Job interviews are nerve-wracking, regardless of your level of preparation. No matter how much time you put in to formatting your resume and selecting your outfit, you’re still under pressure to make a good impression on the person interviewing you. And a major part of that impression will consist of your responses to the questions they have for you. Luckily, there are a few questions that are part of nearly every interviewer’s script, and we can tell you what response they’re likely looking for. Read on to learn how best to respond to these popular questions.
1. What Do You Know About Our Company?
This is a trick question of sorts. You might think it’s simply intended to assess your familiarity with the company, but it’s also a way for the interviewer to evaluate your level of interest and commitment to the company’s goals. Prepare by learning as much as possible about what the company does, but be sure you express how that aligns with your own goals and interests. Briefly summarize what the company’s mission is, then describe why that appeals to you personally.
2. What Are Your Weaknesses?
This is a tough one. No one likes to admit weakness, but interviewers want to know about any potential problems as well as assess your willingness to be honest. Don’t fall into the trap of saying you don’t have any weaknesses, as that’s clearly an indicator of either a massive ego or dishonesty. Instead, identify a relatively minor issue that you’ve had trouble with before but are taking steps to get better at. For example: tell the interviewer you’ve struggled with desk organization before, but you’ve implemented a color-coding system to help keep track of things.
3. How Do You Deal with Stress?
Interviewers want to make sure you won’t crack under pressure. Come prepared with a specific stressful situation you faced at a previous job, and give a concrete explanation of how you weathered the storm. You might also mention any healthy stress relieving activities you do outside of work, like exercising.
4. What’s A Challenge You’ve Faced at Work Before?
The interviewer is asking this because they want to know what you consider a challenge, and how you problem solve. Avoid discussing interpersonal problems, as this can be a red flag. Instead, talk about a tough deadline you had to meet or a major task you lacked experience with, and describe the specific steps you took to get it done.
5. Why Are You Leaving Your Previous Employer/Why Were You Let Go?
If you’re interviewing for a job, it’s either because you’re not satisfied with the one you have, or you were fired. Don’t trash talk your previous employer-this demonstrates a lack of loyalty and a self-centered perspective on work. Instead, elaborate on the qualities you have that make you better suited for this new position, and if you were fired, describe what you learned from the experience.
6. What Would You Like to Ask Me?
This question is the one that’s almost guaranteed to get asked at every interview, typically at the end, and you don’t want to blow a perfect interview by screwing it up. Come prepared with something you’d like to know that you can’t learn from researching beforehand—otherwise, you risk coming off as unprepared. A good idea is something that only the interviewer would be able to answer, like “What has been your best experience since you started working here?” Another good one: “What’s on the horizon for the company?” This shows inquisitiveness and genuine interest in the future of the business.
The queries above are some of the most common boilerplate interview questions you’ll face. By preparing responses, you can put your best foot forward and increase your chances of getting the job you want.