How to Answer 5 Common Interview Questions
Nobody really likes talking about themselves – especially to a stranger. In an interview context, you not only have to talk about yourself but do so in a way that convinces the other person to hire you. Despite being unable to predict what they will ask, there are several common interview questions you can practice with. We’ve compiled a few below, and included a great resource for you to practice with!
Tell us about yourself.
This isn’t an opportunity to launch into your life story. You want to give the interviewer a brief summary of your recent (or most substantial) work experience, study background, skills, and any relevant interests. Try to keep each point to roughly one sentence each, two max. Any longer, and you may sound like you’re rambling.
If you haven’t studied for a while, or have multiple degrees, focus on the study that is most relevant for the position. The interviewer has read your resume, so listing all of your education isn’t really helpful in answering this particular question.
Why do you want to work for us?
Before the interview, make sure you’ve done your research on the company. This question gives you the chance to link your interests to the organisation’s work. Choose two or three projects they are working on, or values they hold, and relate them to your own passions. Not only can you show off your knowledge of the company, but also start highlighting that you’ll be a good cultural fit.
What accomplishments in life are you most proud of?
This can be a tricky one. You want to think of something that links to the position’s selection criteria, if possible. For example, if the job requires you to take a leadership position try to think of a time where you’ve shown initiative, taken responsibility in a project or supervised others.
Try to think of three different accomplishments you can mention. They don’t all need to be work related –you can include things you’re particularly proud of from your personal life or your studies. For example, if you’ve done well at a sport this can show teamwork, persistence, leadership and problem solving skills.
What is your biggest weakness?
As you’ve no doubt heard many times, you don’t want your biggest weakness to be something too substantial. At the same time, you also don’t want your answer to be an obvious evasion. Try to think of something you genuinely struggle with that can be overcome. For example, discomfort with public speaking is something many people can relate to, but can be improved upon with practice.
If you can’t think of something suitable yourself, talk to friends or family who you see on a regular basis. They can help you brainstorm and come up with a few ideas you can develop yourself.
What are your strengths?
Many people find talking about their strengths uncomfortable, almost like they’re bragging. If this is you, don’t worry about it! If an interviewer asks you this question they’re not trying to catch you out – they’re interested in what you can bring to their team.
You only need to think of three or four points at most. If you can back a couple of them up with examples to support them that’d be great!
You’ve got this! If you want to practice some more questions, check out this great resource on our website. It gives close to 100 example interview questions, broken down into question type. Grab a friend to play interviewer, and get practising!
Featured image courtesy of Pexels
By Mia Casey