Nail Your Interview by Knowing How to Answer These Top Interview Questions

Going in for an interview can be extremely nerve-racking. You get a small list of questions and about a half hour to prove your worth to one or two people that can ultimately decide your future. Even if you surpass all of their requirements and have every qualification, one slip up in answering an interview question can cost you a job opportunity. Luckily, there is a list of common interview questions that are bound to come up in your interview. Knowing these common questions ahead of time, and knowing just how to answer them, will help you be more prepared and feel at ease during your interview. Plus, it’ll give you a leg up on the competition!

Tell Me About Yourself

This question comes up in just about every interview and it is wondered by many on how to answer it. “Do I talk about my personal life, my hobbies, or strictly my jobs?” Well, the best way to answer this is by keeping it short and sweet without handing out too much or too little information about yourself. You want to show them you are qualified for the job, and mentioning a lot about your personal life (such as family duties) can deter them from thinking you are ready to commit yourself to the job. A simple rule of past, present, and future is a way to plan out your answer. You can touch on your education or a past job that led you to where you are today. Then, lead that into a goal you have for the future. (Hint: the job you are interviewing for should be a part of that future goal.)

Why Do You Want This Job?

While an easy answer for this question may be “I need the money,” chances are that answer won’t land you the job. This is your opportunity to show the interviewers that you have done some research on the company and prove that you will be a great asset to their team. Do some research on the company such as their mission, what they are currently working on, and their services or products that they provide. With that information, relay to them why you are interested in that specific aspect and how your experience will align with the company and its goals.

Describe a Difficult Work Situation and How You Overcame It

This isn’t your opportunity to complain about an ex-employee or boss that you didn’t get along with. In fact, you should never talk negatively about an ex-boss or employee in your interview. The interviewers essentially want to see how you handle a difficult situation. The situation in your example should be believable and show how you overcome problems that may occur at work. Make sure to end your answer on a high note by discussing what you overcame and how you learned from the situation, proving to them that you can take on a stressful task.

Why are You Leaving Your Current Job?

Just like talking about a difficult work situation, you don’t want to bring up any negativity in your answer as to why you are leaving or have left your job. You want to focus your answer on the positive reasons such as that you are motivated by new opportunities and are ready to take on a new challenge to further your career. A new employer won’t want to bring anyone on to their team that mentions negative comments about past employers or someone who seems to bail on a job easily. They will want to hire someone that is committed, not someone that will leave when the going gets tough.

What Are Your Goals For the Future?

This question is geared for the interviewer to see if you will stick around if given the job. They don’t want someone who will essentially snatch up a new position right away, having them wasted their time going through the interview and hiring process with you. With that in mind, you want to prove to them that the company and the position you are interviewing for is in line with your long-term goals.

Why Should We Hire You?

Consider this answer as your one-minute elevator pitch. Take this chance to point out keywords that came from the requirements and qualifications in the job posting and relate them to your experience and personal traits. This will allow you to create an answer that the interviewer is looking for.