Sometimes interviewers will ask an unusual question, or give you a brainteaser, but in general most interviews have a similar format making them fairly easy to prepare for. Here is a list of 8 of the most common questions that interviewers will ask.
- “Tell me about yourself.”
The interviewer will already know a lot about you based on your resume and cover letter. This is your chance to answer the question Why. Why did you take certain jobs? Why did you decide to go to grad school?
- “What is your greatest strength?”
Again, the interviewer may be able to discern what your strengths are based on what they see on your resume. When answering this question be clear and precise. If you are a great problem solver, for example, don’t just say that. Provide specific examples that might also be relevant to the position.
- “What is your greatest weakness?”
The approach that many of us are familiar with is to pick a weakness and somehow turn this weakness into a strength. “A better approach is to choose an actual weakness, but one you’re working to improve. Share what you’re doing to overcome that weakness. No one is perfect, but showing you’re willing to honestly self-assess and then seek ways to improve comes pretty darned close.”
- “Why should we hire you?”
There are better questions that the interviewer could ask that would lend them to learning more about the candidate, instead of asking the candidate to compare themselves to their unknown competition and essentially beg for the job. A better question to ask might be “ “What do you feel I need to know that we haven’t discussed?” Or even “If you could get a do-over on one of my questions, how would you answer it now?””
As the candidate, when this question is asked. Use it to give you the opportunity to address things that are important but have not come up in the process, and highlight your strongest attributes.
- “Why do you want to work here?”
Now is your chance to talk about being a cultural fit, and why they would be a good fit based on what they hope to accomplish in the long and short term.
- “Tell me about a time you showed leadership”
Talk about leadership challenges you have faced, go through the situation and how you dealt with the problem, motivated your team or worked through a crisis. It is important to explain your actions to achieve the outcome.
- “Tell me about a time you were successful on a team”
A great candidate will share team achievements that are relevant to the position. The idea is to make the interviewer imagine you being a successful part of their team.
- “What would your co-workers say about you?”
This is a great opportunity to you show your character to the interviewer. An excellent response would be, “”I think people would say that what you see is what you get,” the candidate said. “If I say I will do something, I do it. If I say I will help, I help. I’m not sure that everyone likes me, but they all know they can count on what I say, and how hard I work.”’
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