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Ace These 5 Common Job Interview Questions

March 2, 2015 | Career Blog

When it comes to preparing for a job interview, it’s tough to know exactly what a prospective employer will ask. Sometimes they can toss you some real curveballs – in part to see how fast you think on your feet and react to the unexpected.

But the good news is there are some pretty common job interview questions, so you should focus on prepping your answers for them. Then when a curveball comes your way you’ll have the mental energy to formulate an awesome answer.

Here are five common interview questions and tips for preparing a hire-worthy response.

  1. “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” Stick to your professional endeavors and accomplishments you want to highlight. Don’t share your life story but call out the career “best of” moments. It’s fine to mix in a little personal info (such as “I’m married with two children and enjoy training for marathons.”), but for the most part keep those items to a minimum.
  2. “What is your weakness?” Ah, the trickiest of job interview questions. This one has the potential to make you sweat. Do you admit to your tendency to be late? Should you fess up to, at times, having a hard time focusing? Do that only if you don’t want the job. Instead admit to a weakness that can be a strength. For example, you might share your weakness as having a Type A personality, which means you really want projects completed timely, thoroughly and with 110% effort.
  3. “Are you a team player?” Of course you are! And feel free to share an example or two of how you collaborated with co-workers to complete a project or solve a problem. There are few jobs that require you to work in isolation, so it’s important to stress your ability to get along with others.
  4. “What questions do you have about our company?” You better have some questions. This demonstrates you did your homework and took some time to learn enough about the company that you could ask thoughtful questions other than “What are the insurance benefits and vacation time?” Before the interview, really take some time to think about what you want to know about the company. Determine what it is that you want out of a job and ask those questions. Are you looking for training, growth opportunities or skill development? Ask about how your career goals mesh with the job.
  5. “Where do you see yourself in five years?” This question can be hard because, goodness, who knows what can happen in five years. But do your best to formulate an answer that aligns with your professional goals as well as the job you’re seeking. You want to demonstrate to this employer you’ll be a committed employee who’s grown and developed in this role over a five-year period.

Check out this list of other common job interview questions and tips for preparing your answers.