Securing a job would be so much easier if you know the questions a hiring manager will ask in your next interview. Well, we’ll give you the next best thing: a list of the most commonly asked questions and answers!
Memorizing answers for interview questions is not recommended, but you should spend time getting comfortable with the typical interview questions, so you know what to expect and have answers to show that you’re the right applicant for the job.
Here are some typical interview questions that will help you prepare for your next interview:
1. Can you tell me a little about yourself?
This seems like a pretty simple question, yet people still fail to prepare for it. It is crucial that you don’t give your entire employment or personal background. Instead, give a concise summary that shows why you’re perfect for the job. Start with a few achievements or experiences that you most want the interviewer to know, and then wrap up by stating how that experience has positioned you for this specific job.
2. What do you know about the company?
Anyone can read the company’s “About” page, so interviewers aren’t trying to figure out whether you understand the company’s mission but whether you care about it. Start by showing that you understand the goals of the company, and then go on to say something personal. For example, you can talk about why you were drawn to the mission or why you believe in their approach. Don’t forget to include personal examples from prior jobs or volunteer experiences.
3. Why do you want this job?
Companies want to hire people who are passionate about the position, so you should have reasons for wanting the job. First, bring up a couple of factors that makes the role a great fit for you and then share why you love the company. Examples of possible answers include:
- I like to interact with people and help them, which is why I would love to join the administration committee.
- I think your company is doing great things, and I would love to be a part of it.
4. Why should we hire you?
If you are asked this question, then you’re in luck. There is no better setup for you to sell yourself and your skills to the interviewers. Your answer should include these three things:
- You can do the work and deliver great results;
- You will fit in perfectly with the team and work culture; and
- This job is made for you more than any of the other candidates.
5. What are your professional strengths?
When answering this question, you should share your true strengths and not those you think the interviewer wants to hear. However, try to include strengths that suit the position you are seeking. Then, share an example of how you have demonstrated these skills in a professional setting.
6. What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
By asking this question, the interviewer is not trying to identify any red flags, but checking your self-awareness. Identify something that you struggle with but that you’re working to improve. For example, maybe you’ve never been good at public speaking, but you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone and volunteered to run presentations, which has helped when addressing a crowd.
7. What is your greatest professional achievement?
There is no better way to impress a hiring manager than to talk about a track record of achieving great results in past jobs. Sharing an experience where you have accomplished something amazing is the perfect way to answer this question. Set up the situation that you were given to complete, and then spend time describing what you did and what you achieved.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Be honest about your future goals when answering this question, but keep in mind that a hiring manager wants to know if you’ve set realistic expectations for your career. Also, express that you have ambition and explain how the position you’re interviewing for aligns with your goals and growth. It’s okay to say that you’re not sure what the future holds, but make it clear that you see this experience playing an important role in helping you make the decision.
9. What do you think we could do better or differently?
Hiring managers want to know that you don’t just know the company’s background, but that you’ll be able to think critically about it and bring new ideas to the table. Share your thoughts on what you’d love to see the company achieve and show how your interests would contribute to the job.
10. What do you like to do outside of work?
Interviewers ask personal questions to see if candidates will fit in with the culture at the company. If someone asks about your hobbies outside of work, you can open up and share what you enjoy doing. Keep it professional though; hiring managers don’t need to know everything.
11. Why are you leaving your current job?
This is a tough question, but one you will probably be asked. Keep things positive — you’ll gain nothing by being negative about your past employers. Frame things in a way that shows you’re excited to take on new opportunities and that this role is a better fit for you than your previous one. If you were let go, keep it simple. “Unfortunately, I was let go” is an OK answer.
12. Do you have any questions for us?
A job interview is not only for hiring managers to grill you; it’s also an opportunity for you to figure out if the job is the right fit for you. What do you want to know about the position? Questions targeted to the interviewer — such as, “What’s your favorite part about working here?” — are a good start.
Ria is currently a student at Sarah Lawrence College pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing and Sociology. She enjoys spending time with friends and family in her free time. She also has a bad habit of starting new tv shows at the most inconvenient times.