Top 5 Common Interview Questions

Top 5 Common Interview Questions

Interviews are never an easy thing to go through. There are too many fears in the minds of the candidates, the expectations of the interviewers are generally too high and the overall experience is not a pleasant one.

While interviews tend to differ from each other, depending on the position advertised, the company and the interviewer, there are a few common questions that are always encountered. Regardless of the interview, you will have to be prepared to give the answers that the interviewer is expecting to hear.

That being said, how can we answer common interview questions?

What can you tell me about yourself?


Often times, this question is asked to verify that you do have a life outside work. The truth is that your resume or CV hold all of your professional and employment history, so there is no need to start talking about past work experience.

Try and focus a bit more on your personal life, hobbies, personal accomplishments, anything and everything that rounds you up as a human being.

A good tip here is to try and weave in how your personal skills and aptitudes often times come in handy and improve the professional aspect of your life. Don’t insist on it too much though, just a couple of brief mentions here and there.

Where do you see yourself in five years?


This is a double-edged sword and you must be very careful when answering. This is because the interviewer is looking for 3 things:

  • Can you set realistic goals for yourself?
  • Do you have any aspirations that you can achieve?
  • Is your growth path on the same path as the position?

That being said, you will have to think long and hard what you will be answering here. Research the company, see its goals and path and align your answer so that it matches them.

More often than not, your career goals are not the same as the position that you are interviewing for or the path that it will lead you down.

Regardless of that, you will have to answer truthfully but in a more carefully worded manner.

For example, such an answer can be: "I am not completely sure what the future holds for me, however I am able to see this experience playing a vital and decisive role in it."

What do you know about the company?


The answer to this one is down to your research abilities. In order to nail the answer to this one, you will have to research the company in question thoroughly. Start off with their website and continue with online forums and discussions, anything and everything to learn as much about the company as possible.

Wen asked this question, you will have to look the interviewer straight in the eyes and tell him or her everything that you have learned. Do not limit yourself: talk about the growth of the company over the years, the volume of business that it handles and what it has achieved over time.

** Quick Tip: do not mention any scandals or any complaints that other employees might have had. Try to stay positive!

Why should we hire you?


Although this is the most common choke point for the vast majority of applicants, it can be a golden opportunity for those that are prepared.

Needless to say, don’t choke! What you can do, however, is recognize the opportunity and take full advantage of it because the interviewer is giving you the chance to sell yourself.

This is your time to shine so start talking about all your positives and all your strengths, about all your talents and how your personal skills come in handy in your professional life. You can also talk about extracurricular activities, extra training that you might of have received, everything that you can think of that positively affects your professional life.

Don’t hold back, the idea here is to impress the interviewer so pull out the big guns.

Do you have any questions for us?


If your first instinct here is to say “No, I don’t have any questions for you”, then you’ve failed. The interviewer wants you to ask a question, no matter how uninteresting it is because it shows initiative and that you have genuine interest in the company.

This is another one of the questions that you should prepare for; while you are researching the company, write down possible questions that you can ask.

Refrain from asking about wages, vacations or employee benefits. Try and focus on the company itself as a whole.

Example: "What does your day-to-day look like?" or "What is the company culture like here?" 

These are the most common, and at the same time dreaded interview questions that you will encounter during your job search. As you might of have noticed, they are not particularly hard once you get down to it. All you need to do is prepare properly, do as much research on the company in question as possible and get all your personal and professional information in order. All in all, while it is a bit work that has to be done, you will have a lot to gain from it, a respectable and well paying position being the ultimate prize.

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