Did you know that about 85% of people lie on their resumes? Whether you lie or not, your resume is one step in landing a job, the next of which involves some interview questions.
If you can learn how to answer interview questions beforehand, you can make the most of the meeting. Then, you can leave a good impression, and you may get the job.
Read on to learn some of the most common interview questions and how to prepare for them.
1. Tell Me About Yourself
You can expect an interviewer to ask you about yourself, so be ready to share some information. But focus on information that relates to the job you’re interviewing for.
Consider how your degree or a prior job prepared you for your ideal job. Talk about your hobbies or other experiences that you’ve had.
“In college, I studied marketing, and I’ve since worked for various agencies to create marketing and advertising campaigns. Outside of work, I enjoy reading and working on my Spanish skills as well as spending time with family and friends."
Want more examples? See our post about answering the interview question Tell me about yourself?
2. What Are Your Biggest Weaknesses?
Another question you can expect to answer in an interview revolves around your biggest weaknesses. Of course, no one likes to talk about their negative traits, but you can answer this question in a way that makes your weaknesses seem like potential strengths.
You could talk about how you have a hard time saying “no” to projects or how you focus on the details.
“I have a hard time asking for help on a project because I love to be able to do things well and on my own."
Want more examples? See our post about answering the interview question what are your biggest weaknesses?
3. What Are Your Biggest Strengths?
Interviewers like to ask about your strengths to get a better understanding of your qualifications. This question allows you to shine and explain why you’re the perfect fit.
Be specific about a time when your biggest strength helped you. Then, the interviewer can see how you might help their company.
“My biggest strength is my ability to manage my time. I was assigned to a project due the next day, and I was able to work efficiently to finish it before the deadline."
Want more examples? See our post about answering the interview question what are your biggest strengths?
4. How Do You Handle Pressure?
You may be interviewing for the perfect job, but the company needs to know how you’ll react if things go wrong. Consider if you work well under pressure or if you’ve handled a stressful situation before.
If you do experience stress, be honest, but turn it into something positive.
“I don’t handle pressure very well, but I have developed a process to stay on track at work. I’m able to work with my colleagues and empathize with customers as I work through the issue."
5. Why Are You Interested in This Job?
One of the most common interview questions is going to cover why you applied for that job. Before you go to an interview, you should research the company. If you like their mission or the projects they do, you can mention that.
“I’ve loved teaching ever since I can remember. When I read your school’s mission and vision statements, I knew that working for X company would allow me to inspire the next generation."
6. Where Do You See Yourself in X Years?
When determining how to answer interview questions, you should consider your future goals. If you know you want to have a family or buy a house, those are important. Maybe you want stability as you save up for a home or to have a family.
“I’d love to have a stable job that allows me to save up for a home and my overall future. I see myself having a home in this city and working up the corporate ladder."
7. Tell Us About a Project/Time You’re Proud Of
You may also have to answer interview questions about previous projects that made you proud. These projects could have been at a former job or in school if you don’t have work experience. Be proud of yourself and use this to show off your strengths.
“In my last job at a bank, I had to contact customers to verify certain transactions. One of the customers only spoke Spanish, so I used my Spanish skills to complete the task."
8. Describe Your Dream Job
If one of your common interview questions asks about your dream job, you should cover your values, interests, and skills
. Consider how you want to use those in your work, and relate that to the job you’re interviewing for.
This can be hard if it isn’t your dream job, but answer the question in a way that makes it seem like this is your dream.
“I value helping the community, and I love to do that through outreach events. Working as an event planner for X company would allow me to do that and use my people skills to connect with others."
9. Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Job?
Another one of the most common interview questions asks about your current or previous job. This can be hard to answer if you left because of a bad boss or other harsh conditions. But you can spin this into a positive.
Consider if you want to improve your skills or learn something new. If that’s true, you can answer that in an interview.
“While I’ve enjoyed my current job, I want to better myself and learn new skills. I know that to do that, I need to leave and work for a company with more opportunities."
10. Talk About a Time You Disagreed With a Decision. What Did You Do?
When talking about a disagreement at work, be respectful and keep the answer short. Share what you learned from the experience and how that has helped you since.
Disagreements are bound to happen, so it’s nothing negative. But employers want to know how you’ll handle that.
“I disagreed with my boss on how to organize important paperwork. So I asked them to explain the system to me so that I could find certain papers without messing everything up."
