This post highlights the best answers to job interview questions that you may be asked during a job interview.
It is important to prepare adequately for job interview questions
You see, the key to a successful job interview is preparation. You should have a few ideas of the likely job interview questions. Most importantly, you should be prepared to answer the questions.
Preparing for a job interview can be nerve-wracking when thinking of how to answer questions flawlessly while keeping yourself composed. Although there is no one particular way to answer such job interview questions, there are certain qualities that hiring managers are looking out for in your answers.
Preparation for job interview questions will increase your chances of getting the job you want
Every hiring manager might not take the same approach or ask the same set of job interview questions, but they mostly have the same goal. So, while the job interview questions might not be constructed in the same way, the aim is to find out if you are the right candidate for the job.
So, the next time you have a job interview to prepare for, remember that the recruiters have one goal: it is to find out if you are the right applicant. So, make sure you stand out by providing the right answers to the questions.
Below are 15 popular job interview questions and how to answer them:
1. Tell us about yourself
This is perhaps one of the most commonly asked job interview questions, and perhaps the most unprepared for. Nearly every hiring manager asks this question.
You don’t have to give too much information about your life. Interviewers are not interested in your personal history. They want to know your professional history and how all of that relates to them. So, this is your opportunity to stand out.
The interviewer might also be using this question to make you calm and perhaps, eliminate tension. However, it is not an invitation to tell the story of your life or recite all that’s on your CV.
- To answer this question, talk about who you are in a professional context. Talk about your competence and expertise, including what led you to theirs.
- Your answer should be convincing and concise, telling them what qualities make you right for the job. You can talk about your accomplishments and how you achieved them, letting your interviewers know why you are the ideal candidate for the job. For more on how to answer this question, read this post.
For more on this job interview question, see this post.
2. How did you hear about this job opening?
When an interviewer asks this question, they just want to know if you’ve taken the time to research the company and if you understand the role you’re applying for.
- To respond to this, mention how you heard about the job and why you find the position interesting. You can also give an honest compliment.
- Do not make it sound like it’s one of many options for your job applications.
- Do not also make it sound like all that matters to you is to get a job.
Here’s an example of a very suitable answer to this job interview question:
I heard about this position from a friend or I saw an ad for this opening while browsing the internet. I was excited to apply because of so and so reasons. My friend told me that you’re one of the top audit firms in Nigeria.
3. Why are you leaving your current job?
This can be a difficult one to answer, but don’t be afraid. The key here is to keep things positive. Don’t bash your old employer as this would make your interviewer even less inclined to grant you the job. Answer in a way that makes you look willing to take up new challenges and better opportunities.
- State how you might have been limited in your previous job and how you would like to have a chance to grow. But if you were fired from your previous job, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being honest about it.
- The last thing you want to do when a question like this is asked is to complain about your current place of work. Don’t talk negatively about your boss, coworkers or the environment even if that’s the situation of things. Instead, talk about what this move is likely to do to you.
- Talk about the fact that you want to learn and grow, you want to take up new challenges and move out of your comfort zone. Talk about some of the things you hope to accomplish when you get the job.
- If it’s on the basis of relocation, wanting a shorter commute to work, or changing career paths, you can also mention it.
4. What are your strengths?
This question can be a little tricky because you have to highlight your strong points without bragging.
This is a chance to show off qualities that your interviewer might be looking for. When talking about your strengths, you need to focus more on quality and not quantity.
- Tell them about specific areas you are good at, but they must be relevant to the organization. You can also try illustrating those qualities with brief stories.
- Talk about your transferable skills and personal traits, especially those that are relevant to the role.
- Make sure you concentrate more on your professional traits, not personal qualities.
- Note that the recruiter is trying to form a picture of you in their head, so ensure that you talk about real strengths that can add value to the company.
5. What are your weaknesses?
When you are asked to reveal your weaknesses, your interviewer is actually looking to see how honest you are and how much you know about yourself. Be careful when answering this question.
- Do not be overly honest to the point of negativity. So instead of saying something like “I am always so easily deceived”, you could say “I am usually overly trusting of people”, and ensure to state how you are working to improve yourself.
- Everyone has their weaknesses. Your recruiter is not expecting you to be perfect. So, do not give an impression of perfection even though you want to create an impression that you are the perfect fit for the job. That’s not confusing, is it?
- When answering this question, be careful not to make your weakness sound like a threat to the growth of the company. Do not give cliche answers. Know your personal weaknesses.
