Top 10 Interview Questions You Should Be Ready to Answer
1) What are your weaknesses?
You’re going to be asked, What are your weaknesses?, so you better come up with something good. Don’t claim that you work too hard or that you don’t have any faults. Those answers aren’t genuine and they aren’t impressive either. Instead, give an example of a time when you weren't organized enough for a project and how it was resolved by improving on that weakness. By giving a real-life situation, employers will see you as someone who can think critically about their own problems and find solutions. That's exactly what they want from an employee anyway! So give them what they want in your interview response!
2) Tell me about yourself.
The most common interview question is also one of the toughest. And you know what? It’s supposed to be. This question isn’t so much a request for a concise overview of your career as it is an invitation for you to prove that you can handle yourself in an unstructured, potentially stressful situation. Remember: Every answer needs a story, and every story needs examples—so develop a few stories about yourself that highlight your core competencies.
3) Why do you want this job?
This is a great time to show off your research skills and how well you know their company. It’s also a perfect opportunity for you to learn more about what they do, which will help you answer questions later on in the interview. Even if there’s not an opening at their company right now, you can use that as an opportunity to ask when one might become available.
4) What is your management style?
A manager who is hands-off will not inspire or get results from his team. A manager who is too hands-on can make employees feel like they don’t have autonomy or room for growth. The best managers know when to step in and when to let go, giving their team members room to experiment with their own methods of success, while getting everything done that needs doing. By developing your management style, you’ll help set expectations with your employees and be prepared for any situation that comes your way.
5) What would your last manager say about you?
No matter how stellar your previous work experience may be, if you can’t convincingly answer one of these interview questions, chances are good that you won’t get an offer. As an interviewer, I’ve always looked at these types of questions as a test of a candidate’s character.
6) How did you handle pressure?
When you’re on an interview, your interviewer is looking for signs of nervousness and disorganization. This question is designed to probe whether you’re able to stay calm under pressure. Make sure that you’ve studied enough about your potential employer so that you can answer based on real experiences—many interviews come down to matching skills and experiences. If you have handled high-pressure situations in a job in which other people were counting on you, that should be your go-to example when responding.
7) What other jobs have you applied for?
While you may think it would be obvious to an interviewer that you’re applying for one job, and only one job, keep in mind that sometimes your application gets passed along from person to person before reaching a hiring manager. If someone else finds it first and doesn’t realize you applied there already, they might bring up a different job—one you haven’t even heard of! It never hurts to have your elevator pitch ready in case another job comes up.
8) Why do you think you will succeed here?
This is a question that has no right answer. If you give some long and drawn out speech about how your skills, talents, or determination will make you a success, it’s obvious you aren’t looking at anything other than yourself. On the other hand, if you say something like, Because I want to be successful and I can bring great value here at Acme Inc., that shows that you are aware of what Acme is looking for in its employees.
9) Describe a difficult situation, how did you deal with it?
This is not a question that can be easily answered by memorizing answers. The best way to approach it is by thinking about times you have had difficulty at work, in school, or in your personal life and how you dealt with them. What did you do? What was most effective for you? The interviewer wants to know if you are able to think on your feet and solve problems independently or if you need constant supervision.
10) Why did you leave your last job?
Asking a candidate why they left their last job is one of those questions that feels like you’re merely gathering information. But from an employer’s perspective, it’s actually a way for them to assess whether or not you were laid off, fired or left for another reason. Employers are interested in knowing if you willingly chose to leave your last role or if circumstances forced your hand.