An interviewer is trying to get a sense of what you can do, what you will do and your personality. They will ask you a series of questions in order to determine these. When answering common interview questions, look for ways to give an accurate and positive response that depicts your skills and experience. Respond wholly and focus on your actions.
Here are some common interview questions, and how we suggest answering them.
Download our complete Job Interview Prep Kit for a guided workbook on these questions and more to help you in preparing for a job interview.
1. Tell me about yourself
Ask, "Which part of my experience would you like me to start with?" Then give a two-minute response starting with their request that demonstrates you are a positive and enthusiastic person who will be valuable to their company.
2. What have you been doing for the last six months (or the last year)?
Use this opportunity to describe technical aspects of your last position, how you deadlines and pressure, and what excites you about what you do.
Be prepared to spend a few minutes discussing your larger assignments or projects with specific details and examples as supporting evidence.
3. Why did you leave your last position?
State your reasons honestly and simply. Do not give a long, detailed answer on the "wrongs" you found at the job and don't bash your employer or coworkers.
4. What are your strengths?
Speak about your strengths concisely with supporting details. The ability to talk about yourself positively is an indication of self-confidence.
5. What are your weaknesses?
Many websites will tell you to choose a weakness that isn't really a weakness, such as being a perfectionist, but we recommend responding with this instead: "While there are always areas for improvement, no weaknesses specifically have been called to my attention that would prevent me from doing a good job in this position." It is a quick and easy answer that will move the interview to another more positive question.
Don't forget to follow up these interview questions and answers with a few of your own directed to the interviewer. Not sure what to ask? Here are some of the best and easiest questions to ask your interviewers.