10 Common Questions and Answers

Nancy Anderson
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The job interview is your one opportunity to shine. Until this point, the hiring manager only knows you as a resume and cover letter, but this face-to-face encounter lets you create a first impression that proves you're the best candidate for the job. To make sure you're ready to beat out the competition, study these top 10 common questions and answers prior to your job interview.

1. "What Are Your Greatest Strengths?"

Review the position description prior to your job interview so you're clear on what the organization seeks in a candidate. Tout the skills and qualifications that make you valuable to the potential employer.

2. "What Are Your Weaknesses?"

Avoid the temptation to say that you have no weaknesses, but don't list any that take you out of the running for the position. Mention a soft skill you could enhance, then discuss the steps you're taking to improve.

3. "What Accomplishments Are You Proud Of?"

Talk about an accomplishment that is job-related and demonstrates your values. Remain humble as you discuss the accomplishment and talk about the challenges you overcame to reach your goal.

4. "What Can You Tell Us About Yourself?"

While this question opens the door for a wide array of responses, keep your conversation focused on work. Talk about the skills, qualification, education and experience that make you perfect for the position. Avoid talking about your personal life.

5. "What Do You Know About Our Company?"

Do your research prior to the job interview to prepare for the question. Find out who the key players are in the organization, get to know products and services, read new stories and learn about the competition.

6. "What Are Your Hobbies?"

This question lets you show off a bit of your personality while conveying passion and enthusiasm. Whether you're an avid reader, accomplished gardener or talented bowler, talk a bit about your favorite activity. Avoid mentioning any pastimes that center around drinking or partying.

7. Why Do You Want This Position?"

Rather than mentioning the weekly paycheck and company perks, talk about your passion for the industry and your desire to face a challenge. Demonstrate the value you can bring to the hiring organization.

8. "How Do You Deal With Difficult Customers?"

Tell how you identify the issue or need before moving into action. Explain how you keep a cool head under pressure and enlist a superior if you're unable to solve the client's problem.

9. "Can You Work Weekends?"

If you're completely adverse to working an occasional Saturday, be honest from the start. Mention the importance of a healthy work-life balance and describe a time in the past when you worked overtime hours to meet an impending deadline.

10. "Why Should We Hire You?"

Cite skills mentioned in the position description, then talk about your own qualifications, education and experience that make you a perfect fit. Discuss accomplishments from your past that helped other employers succeed in their organizational goals.

No two job interviews are alike, but some questions show up again and again when you're on the job hunt. By getting to know these 10 common questions and practicing your answers, you can feel more comfortable during the job interview and provide a natural response that shows off your personality.

Photo courtesy of vicktor at Flickr.com


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