How to Answer the 9 Most Common Interview Questions

By Mary April B

Going to an interview gives you a real chance to impress a hiring manager. There's no guarantee about what you'll be asked, but it would be great to know there are a number of questions that come up again and again.

While we unfortunately can't read minds, it's important that you have powerful answers to these questions to help you make a big impact. Here are some of the most common interview questions and suggestions on how to answer them. Consider this as your interview question study guide.

Can you tell me about yourself?

This is usually an opening question. This is simple, many people fail to prepare for it but it's crucial. It is a great opportunity to showcase your strengths. You can start by answering with an overview of what you are doing now and what you've accomplished so far in your career. You can follow the same structure as your resume, giving some examples of your achievements and skills that you've picked up. Don't be in too much detail - the interviewer will ask for you to expand more details for areas which they like more information.

Why should we hire you?

This question seems forward, but you're in luck if the hiring manager asked it. This is where you get the chance to tell the hiring manager about your skills and experience you have that is much crucial in the job position you're applying for.

Don't just tell about your experience, explain how it could benefit the company.

What are your greatest strengths?

When answering this question, be accurate. Share your true strengths, not those you think the employer wants to hear. Be relevant. Choose the strengths you will share that are most targeted in the position.

What do you consider to be your weaknesses?

An interviewer wants to identify your self-awareness and honesty through this question. Think of something that you struggle with but that you're working to improve. For example, maybe it is hard for you to engage in public speaking but you recently volunteered to run seminars to help you be more comfortable in interacting on a crowd.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Be honest and specific about your future goals. Consider that a hiring manager wants to know if you've set realistic expectations for yourself and your career, if you have an ambition and if the position you're applying for is relevant to your goals and growth.

Why are you leaving your current job?

Definitely keep things positive. You don't have something to gain by being negative about your past employers. Instead, show things in a way that you're eager to take new opportunities and the job you're applying for now will better fit you than your last position.

What are you looking for in a new position?

Be specific. You can tell the same things that this position has to offer.

How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?

Choose an answer that shows that you can meet a stressful situation in a productive and positive manner. A best approach is to talk through your stress-reduction tactics and share an example of a stressful situation you've pass through.

Do you have any questions for us?

An interview isn't just a chance for a hiring manager to get to know you, it's also your opportunity to sniff out whether this job is the right fit for you. What do you want to know about the position? The company? On the actual interview, you may have a lot of questions so better have common questions ready to go.