The most common job interview questions

The most common job interview questionsIvana Georgievska
March 28, 2022
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What are the most common interview questions hiring managers ask?

In this article, as part one, we will discuss the most common job interview questions hiring managers tend to ask. In the following part two of this article, we are going to focus on how to best reply to these questions.

Are you all set to nail your approaching job interview? One of the most fundamental parts of interview prep work is being ready to react successfully to the questions that companies usually ask.

Because these interview inquiries are so common, interviewers will anticipate your answers to be confident and to the point.

In many situations, the interviewer will try different tactics to get you out of your comfort zone in order to see your skills in handling a situation that involves pressure, quick thinking, improvisation, and straight-up intelligence.

Here are the most common questions that companies will probably integrate into the interview. We are providing an explanation of what is the purpose behind them and recommendations on exactly how to ace the interview.

In this article, we cover: 

  • Most common interview questions
  • What makes you unique?
  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why do you want this job? / Why are you the best person for the job?
  • How has your experience prepared you for this role?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
  • What Are Your Salary Expectations?
  • Apply for your next job


What makes you unique?

One of the concerns you may be asked is, "What makes you unique?" as the interviewer reviews whether you have aspects in your background that are most likely to lead to success at work.

What does the recruiter want to find out?

If you are one of many candidates with very similar qualifications, this question offers the chance to distinguish yourself from the other candidates. 

Why should the company hire you over the other applicants?

The answers you provide will certainly show what you like about yourself and your approach to verbalizing the answer. 

Remember, your language, posture, behavior, and energy should be on the same level as the hiring manager to leave a positive and strong impression on the hiring manager.

The follow-up article will elaborate on answering this and all other questions correctly. 

Tell me about yourself

In most conducted job interviews, this is one of the first asked questions. Firstly, make sure you’re relaxed for the interview. 

Try to be in a good mood, authentic and natural in your demeanor, and consider the whole process as a conversation you would have if you met a stranger at a dinner party. 

Such approach will best set you up to talk about yourself conversationally that, alongside appropriate answers, will firmly make a positive impression about your personality and color the interview experience for both parties. 

Try to provide relevant answers for the role at hand. Align your interests, hobbies, motivation, professional and personal background to this purpose while making sure they can be directly linked to the job itself. 

Why do you want this job? / Why are you the best person for the job?

The interviewer is trying to determine your reasons for applying and where you see yourself in this role. The employer wants proof that you are the best fit for their criteria. 

Additionally, this is an indirect way of finding out whether you know anything about the company, their work, what they stand for, and where they envision your position in the business. 

These questions provide an opportunity to show the recruiter what you know about the employer. Make sure you take some time to research the company’s products, services, culture, and mission. 

Be specific about what makes you a good fit for this role, and mention aspects of the company and position that appeal to you most.

How has your experience prepared you for this role?

What hiring managers try to learn is whether and how your education, professional training, and work experiences make you a good job fit. 

To answer this question, make a list of the most relevant qualifications and projects you have and match them to the requirements listed in the job description.

Another important thing you can think about is how your personal development journey will help the new employer if you are hired. 

You can use the STAR interview method to prepare examples to share with the interviewer. You don't need to memorize your answers, but do be ready to share what you've accomplished in your previous roles.

Why did you leave your last job?

This question addresses many aspects companies want to assess before hiring. Ultimately it all comes down to two conclusions.|

Negative: 

1) if you are a conflicted person with a big ego that cannot function in a team productively; 

2) are you putting more value on the paycheck in comparison to the work you’re motivated to do; 

Positive:

You ended the previous job due to reasonable reasons and in an agreeable manner with the management of the last company. It’s always better to have a job reference from your former employer.

This will bring more authority to your professionalism as well as personal integrity as a part of a team.  

When asked about why you are moving on from your current position, stick with the facts, be direct, and focus your answer on the future, especially if your departure wasn't under the best circumstances. 

What is your greatest strength?

This question primarily wants to shed light on your hard and soft skills that can potentially be compliant with the employer’s criteria of what constitutes the “perfect” talent for the job.

The best approach you can take when being asked about your greatest strength(s) is to think about which of your attributes qualify you for the job that can potentially separate you from the other applicants. 

Instead of telling the hiring manager that you are very “responsible, driven to achieve great results, hardworking…” etc., think about specific examples of circumstances that happened during work that proved you as a problem solver. 

It is better to tell a story about a situation that required persistence, which directly resulted in a successful outcome for the project.

It is always a great idea to think about the skills you developed with time and experience that could be important for this particular job position. Keep in mind the type of employee that is described in the job description. 

What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

The questions about your strengths and weaknesses can be pretty much approached as two sides of the same coin. Although you’re asked about your greatest weakness, you don’t want to show any during the interview.

The interviewer wants to hear about your success story. Share positive examples of certain learning experiences and give a humble but positive twist on the stages you went through that involved a learning curve in order to succeed in the environment you worked. 

The point is to turn a seaming “weakness” into strength. 

Use this question to persuade the recruiter that you are the best fit for the job not only because of your qualifications but also because you can handle and cope with any challenge thrown your way. 

What Are Your Salary Expectations?

This is usually a tricky question that inevitably gets asked by less knowledgeable hiring managers.

Typically, professional and highly experienced managers state the salary range in the job post, leaving no space for candidate manipulation or pressuring the company after the candidate gets selected.

Therefore, if you get asked this question, make sure you don’t expressly state a sum but pass the ball in the company’s court. Instead, ask the recruiter about the competitive salary range for that particular position.

Make sure you research how much your position is paid in the area and based on company size.

Apply for your next job 

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