Acing the interview is crucial in the hiring process. Before you step into an interview, you need to practice, prepare, and research the company and role.
With the right research and preparation, you can breeze through a job interview. Here are six questions every job seeker should be prepared for and the best way to answer each one.
1. Why should we hire you?
If you have a solid understanding of the company and role, you should implement that information into your answer.
“Reread the company’s job description and practice your answer prior to the interview,” said Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster. “Highlight your strengths and biggest assets that tie directly back to the company’s goal for this job and their overall vision for the company.”
2. Why do you want to work here?
The job site WayUp recommends having a three-part answer that focuses on an aspect of the company that you admire, explains how it resonates with you, and highlight your skills and explain how they are relevant to the position.
Salemi agrees and said that the best way to answer this question is by showing your passion and doing your homework. “For example, if the company is launching a new product or service, mention how you’ve enjoyed reading about the strides they’re making in the industry,” she added. “Correlate your answer to how you can be a productive employee to exceed their goals – it’s all about how you can be their next best asset!”
3. Tell me about yourself.
Salemi said this question is helpful for an interviewer who hasn’t had the time to peruse your resume.
“Provide an overall snapshot of your strengths, what you’re doing now, and then walk them through your career progression,” Salemi told Business News Daily. “You may also explain why you make certain decisions – like leaving a company, for example – so you can succinctly state your interests developed in a new direction.”
WayUp notes this is a classic way to open an interview, and it’s easy to waste an opportunity with a bad answer. Instead, keep your answer concise and hit key points – your background, a description of your interests, your past job experience, and what you want to achieve with your next job. [Read related article: Things You Should Never Do During and After a Job Interview]
4. Why are you looking to leave your current job?
This is an important question to be prepared for, because you don’t want to speak poorly about your current company. “This one should be simple and positive,” said the WayUp team. “First, give your reason without being negative or sounding petty.”
“Answers for this question can range from ‘there’s not room to grow’ to ‘I’m ready for a new challenge,'” Salemi told Business News Daily. “Some candidates find it helpful to tie their answer back and pivot into what they can offer the employer.”
5. What is your biggest strength?
“Highlight your most important strengths while keeping in mind how it can help the company,” said Salemi. “Employers list job responsibilities and requirements in descending order – the most important from top to bottom – so review the job description for their [top] three responsibilities and tie one of your strengths back to it.”
Salemi recommends showing, not telling, by providing examples. “It’s one thing to say you’re great at something, but you should also be able to illustrate it.”
WayUp also suggests picking a strength that’s most relevant to the job. “If you’re applying for a leadership role, you should focus your strength as a project manager.”
6. What is your biggest weakness?
“This question can be tricky, because you have to give an honest answer while avoiding anything that could raise a serious red flag for the interviewer,” said WayUp. “The key here is to pose the problem alongside your solutions for it.”
Salemi also recommends emphasizing what you’re doing to change your weakness into a strength. “For example, a safe answer can be something like, ‘I need to improve on delegating when working with someone new, as it’s easier to just do the job myself rather than explain it, but I’m working on this.'”
If you want more practice, here are the 50 most common interview questions according to Glassdoor.