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Answers to 7 Common Interview Questions

Acing the job interview requires that job candidates take the time to prepare. We have done a series on seven tough interview questions, but knowing how to answer common interview questions are equally important. By participating in mock interviews, answering the toughest and most common interview questions, any job candidate can survive even the most difficult and harrowing job interview. We deconstruct each of the seven questions, and provide a possible answer.

Tell me about yourself.
This question is usually the ice-breaker that sets the tone for the interview. Provide a complete understanding of your background and your aspirations as they relate to the prospective position. So throughout your response to this common interview question, focus on your knowledge, skills, abilities and experiences that will likely be the most relevant.

What’s your biggest weakness?
The interviewer is trying to determine how honest and self-aware a job seeker is. The hiring manager is also trying to identify any big red flag. The one response you don’t want to give is “I do not have any major weakness.”

Where do you see yourself in five years?
The interviewer is trying to understand your career goals and possibly your career path. That means they want to see if you have realistic expectations for your career. Do you understand the role and what it entails? They want to know if your goals and expectations for growth are a good fit, and aligns with the organization’s goals.

What do you look for in a boss?
The interviewer is trying to determine the job seeker’s personal leadership style to find out if it aligns with the organization’s culture. It’s also a way to discover if the interviewee is promotable.

Tell me about a time when….?
In the majority of interviews, hiring managers ask what are called behavioral interview type questions because they want to find out how you behave and deal with specific types of situations that spring from tell me about a time when….? The ellipses could represent - you made a mistake, resolved a conflict, or satisfied a difficult customer.

What would you do in the first 90 days on the job?
The interviewer is trying to find out how you solve problems, set goals, and whether you are an overly ambitious person, who sets unrealistic goals. You also want to emphasize in your responses that the first 90 days in a position, is also a time that you will get to know your team and your boss.

What questions do you have for me?
It’s unacceptable to say you do not have any questions. During an job interview, it’s a conversation. The employer is checking you out and you should be doing the same thing. Think about the position that you are interviewing for, what information would you like to know that you cannot find elsewhere? Questions about what success looks like in the role, and any about culture are good bets.

When responding to questions in an interview, remember to keep it short (no longer than two minutes for each question), keep it positive, and keep it truthful. Any job seeker who takes the time to prepare answers to each of the seven common interview questions and the seven tough interview questions will find that the job interview is less daunting and harrowing.