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Common job interview questions

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To prepare for your interview, consider your answers for some common questions in advance. Below are five questions you are likely to receive in a job interview.

  • Can you tell me about yourself?
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why do you want this position?
  • Why are you leaving your job?
  • Why should the company hire you?


Can you tell me about yourself?

Interviewers often start with this question to learn about your background. When you answer, try beginning by mentioning where you are now before briefly explaining how you advanced to your current position. By taking this tactic, you can establish your professional history and emphasize the most important aspects.

Example: “Currently, I am a junior personal trainer, and I have 25 recurring clients. In my three years as a fitness instructor, I have earned certifications in yoga and pilates, allowing me to specialize in these rapidly growing areas. Because I maintain a full client roster, I have also taken online sales courses. As a fitness enthusiast, I am also highly self-motivated and driven to share my excitement for health and well-being with my clients.”



What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Employers typically ask about your strengths and weaknesses to learn more about areas where you excel and where you could improve. When you respond, mention your best technical and soft skills. To discuss your weaknesses, try to choose an area where you have already taken steps to improve. Using this strategy allows you to add a positive aspect to a question that has the potential to be negative.

Example: “After seven years of working in web design, I have mastered technical skills like visual design and user experience. Combined with my natural ability to solve problems and think analytically, these skills give me the power to work seamlessly with clients. However, during my first year of working in web design, I realized that I was not communicating clearly enough with clients, often resulting in extra work for me and frustration for my clients. I researched techniques for improving written and verbal communication, and as a result, I improved my productivity by 15%.”


Why do you want this position?

Hiring teams include this question in interviews to determine how well you understand the job and the company. When you receive this question, you have an opportunity to demonstrate how much you have researched the organization and the job opening. In your answer, try mentioning the company’s mission or accomplishments and the unique opportunities that the position offers.

Example: “The role aligns well with my experience and future goals. After working in a supervisory retail sales position for three years, I am adequately prepared to advance to a managerial role in the field. I am enthusiastic about the management and financial skills I can acquire through this position, and I am excited about working for an accomplished company that frequently exceeds its quarterly sales goals by 10% or more.”


Why are you leaving your job?

Employers often want to know why you are planning to transition out of your current role in the pursuit of a new position. When you answer, try to avoid mentioning anything negative about your current job or company. Instead, focus on positive aspects, such as seeking professional growth or looking for a greater challenge.

Example: “I have spent eight years developing my sales skills in my current company, and I’m ready to move into management. I hope to find a position in a new company where I can use my current skills while growing and managing a team of effective salespeople.” 


Why should the company hire you?

Interviewers may ask this direct question to prompt you to explain why you are the best candidate for the job. In your response, try emphasizing your skills, experience and accomplishments while explaining how well your objectives fit with the company’s goals.

Example: “I am passionate about the marketing field and have taken steps to improve my skills and reach increasingly higher goals throughout my career. During 10 years in the field, I have advanced from a junior marketing role to a marketing manager position. Also, my objectives align well with the company’s mission to give back to the community while practicing smarter marketing.”

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