- Note that in addition to answering this question, state the steps you take to manage your weaknesses.
6. How well do you handle the pressure?
Your interviewer is looking to know if you can work under pressure and under stress. When answering this question, ensure that you avoid claiming that you never get stressed out or pressured. Acknowledge that work can get stressful and explain the steps you would take to overcome the stress and pressure of work. You can also tell a brief story of how you overcame stress and pressure in the past.
7. What are your future goals or where do you see yourself in the next five years?
This job interview question is intended to know if you would stay with the organization, or move on the moment you find a better opportunity. You can state how you are looking to constantly develop yourself, but ensure that your answer aligns with the goals of the organization of your choice.
When recruiters ask this question, they want to know your goals and ambitions within that position. They want to know if you have plans to stay long and how well you intend to grow the company within your capacity.
- A suitable answer to this question would be to talk about how you intend to have completed certain training and program relevant for that position. This could be as stated by the company or external bodies.
- You can also talk about your career goals within that position.
- Finally, you can mention how you intend to help the company achieve one of its goals within that space of time.
8. Tell us about an important goal you set in the past
It’s pretty clear what your employer wants to know by asking you this question. So, first of all, choose a recent achievement, especially something that demonstrates your ability to carry out this job effectively. Talk about not just the steps but the challenges you faced trying to achieve the goal. Do not forget to mention how you faced the challenges and give full details of your achievement.
In a nutshell, mention the tasks, actions, and results.
9. Tell us why we should hire you
Your goal should be to point out what differentiates you from the other applicants. So, share how you meet almost all the criteria they are looking for. Also, mention two to three more skills and abilities that they may not even know that they need yet. That way, you are not only meeting their needs but surpassing them.
This question can be an excellent opportunity to make you stand out, or it could be a pitfall. Be careful not to give a general answer when answering this question. Your answer shouldn’t be one that can be applied to any other organization. The key here is to be specific.
- Ensure that you’ve made proper research on your organization of choice.
- Select an aspect of the organization that appeals to you the most, and expatiate on that.
- Dwell on how the organization can develop and what you can do to help it grow.
10. How do you deal with pressure?
Workplace pressure never ends or disappears. So, how do you deal with it? Highlight the measures that you put in place to ensure that things don’t spiral into a stressful situation. Also, give an example of times you were faced with difficult situations and how well you handled them.
11. Tell us about a time a co-worker or customer got you angry. How did you handle it?
Conflicts are inevitable. everyone knows that, including recruiters. So, the aim of asking this question is to know how you handle disagreement. Do you push blame or take responsibility for rectifying it?
So, talk about the times that you admitted you were wrong, the steps
12. What are your salary expectations?
To be able to answer this job interview question suitably, you need to do your research before going for the interview. Find out what other employers in the city pay people in similar positions. Also, instead of mentioning a specific amount, mention a range. Be sure that you are okay with the lower range before proceeding. Also, mention that it is variable depending on the other benefits attached to the position.
13. How will you manage a bad boss?
The aim of a recruiter asking this question is to find out what you will do when you have a boss that has different ideologies from you.
- To answer this question suitably, focus on how you will handle the situation, what you are likely to discover from it and how you are likely to react.
- Do not talk about the negative part of the boss or the decisions you’re likely to make.
- If you have dealt with a similar case in the past, you can describe it.
14. What kind of work environment do you like?
Recruiters ask this question to know if you are into the environment that they have at theirs.
- Talk about how you prefer to work in a team-oriented organization.
- Talk also about an environment that facilitates growth and development. Avoid talking about things like fun, flexible work hours, vacations etc.
- Talk more about building a relationship with the people there.
15. Do you have any questions for us?
When preparing for job interview questions It’s important to do your research and go prepared to ask questions about the company or questions that might make them become a little more interested in your abilities or skills in that position. That way, your hiring manager knows that you are truly interested in working with them.
It would be great if you knew exactly which job interview questions would be asked, and how exactly you can answer them. Unfortunately, nobody is telepathic. You cannot know exactly which job interview questions would be asked.
There are still so many other questions that could be asked in a job interview, but the above are some of the most common job interview questions and best answers to them.
Ensure that you make adequate research before going for a job interview, and try to stay as positive as possible. Your answers should always be to the best interests of the organization, and with the right attitude, you just may be the most qualified candidate for the job.