Each job interview has its own quirks, queries, and themes, but there are top 20 interview questions managers rely on. If prepared, you will be armed with information and confidence to tackle these questions head-on and hopefully pass the interview process with flying colours.
How you respond to these questions posed below will affect your outcome on securing a position in the company or not. So how does one get ready for a tough job interview? One needs to be prepared to the tee. Research and do your homework. Ensure that you understand your resume completely and anticipate that typical job interview questions will always originate from your work history.
Additionally, expect questions concerning the organisation you want to work for and the sort of future you might have in that organisation. You should always give the best interview answers to these questions. Lastly, expect questions about you as a person. Study these top 20 interview questions which ought to be useful in anticipation of the interview. They can also be used for top 20 phone interview questions.
1. Tell us a little about yourself?
This is a basic yet critical question. Don’t be tempted to narrate your autobiography. Giving a pitch is preferred, one that is convincing and succinct. Start off with the accomplishments that you want the interviewer to notice first. End by explaining how those achievements make you the best fit for the job.
2. How did you find out about this job opportunity?
Instead of only explaining how you caught wind of the job opening, demonstrate further by stating that you did your research and spoke with a colleague or manager in the company. This shows you actually care about the company’s operations, vision, and aspirations that it fuels the need for you to truly want to work there.
Managers would prefer not to employ individuals who simply need a job; they want to hire individuals who want a job with their organisation and feels passionately about the company.
3. What do you think about this company?
When asked this question by the interviewers, they aren’t asking to judge whether you know the mission of the company. Instead, they want to know if you truly care about and understand the organisation. You should show that you know the company’s objectives by using expressions and keywords from the company’s website – but make it personal.
You can start by saying “I am attracted to this mission because…” and share an individual case or two.
4. For what reason would it be a good idea for us to contract/hire you?
As much as this question is somewhat intimidating, consider yourself lucky if you are asked. This is your best chance to pitch your skills and yourself to the interviewer. You only have to use an answer that highlights the following things:
- You can deliver good results.
- Get the work done.
- You will be well adapted with the rest of the team and its culture.
- They need to know that you’d be a superior choice over any other competitors vying for the position.
5. What inspires you?
Inspiration is personal and with that, there is no wrong answer here. It may be down to your craving to succeed financially, build a career, or the fact you want to provide for yourself or your family. All are good responses but be mindful to mention other professional aspirations as well.
6. What are your strong qualities?
Here, consider three things that you do well and give solid examples. Avoid a list of adjectives. Are you a good coordinator, negotiator or marketer? Are you creative or good with numbers? Highlight experiences that brought forth lasting solutions using your unique strengths and talents.
7. What weaknesses/shortcomings do you have?
Please note that having the capacity to recognize one’s weaknesses is a strength. Direct your focus on an area in your position that needs an upgrade. You may have the wrong training that is contrary to the position at hand. Call attention to it, as something you have recognised and are concentrating on resolving. Interviewers need to know that you can speak truthfully about yourself and on self-improvement.
8. What are you looking for in terms of salary?
This appears like a straightforward question but it is not. You can lose the chances of being hired if you overprice yourself out of the market. If you under-price yourself, you may get you the job offer but you risk getting a lower salary and blaming yourself. Find out how to effectively negotiate your compensation so you get the pay you deserve.
9. Describe your dream job
Don’t simply make up an answer. You can learn something from each profession. You can acquire skills in any given job. Work in reverse: Highlight the things you will learn from the job you are being interviewed for and how these skills will come in handy the day you land your dream job.
Be bold enough to say that you will move on someday, whether to join another organisation or start a business of your choice. No employer expects “forever” employees anymore.
10. How well do you work in a team?
Consider experiences whether professional or otherwise, from your past, that shows your capacity to network, find lasting solutions or simply get along with people.
This question is particularly critical for individuals who need to be team leaders or office administrators.
11. How would other people describe you?
This question is a total throwaway but must be answered. Please be honest but creative in your answer.
12. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Job jumping. This is the new normal and most bosses perceive that people, particularly youthful, driven individuals, are continually searching for better opportunities. Don’t pretend that you will still be working in the organization past five years. Rather, speak about your dream job at that company you can work towards together with your experience and interests. This shows the hiring manager that you’re driven, and are in search of professional growth.
13. How would you deal with pressure and stress at work?
The most ideal way to answer this typical job interview question is to give a case of how you have effectively dealt with pressure in a previous work environment.
Don’t say that you rarely get stressed of feel pressured at work. Rather, plan your answer in a way that recognises that one can be stressed at work and how you conquered it or even utilised it to your advantage.
14. What other companies are you interviewing with?
This is a common job interview question asked by managers for many reasons. It might be to test how serious you are about the industry the company is in. You only have to show clearly that you are investigating similar choices in the industry.
15. What do you like to do during your free time?
Many organisations feel the cultural fit is critical, and they use other interests as an approach to decide how you will fit in their team.
However, don’t be enticed to lie and claim to appreciate hobbies you don’t. Talk about hobbies that show some growth like abilities you’re attempting to learn, objectives you’re trying to achieve. Add those in with some details.
16. Educate me on the hardest choice you needed to make over the past six months.
The goal to this question is to assess one’s thinking capacity, critical thinking attributes, judgment, and perhaps even ability to take risks. Having no answer is a bad sign. A clever response demonstrates that you can settle on a troublesome decision, which incorporates interpersonal considerations and consequences. The best applicants normally measure all sides of an issue, not only the business or human side only.
17. Why are you leaving your present place of employment?
Try and sound positive when answering this question, as it shows you in a bad light if you talk negatively about your current employer. Show that you are anxious for growth and new opportunities presented by the company compared to your current position.
18. Can you explain why you changed career paths?
You can be easily thrown away by this question but instead, relax and expand on your decision. Give a couple of cases of how your past experience is transferable to the new position. It should not necessarily be a direct connection. On the contrary, it’s impressive when impractical experiences make sense to the new role.
19. Why were you terminated from your former job?
Here, your best option is, to be honest, but it does not have to be a serious issue. Instead, speak about how you have grown and learned from the experience and how you are looking at life with a new set of eyes. Show how experience has equipped you for this new position.
20. Do You Have Any Questions you would like us to answer?
At the end of the meeting, most interviewers ask whether you have any queries concerning the job offer or the organisation. Having no questions prepared makes you appear as though you are not passionate about the opportunity.
Thus, it’s smart to have a rundown of typical job interview questions and be prepared and ready to respond.