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Most common interview questions

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" - Benjamin Franklin.

I always suggest that you go to any interview with answers prepared for the questions you may be asked. Even if you don't get asked the exact questions you will be able to use a variation of what you have prepared. In addition to job specific questions you are likely to be asked these most common interview questions too. Make sure you have answers to them!

“Tell me about yourself.”

This is your opportunity to give them your elevator pitch. If you were able to research your interviewer beforehand and found something you have in common, drop that in to your answer, but other wise it should be a brief work history highlighting your relevant experience. Try and keep your answer under 3 minutes as well.

“Why are you leaving your current position?”

Always frame your answer as being positive (don't say anything bad about your current employer.) Make sure your response includes something that demonstrates why you want to work for the company you are interviewing with too. If there is a question you are scared they might ask, make sure you have your answer to that too.

“Why are you interested in this position at this company?

Make sure you know exactly what job you are applying for and what the specific requirements are for the position. Use this as an opportunity to explain why you are a great fit for the job. Also research the company and be prepared to discuss something about the company company culture that would make you a good fit. Make sure you focus on the actual work and how you’ll be able to help them and not just the benefits or work schedule.

“What is your greatest strength?”

Pick a skill you have that is relevant to the job and emphasize how it will enable you to succeed in the role. Also have examples of how it has helped in previous roles too. This is not a time to be modest, you should be truthful of course, but don't be ashamed to toot your own horn.

“What is your your biggest weakness?”

First off, everyone has weaknesses so it's OK to admit you are not perfect. Pick a weakness you’ve been working on and tell them what steps that you have taken to improve. You can also tell them about a weakness that wouldn't affect your work as well.

“What are salary your requirements?

Always be prepared to talk about salary because it will come up at some point in the interview process. Getting a new job is the best time to get a pay raise - if you are prepared! Research the salaries of employees in your industry and come up with a salary range that you’re looking for. Try not to be the first person to mention a number. Ask them what the range is for the position. When you do give a number be prepared to justify it with your experience and what you have found other people in similar positions are earning.

“Do you have any questions for us?

The answer to this question is always "yes!" Always go in to an interview with some questions you want to ask them. Even if the answers came up during the conversation, still ask. The interviewer wants someone who is really interested in this job and not just a job. My favorite question of all time to ask is "what are you looking for in an ideal candidate." Once they tell you, you can re-iterate all the qualities they are looking for that you have.

Another great way to prepare for an interview is to get a career coach!

You might also be interested in reading: How to interview the interviewer.