Preparing for an interview can be a headache sometimes, mainly because you don’t know the interview questions.
However, adequate preparation means that you will be less fearful and more confident. Training sets you apart; it puts you on a psychological level where fear does not exist, but bravery.
A prepared candidate gives a short, and relevant answer to questions asked, which is what recruiters want to hear. While there are many possible questions asked during an interview, there are some predictable questions asked no matter what. These are general or universal questions.
In this article, you will learn about the 20 common interview questions and how to answer them.
Top 20 Interview Questions
1. Tell Me about Yourself
It is probably the first question that your interviewer will start with. The purpose of this question is to create a warm and comfortable atmosphere for you to introduce yourself to the interviewer.
Do not go into too many details or provide irrelevant information about yourself. Start by mentioning something that you are passionate about then delve into your professional experiences and skills that you possess, which qualifies you for the role ( you do this by highlighting a summary of your career history).
For Example, you could say, “I started my career in retail management, but a few years ago, I delved into human resources as a result of my passion for bringing people together and working with them towards achieving the set goals of an organization.
Read More: How to Answer Tell Me About Yourself?
My experience as a human resources manager has been wonderful so far. I love to empower people with the right information and orientation, and this had led me to consider building a career as a human resources manager.”
2. What Are Your Most Significant Weaknesses?
Your weakness in an environment where you are supposed to focus on your accomplishments, experiences, and skills can feel awkward. However, the greatest mistake you can make is to say you have no weaknesses, because you are human and not a robot.
So, if you answer correctly, it can show that you are aware of the situation and that you’re doing everything it takes to get better. To answer correctly, you should mention the weakness or weaknesses and measures you’ve decided to improve on them. The actions taken should be such that affect your job positively.
For Example, “Sincerely, where ever I work, I am usually very passionate and enthusiastic that I tend to say ‘yes’ when I should have said ‘no.’ At some point, I used to be overwhelmed with excess work, that I started leaving office later than other employees, and even work on weekends. I solved this problem by using workload management tools, which helped me a lot.
3. What Is Your Greatest Strength?
Are keen on knowing how your experiences, skills, and core values match what they’re searching for. They want to know that special thing you have that can convince them to offer you the job.
A good example is, “I have excellent time-management skills because I have worked in a place where time-management is a prioritized skill for every employee. This has made me complete tasks and projects way ahead of time, and I got an award for completing a particular project one week in advance”.
Read More: What Are Your Strengths?
4. What Makes You Unique?
Unique means being different from the others. Therefore, recruiters ask you this question to find out whether you are more qualified than other candidates undergoing the same interviewing process.
Answer this, focus on why employing you would benefit the company. An honest and informative answer can quickly help the recruiter see the valuable assets you’ll bring to the organization.
For Example, you could say, “what makes me unique is my ability to relate effectively and empathize with potential customers towards ensuring customer satisfaction. In my previous role as a customer service representative, I was able to identify and tackle challenges faced by customers, and this created an atmosphere of trust”.
5. What Interests You about This Role?
It is a tricky question that employers ask interviewees. They want to be sure you understand the role. Answer this question, but first, understand what the expectation of the person occupying the role.
For Example, “This position interests me because it will provide an opportunity for me to exercise my skill with numbers and eye for details. I also feel this role will be a platform for me to showcase my interpersonal skills, which would, in turn, help me establish meaningful relationships with potential vendors.”
6. What Motivates You?
Tell the truth; you are probably motivated by many things. So, you should take the time to figure out which motivators are relevant to the job you’re interviewing for. Employers ask this question to find out:
Whether your sources of motivation align with the position you are applying for. Answering this question, be as specific as possible, and don’t forget to link your answer to the job title.
Here is an example, “As a marketer, teamwork, creative projects, and being able to draw a connection between my efforts and the set goals of the organization is what motivates me most.”
7. What Do You Like or Dislike about Your Previous Job?
The recruiter wants to know some of the things you enjoyed at your previous job and also the challenges you faced. When answering this question, make sure you do not make mention of anything that would suggest to the employer that you left on a wrong account as this may cost you the job.
Be sincere, but say something positive.
