Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

While it’s impossible to predict exactly what you may be asked in a job interview, there are some common questions that are likely to crop up, regardless of the specific company or position. As part of your interview prep, it’s a good idea to be familiar with them and write out your responses in advance. This way, you can rehearse them so they sound natural and … unrehearsed!

As you respond to these and other interview questions, stay relaxed and let your personality and best traits shine through.

“Tell us about yourself.”

This is a common first question in many interviews. As you answer, there’s no need to tell your entire life story, or even your entire career story, unless it’s relevant to the job.

  • Start with the present and work backwards. Talk about where you are right now, and then segue into the past. Highlight the experience you’ve had and the skills you’ve built. Then, finish with the future: Why you’re an excellent fit for the position.

“Why should we hire you?”

While this question may seem daunting on the surface, it’s a perfect opportunity to toot your own horn. This is not the time to be modest as you respond, nor do you want to appear conceited or arrogant.

  • Craft a response that proves to the hiring manager you can deliver great results and you’d be a perfect fit with the company and its culture. Make it a confident, concise sales pitch that clearly explains the unique value you offer.

“What are your greatest strengths?”

As you focus on the attributes that set you apart from the competition, be honest and accurate. Choose the strengths most targeted to the specific job.

  • Be specific. For instance, instead of saying “I’m a people person,” say, “I have strong persuasive communication skills” or “I excel at relationship building.” Then, follow up with detailed examples that produced measurable results.

“What is your greatest weakness?”

This is the flip side to the “greatest strengths” question. When asking it, an interviewer is gauging your level of self-awareness and honesty.

  • Strike the right balance. Think of something you struggle with, but are working to improve. If your weakness is public speaking or leading group meetings, describe a course or training program you’ve voluntarily enrolled in to develop your strengths in this area.

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

With this inquiry, a hiring manager wants to know if you’ve set realistic career expectations, if you’re ambitious, and perhaps most importantly, if the position aligns with your goals.

  • Think realistically about where this job could take you. Respond with that in mind. If you’re not exactly sure what the future holds for you, it’s okay to say that; however, indicate that you see this new role as an important one in helping you to make that decision.

Do you need a coach to help you prepare for your upcoming interviews? At PrideStaff Modesto, we love to help people reach their full potential, find great jobs and put their talent to the best possible use. Whether you’re seeking a temporary job or a full-time opportunity, contact us today so we can help you make it happen.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email