The office manager holds onto a resume while speaking with the new intern they are considering.

When it comes to job interviews, there are some questions that seem to come up time and time again. Although you can’t predict every single question you’ll be asked, knowing how to answer the most common ones can give you a better chance of success.

Here are the 10 most common interview questions and how to answer them, including examples:

  1. “Tell me about yourself.”
    This question is often used as an icebreaker, allowing the interviewer to get to know you better. Your answer should be concise and relevant to the job you’re applying for. You can start with a brief summary of your professional background and then highlight your key skills and achievements.Example: “I have five years of experience in marketing, including managing successful campaigns for several Fortune 500 companies. I’m passionate about using data to inform my strategies and have a track record of increasing ROI by 30%.”
  2. “Why do you want to work for this company?”
    This question allows the interviewer to see if you’ve done your research and if you’re genuinely interested in the company. Your answer should show that you understand the company’s values, culture, and mission.Example: “I’m drawn to this company’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. I’ve been impressed by your recent initiatives to reduce your carbon footprint and promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. I want to be a part of a company that is making a positive impact on the world.”
  3. “What are your greatest strengths?”
    This question gives you the opportunity to showcase your skills and abilities. Choose strengths that are relevant to the job and back them up with specific examples.Example: “My greatest strengths are my creativity and my ability to work well under pressure. In my last job, I was able to come up with a new marketing campaign in a tight deadline that led to a 40% increase in sales.”
  4. “What are your weaknesses?”
    This question is tricky, as you don’t want to give the interviewer a reason not to hire you. However, it’s important to be honest and show that you’re self-aware. Choose a weakness that you’re actively working on improving.Example: “I used to struggle with public speaking, but I’ve been taking courses and attending workshops to improve my skills. I’m now comfortable giving presentations to large groups.”
  5. “Why did you leave your last job?”
    This question allows the interviewer to understand your career path and any potential red flags. Be honest but avoid speaking negatively about your previous employer.Example: “I left my last job because I was looking for new challenges and opportunities to grow professionally. Although I enjoyed my time there, I felt I had reached a plateau and was ready for a new chapter.”
  6. “What are your salary expectations?”
    This question is often nerve-wracking, but it’s important to be prepared. Do some research beforehand to determine the average salary range for the position and take into account your experience and qualifications.Example: “Based on my research and my experience, I would expect a salary in the range of $XX,XXX to $XX,XXX. However, I’m open to negotiation based on the specifics of the job and the benefits package.”
  7. “How do you handle stress and pressure?”
    This question allows the interviewer to assess your coping mechanisms and resilience. Give specific examples of how you’ve handled stress in the past and emphasise your ability to stay calm and focused under pressure.Example: “I thrive under pressure and have developed several strategies to manage stress. I prioritise my tasks, break down larger projects into smaller steps, and take short breaks to refocus my mind. For example, in my previous job, I was able to successfully manage multiple projects with tight deadlines by staying organised and communicating regularly with my team.”
  8. “How do you handle conflict or difficult situations?”
    This question allows the interviewer to assess your interpersonal skills and problem-solving abilities. Give examples of how you’ve handled conflicts in the past and emphasise your ability to remain calm, listen actively, and find solutionsExample: “I believe that conflicts can be resolved through active listening, open communication, and a willingness to find common ground. In my last job, I had to deal with a difficult client who was unhappy with our services. I listened to their concerns, acknowledged their frustration, and worked with my team to find a solution that met their needs.”
  9. “What is your biggest professional achievement?”
    This question allows the interviewer to understand what you consider a significant accomplishment in your career and how you measure success. Make sure to choose an example that demonstrates your relevant skills and highlights your ability to overcome challenges.Example: “My biggest professional achievement was successfully leading a team through a complex project that resulted in a significant increase in revenue for the company. I was responsible for overseeing the project’s planning, coordination, and execution, and I worked closely with my team to ensure that everyone was aligned and working towards the same goals. We faced several challenges along the way, such as unexpected delays and changing requirements, but I was able to adapt and find solutions that kept the project on track. In the end, our efforts paid off, and the project was a great success for the company.”
  10. “Do you have any questions for us?”
    This question is your chance to demonstrate your interest in the company and the job. Ask questions that show you’ve done your research and want to learn more about the company culture, growth opportunities, or specific responsibilities of the role.Example: “I’m interested in learning more about the team dynamics and how the company supports professional development. Can you tell me about any recent projects that the team has worked on, and how the company encourages employees to grow and develop their skills?”

In conclusion, preparing for common interview questions can help you feel more confident and increase your chances of success. Remember to tailor your answers to the specific job and company, and use examples to back up your responses.

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