An example is: “I love the fact that at my former place of work, we undergo quarterly training and attend workshops organized by the company for employee development. This helped my career as I was constantly learning something new. However, the far distance of the company from where I live is a big problem for me, that’s why I seek a place that is closer to me.”
8. What Is Your Teaching Philosophy?
It is a simple question. You can answer by saying, ” My teaching philosophy is to ensure that teaching processes are interactive such that everyone contributes there-by, leading to collective progress and development.
Example, “In my previous role as a ninth-grade chemistry teacher, I organized quizzes based on the previous day’s lesson to make sure that students do not forget the previous lesson.”
9. What Are Your Hobbies Outside of Work?
This question is informal. Make sure your answer is intelligent and sensible.
For Example, if you are part of a football team or whichever sport it is, as long as it involves you and other people working together to achieve a common goal, it suggests to the employer that you can do with a team towards achieving organizational goals.
10. Which Do You Prefer, Working Alone or Working in a Group?
It is another tricky question asked since both scenarios have their advantages. While it is okay to have preferences, it is better to show that you are comfortable working in both situations.
11. What Are Your Salary Expectations?
We finally got here. This is undoubtedly the biggest question of the day. Whatever you say would determine if you know your worth or not.
To the interview, make sure you do extensive research into the industry and what other companies pay for the same position you are applying to. Having done your research, when stating the price, make sure you give a range of pay rather than mentioning a specific amount.
For Example, you can say, “Taking into account the role and responsibilities, I would be expecting anything between $100 and $1000. However, I am flexible. Answer too low, and you may seem cheap, too high, and you may scare them off.
12. How Did You Hear about This Role?
This question sells you in the process of answering it. Fine, you saw it on LinkedIn. You can simply say, “I saw it on LinkedIn and got interested because the company needs an Android app developer that is skilled in developing well-functioning and interactive Android Apps.
In my last job, I developed an App that allowed many of our customers to navigate around our products and services easily, and within three months of launching the App, sales increased by 75%”.
13. What Would You Do in the First Month of the Role?
The reason for asking you this question by the recruiter is to know if you have thought about the things you’d like to achieve even as early as a month into the job.
So, to answer this question, do not claim you’ll make an immediate impact because the first month spent is getting to know your environment and settling into the job correctly. Real consequences are made in the second or third months. Include some goals you’d like to accomplish and a time frame that makes it realistic and attainable.
14. How Do You Measure Success?
The question allows you to display your values, such as determination, enthusiasm, and drive.
An excellent example of how to answer is, “I evaluate success based on not only my work but also the work of my teammates. I measure success based on the level of achievements attained by my team members and me”.
15. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job, or Why Did You Leave Your Last Post?
There are many reasons for leaving a job. The best way to answer this question is to be positive and emphasize on your goals for the future. You could say, “At my previous place of work, there wasn’t room for improvement, no training and workshops to boost employee performance and productivity. That is why I am looking for a place that prioritizes improvement”.
16. How Do You Handle the Pressure?
The employer wants to know how you would react when pressure sets in. A person who does not know how to handle pressure would be overwhelmed by it, so your answer should be smart.
A good response could be: “pressure is a tool that enables me to be productive. I feel my strong organizational skills and my ability to create manageable schedule me good at handling pressure well.”
17. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
General ideas about the skills you intend to develop, the kind of position you’d like to be in, and the accomplishments that you envisage.
18. Who Was Your Best and Worst Boss, and Why?
It could be the trickiest question asked during an interview. Do not focus on negativities; instead, focus on what you learned from them.
For Example, “Over the years, I have appreciated every boss I’ve had. The best ones showed me what to do while the tough ones taught me what not to do.”
19. Why Do You Want This Job?
It is similar to question 5 covered in this article. Just do a quick recap, and you’ll discover that you already know how to answer this question too.
20. Do You Have Any Questions?
The question is usually unavoidable and asked at the end of the interview. As a well-prepared candidate, you should have at least three questions ready for your interviewer. It shows you are prepared and enthusiastic about the role. Examples of what you can ask are:
What are the possible challenges a person in this position could face?
Are there opportunities for growth and development within the role?
What are the responsibilities of a person in this position?
There are lots of questions one can expect employers to ask at an interview. What were some of the weirdest questions you were ever asked at an interview? Leave the questions below in the comment section.