Interviewing

Complete Guide to Common Interview Questions and Answers

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If you are preparing for your upcoming interview, you will want to take a look at some common interview questions and prepare your responses. Use these sample responses as a guide to help you show your interviewer your skills and knowledge.

Responding to interview questions

It is helpful to prepare a plan for how you will answer common interview questions before an interview so you can create a positive first impression when meeting employers. Follow these example answers to respond with confidence and clarity.

Tell me about yourself

Many hiring managers will start off the interview by asking you to tell them about yourself. Not only does it help the hiring managers see why you are a good fit for the job, but it also sets the tone for the rest of the interview. When you are answering this question, try to give a concise response that highlights your current position and includes two to three experiences or accomplishments.

Example: ‘I have been in the customer service industry for the past five years, and my most recent position was handling incoming calls for technical support. I truly enjoyed this position because it allowed me to help and connect with people. It also let me use my problem-solving skills. I am looking for a company that has a strong team where I can continue to have a positive impact on customer service.’

Learn More: How to Answer ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ Interview Question

What is your greatest strength?

Hiring managers ask about your greatest strength because they want to know why they should choose you over someone else. Take this opportunity to discuss a skill that relates specifically to the job you want.

Example: ‘I am organized, which is an important trait to have for a project manager. When I am working on a project, I do not just want to complete it by the deadline. Instead, I want to have it done ahead of schedule so I can make sure everything is correct.’

Learn More: How to Answer ‘What Are Your Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses’ Interview Question

What is your greatest weakness?

While it might seem difficult talking about a weakness when you want to highlight your strengths, showing that you are modest and aware that everyone has areas that could be improved upon is a trait hiring managers look for in candidates.

Example: ‘My greatest weakness has been procrastination. While I have never missed a deadline, I could tell I was making my supervisors nervous. As a result, I started setting a personal deadline two days before the actual due date so I know my projects will not be late.’

Learn More: How to Answer the ‘What’s Your Greatest Weakness?’ Interview Question

What are your salary expectations?

You might be asked about your salary expectations to make sure your compensation goals line up with the budget the company has in place for the position. It helps to research the average salary ranges in your area for candidates with similar experience so you have a good idea of what to expect for your experience and location.

Example: ‘Based on my research, my salary expectation is between $35,000 and $40,000. However, I am open to negotiation if other incentives are available.’

Learn More: Salary Negotiation Tactics That Work

Why do you want this job?

Hiring managers will sometimes ask this question to see if you have taken time to research the company. When you are crafting your answer, consider including cultural aspects of the company that appeal to you to show you understand its values.

Example: ‘I have admired this company and its mission for years. By focusing on creating a relationship with the community, you have been successful in opening several new offices in different locations. I admire these values and want to bring my five years of experience in sales to help you continue your growth.’

Learn More: How to Answer ‘Why Do You Want to Work Here’ Interview Question

Why are you leaving your current job?

You might be asked about why you are leaving your current job to see if you are a good fit for the company. While you might have several reasons for leaving, try to focus on the positive reasons and what your future looks like.

Example: ‘I have been very fortunate to work at ABC Company for the past five years. I have always been a leader, and I am interested in transitioning to a management role. However, ABC Company already has several talented managers who will not be leaving their positions anytime soon. Since I am ready for a bigger challenge to grow my career, I need to look for a position at another company.’

Why should we hire you?

Employers want to know how you will present yourself as the best candidate to hire for the job. It is in your best interest to prepare an answer that will highlight your unique skills and qualifications in a confident and concise way.

Example: ‘I believe you should hire me because this company wants to be an industry leader in marketing. Working with the highest-paying clients at Acme Marketing Company has given me valuable experience in that area. I would love to bring my diverse skills to this company to help it grow.’

Learn More: How to Answer ‘Why Should We Hire You’ Interview Question

Like any skill, practice is the best way to prepare for an interview. By reviewing these common interview questions and answers, learning about the company and researching your desired salary, you will have an informed guide to forming your responses.