expectation for what you will bring to the table. While it may not seem like it, discussing your greatest strength has a lot of flexibility in allowing the interviewee to guide the conversation.
Remember that every employer is looking to fill a specific position within their company. The most common interview questions and answers should be designed to help create a match, so tailor your best interview answers for the position at hand.
Your greatest strength should showcase a skill that is incredibly important to company values or to the job responsibilities you could expect to encounter. The best job interview answers will highlight an achievement that supports the claim you make within your answer.
The recommendation from interview coach Pamela Skillings is to assess your own strengths with accuracy. An employer is used to issuing the most common interview questions and answers. They will know if you are being dishonest or exaggerating your strengths quickly, especially if you have no examples to back up your claim.
What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
This is one of the most dreaded possibilities for an interviewee to face, and yet it manages to make the top interview questions and answers. Weaknesses are a great place to see how individuals view themselves as well as how they strive to improve themselves.
Employers can easily identify which candidates have a rare combination of self-confidence and humility when they go for these common interview questions and answers. A candidate who does not see any weaknesses within themselves is likely to be unteachable and unrealistic.
Common job interview questions and answers to this option can make interviewees squirm as they try to find something positive to share. Unfortunately, presenting a strength as a weakness isn’t going to be your best option to these typical interview questions.
CollegeGrad.com recommends finding an area that you can actually identify as a weakness. Be aware that you should be prepared to share how you are working to improve in this area with tangible next steps. Sharing the best interview questions and answers that leave you stuck in your own weakness can make employers leery of your lack of ambition.
Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
Asking where your dreams are headed in the next few years may not seem like one of the most common interview questions and answers. However, the reality is that it can reveal a lot about your personality, ambition, and commitment to the company.
The top interview questions and answers are designed to share positive experiences and give a feel for future interactions. Questions regarding your future plans over the coming years give managers the opportunity to judge your forward-thinking and your drive to succeed.
These best interview questions and answers give a clear glimpse into how serious you are about a possible career.
The best job interview answers to questions regarding the future should be grounded in a heavy dose of reality. These are frequently asked interview questions in order to determine whether or not you are going to be committed to the job they are hiring you for. After all, hiring an individual is a large investment of time and resources.
The Interview Guys suggest answering with a statement that shows a high level of commitment to the vacant position you’re being considered for. After this, you should consider outlining a very specific and realistic plan for your own personal and professional growth.
Keep in mind that your plan for growth should be directly related to a mutually beneficial relationship between you and the company. These most common interview questions and answers often forget to mention that there is potential for a mutually beneficial long-term relationship.
Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
Diving into the details of your previous employment is a tricky matter, but there’s a reason it makes for one of the best interview questions and answers. Determining how you felt about the previous company and what went wrong is a huge factor in how you will speak about this company after you leave as well.
Employers want to know whether you left voluntarily or if you were let go. The top interview questions and answers are likely to hint at a need for an answer to both what happened and the reason behind it.
These most common interview questions and answers call for a level of honesty but not at the expense of integrity. Professionals agree that the tone should be kept positive and focus on what you can gain from a new employment opportunity.
Share a specific aspect of the position you’re interviewing for that is absent from your previous job and why it interests you.
If you were fired from your previous position, it is best to own up to the mistake now. All it takes is a simple phone call to your previous employer to find out the real reason.
The best answers to interview questions always demonstrate your personal capacity for growth and development. Share what you learned from your last experience and how you are striving to do better for the future. You can ace top interview questions and answers by taking tangible steps to improve yourself.
Image Source: Mashable.com
Why Do You Want This Job?
One of the top interview questions and answers relates directly to your ability to articulate why you’re interested. Potential employers want to know that you are seriously interested in the position they have available. Without passion, there won’t be much to encourage you to remain with their company.
“Why do you want this job?” is one of the typical interview questions to assess how much you actually know about the company and the job itself. You should have already conducted research on the company to know why you would want to work there.
If not, you need to take a few minutes to read up on your employer before you head to the interview and are faced with these common job interview questions and answers.
The best interview questions and answers give you an opportunity to demonstrate your abilities. If you answer these common job interview questions with facts about your personal life, including the need for the increased salary, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Experts recommend approaching these best interview questions and answers with information that you’ve learned about the company. Share aspects of the company policy or philosophy that are particularly appealing to you in your answers to interview questions. Give them a glimpse of what parts of the job you are most excited to handle in the near future.
All of these best job interview answers should be centered on what your strengths are and what you can offer the company. If you’re passionate about a certain philosophy in the company mission, you may want to share how it affects your daily life or an accomplishment that demonstrates your commitment to it.
Why Should We Hire You?
Every company is likely to need a little convincing that you could be a valuable asset to their team. Asking why they should hire you during an interview is one of the top interview questions and answers, yet it still has the potential to throw interviewees off their game.
It can be intimidating to have to answer for every accomplishment you’ve ever had throughout your professional life. However, these most common interview questions and answers are created to show a company exactly how they can benefit from adding you to their team.
Asking “why should we hire you?” is a way to find out if you will be worth the investment they are making in your professional development.
According to Monster.com, this is a great time to have a summary of your professional accomplishments memorized. When faced with these top interview questions and answers, many people may draw a blank. What you should do in your best interview answers is produce a brief summary of past experiences and how they relate to the position you’re interviewing for.
The accomplishments and stories you select for your synopsis should show a direct correlation to success in your future role with the company. Only choose examples in your answers to interview questions that highlight strengths that are necessary with the upcoming job responsibilities you would expect to have.
These best interview questions and answers should leave no doubt in an employer’s mind that you are qualified and memorable enough to land a job with their company.
Conclusion—Top 7 Best Interview Questions and Answers
Interviewing for a new position is a nerve-wracking experience — even under the best circumstances. It can help to be prepared by knowing the most common interview questions and answers you can expect to face, though you won’t be able to anticipate everything.
Consider how you can apply the concepts learned from the top interview questions and answers to possibilities that arise during your discussion. The best interview answers play up strengths that you can offer to the company.
Once you understand how to answer interview questions this way, it becomes that much easier to have a successful job interview that leads to an offer.
Common job interview questions are designed to show employers who you are and why they should hire you. Put yourself in a positive light by preparing the answers to these most common interview questions and answers.
Your preparation now could lead to a new position in your near future.
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