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Most Common Interview Questions and Answers

Are you preparing for a job interview? The best way to get ready is by taking time to review the most common interview questions and answers. By preparing your answers for these common interview questions, you will become more confident and comfortable with what the interviewer might ask and show them that you are the right candidate for the job position. 

So without further ado, we share the most common interview questions and answers and tips on preparing for your job interview. 

Tell me about yourself

This interview question is the most-commonly asked at the beginning of an interview. It is an open-ended question that allows the interviewee to answer freely in an open manner. This is so that the interviewer can probe deeper into the interviewee’s answer.

This question is usually asked to break the ice and ease both the interviewer and interviewee. It also allows the interviewer to hear a brief background of the candidate and give them a few insights into the candidate’s skills and experiences. 

Here’s how you can answer the “Tell me about yourself” interview question.

  • Tell the interviewer about your previous job roles relating to the position you are applying for, the recent accomplishments you have made, and your career goals. 
  • Highlight your skills that are relevant to the job description.
  • Emphasize what you want to accomplish for your job role and company.
  • Demonstrate that you are optimistic, passionate, and professional.

What is your salary range expectation?

It is difficult to answer questions about your expected salary. This is a very straightforward and complex question that cannot be avoided during the job offer interview. Employers ask this question to know if they can afford your services. 

The best way to answer this question is to know your worth and to have an idea of the median salary of the job role. You can check the median salary of the position you are applying for on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. You can also check our article “How to Answer Salary Expectations In an Interview” to find out how you can answer this question confidently without hurting your chance at a well-paying job.

serious-attentive-african-hr-listening-to-candidate-at-job-interview

Do you have any questions?

When the interviewer asks if you have any questions for them, the most common answer of the interviewees is: I don’t have any question. This is a wrong answer because it shows that you did not do your research and that you are not interested to know more about the company and the job role. 

It is important that you ask (the right) questions to learn more about the company and the job role. Here are some questions to ask the interviewer

  1. Have I answered all your inquiries?
  2. What are the day-to-day responsibilities of the role?
  3. How long did the last hired person for the role hold the position? How did the role turnover generally look like?
  4. What are the essential qualities that will help one excel in the role?
  5. How will you describe the company culture?
  6. What are the expectations for the role in the first month, the sixth month, and the first year?
  7. How do you see your biggest competitors? Why are you better?
  8. What is the most challenging part of the job?
  9. Who are the people I’m going to work with, and who am I directly reporting to?
  10. Is there an opportunity to grow professionally and move up the ladder?
  11. What do you love the most about working here?
  12. Is there anything we’ve discussed that makes you question whether I am perfect for the role?
  13. What are the succeeding steps after the interview?

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

It is a tricky and challenging question to answer. You need to talk about your strength without sounding conceited and be open about your weaknesses without undermining your candidacy.

When you need to mention your weakness in an interview, focus on the qualities or skills that are not central to the requirement of the job you are interviewing. Then talk about how you transformed or currently transformed your weakness into strength. 

When you need to mention your strength, you must align your strengths with the job requirement. Start by listing down your skills and qualifications that match those that the employer is seeking. Then take all of the qualifications you have gathered and put them together and tailor them to one single answer.

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Here are more common interview questions to practice for your next interview:

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What interests you about this role?
  • Tell me about your work experience.
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • What is your greatest accomplishment?
  • How do you handle stress?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Can you tell me about a difficult work situation and how you overcame it?
  • Tell me about a time you failed.
  • What can you bring to the company?
  • How do you work under pressure?
  • Why should we hire you?

How to prepare for an interview

Going to your job interview can be nerve-wracking if you came unprepared. To ease down your nerves, you need to be prepared to succeed in your job interview. Here are some tips for preparing for your job interview.

  1. Review the job posting
  2. Research the company
  3. Practice answering the common interview questions
  4. Review your resume
  5. Master positive body language for a job interview
  6. Ask your interviewer questions
  7. Plan your interview outfit
  8. Arrive on time
  9. Use the STAR method to shine at job interviews
  10. Practice job interview etiquette

You should also become aware of the common interview mistakes you can make during a job interview so that you can avoid those and nail your job interview.  

  1. Knowing nothing about your potential employer
  2. Showing up late
  3. Wearing the wrong outfit
  4. Twiddling with your phone
  5. Getting too comfortable
  6. Being rude
  7. Lying
  8. Badmouthing previous employers
  9. Not paying attention
  10. Forgetting the interview is a two-way street

There are several online courses that you can take to help you prepare for an interview, such as the “Facing Interview For Success” online course. The online course covers all the important process and components to equip you for your interview, including:

  • Interview Process and Its Components
  • What Interviewers Look For?
  • Types of Interviews
  • Common Questions and Answers
  • Dressing Up for Success
  • Tips on Facing Interviews

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