If you're looking for a job, you're likely to hear a lot of the same interview questions over and over again. Often, you'll feel like you should end up answering them the same way every time. However, even the most common and seemingly innocuous questions actually have good and bad answers, and if you really want to impress, you'll be able to knock those responses out of the park.
Below are seven of the most common interview questions, with the best possible ways to answer them:
1) "How did you hear about this job opening?"
This is a question almost every interviewee is likely to hear, and it gives you a real chance to impress a hiring manager, according to The Muse. If you heard about it from a trade publication, that shows you're engaged in your industry. If you heard about it from a friend in the sector, that shows you know some of the right people. And if you found it on a job posting site, you can still talk about why this particular role stood out to you.
2) "What do you know about us?"
Don't make the mistake of effusively praising your potential employer here, The Muse added. Instead, you should talk about why the company's mission or goals (which you can find on its website) line up with yours, and why you think that makes you such a good match.
3) "What have you been told is your biggest weakness?"
Hiring managers will probe for all your strengths and weaknesses, according to Indeed. People often fall into the trap of saying something that's actually a strength - "Some people say I work too hard!" - into a weakness, but that's a no-no. Instead, provide an honest answer about something you would like to work on in your professional career.
4) "What's the biggest professional issue you've had to overcome?"
Hiring managers like to identify people who grow as professionals over time, and having a good anecdote about this ready to go is a must, Indeed further noted. You should rehearse a quick story that illustrates an issue you ran into and the steps you took to overcome it.
5) "Why did you leave your last job?"
Companies ask this question not as a "gotcha," but because they want to better understand what issues could arise over time, Indeed advised. If you're honest about any conflicts, or simply the reasons why you moved on amicably, hiring managers will have a better idea of what you're all about.
6) "What attracted you to this job listing?"
This simply gives you the chance to say how the role - as defined in the listing itself - aligns with what you're hoping to achieve, according to Fairy Godboss. Talking about your skills and enthusiasm for the position is the right way to go here.
7) "How do you like to work?"
Here is another question that simply requires honesty, Fairy Godboss cautioned. After all, if you say you like to work collaboratively to match the stated office environment, but you actually prefer to work fairly independently, a less-than-honest answer could end up putting both you and the company in a tricky situation.
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