11. What Would You Like to Accomplish in the First 90 Days?
Common interview questions may also focus on what you’d do after you start. Your answer to this may depend on your experience and the job at hand. But you can follow a framework to answer the question.
“By 90 days in, I’d like to have gone through training and onboarding and to get used to following company procedures. Overall, I would like to assimilate into the team/office."
12. Share a Time You Went Above and Beyond
Some employers want to hire people who are willing to more than the bare minimum. If you get this interview question, you should be honest.
Consider when you did more than what was required of you. Perhaps you helped a coworker with a project, or you stayed late to get something done quickly.
“As a private piano teacher, I would substitute lessons for my fellow teachers when they were sick or out of town. That way, their students could continue to learn."
13. What Is Your Ideal Work Environment?
Another common interview question focuses on the work environment. To answer this, you should research the company’s environment. If they work in an office, prepare to answer that you like working in a cubicle. Of course, be honest so that you don’t end up in a job you hate.
“I love working in an open office environment near my coworkers. That way, we can help each other throughout the day with small or big questions."
Want more examples? See our post about answering the interview question what is your work style?
14. Are You Willing to Relocate?
Some companies may not have an opening in your city, or they may need you to move in the future. Knowing how to answer interview questions like this one can be hard. However, you need to be honest with yourself and the interviewer.
If you aren’t willing to move, there’s nothing wrong with saying that. Don’t lie just to get the job.
“While I would love to continue to live here, I’m open to exploring different parts of the country. I see you have offices in LA, NYC, and Chicago, each of which I’d love to move to."
15. How Would You Deal With an Irritated/Angry Customer?
Whether you work in customer service or not, you may need to deal with angry customers, and you need to do so well. Consider how you would respond to someone who is irritated and how you’d resolve the situation.
Could you do it on your own? Or would you get help from a coworker or supervisor?
“I would follow company procedures for dealing with conflicts. If that doesn’t work, I would ask a supervisor how to proceed to make the customer happy without negatively impacting the company."
16. What Motivates You?
Another one of the most popular interview questions asks about your motivations. While money may motivate you to work, consider other factors. Perhaps you like learning new things, or you enjoy setting goals and working towards them.
“I love seeing people happy, which motivates me to provide the best service and be the best teammate that I can be. When I make colleagues or customers happy, I want to work even harder to keep that up."
17. What Would Your Colleagues Say About You?
If you aren’t close to your colleagues, it can be hard to answer this question. Consider what people came to you for help with or how they interact with you. That can give you an idea of how to answer.
“My colleagues would say that I’m disciplined and willing to help others when necessary. While they may also say I love taking a break from work, they’d say that the break helps me be more productive."
18. What Can You Do for Us That Other Candidates Can’t?
If you get this question, you have a chance to make yourself stand out. Think about what makes you unique, such as being able to speak a certain language. As always, be honest and don’t talk negatively about others to make yourself look better.
“I’ve studied Spanish and French for the past 10 years, and I have working knowledge in both. That means I can speak with clients and customers in those languages to help build more relationships to grow the company."
19. What Are Your Salary Expectations?
One of the hardest common interview questions to answer regards money. If the job listing didn’t include a salary, it can be hard to avoid pricing yourself out of the job. Do some research
on average salaries, and be open to other compensation methods.
“After looking at average salaries, my expectation is that of $45,000 for the marketing assistant position. I’m open to negotiation, especially if your compensation package also includes benefits such as time off, health insurance, and retirement savings."
20. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?
You should always include a list of questions to bring to an interview
. One of the most common questions will be to ask for your questions because you’re interviewing the company as well. Asking questions can also show that you’re interested in the job.
Consider what you want to know about the company or the specific position to ask in the interview. If you come up with questions later, you can send a follow-up email
to thank the interviewer and ask your other questions.
“Why did the previous employee leave this position?” “What does a typical day look like?” “What’s your remote work policy?” “What are the next steps in the hiring process?"
Mastering Interview Questions
A job interview can be intimidating and overwhelming, but it’s a necessary part of landing a good job. Knowing popular interview questions and how to answer those questions can give you a leg up before you go into the interview.
Then, you can focus on what makes you the ideal candidate. And you can learn if the company is the right fit for you. That way, you’ll be able to reduce your stress while applying for jobs, and you can make sure you enjoy your new position.