Author: Mike Suggs
Top interview questions are questions you are likely to be asked by an interviewer. In addition to your other job interview preparation, you should rehearse how you will answer the following questions:
1. Tell Me About Yourself
Of all the top interview questions, this one is about as old as the hills and just about as irritating. What are you supposed to say to this? Are you supposed to start at first grade and come all the way forward? Are you supposed to focus on your education, your experiences in business, your goals? Afterall, you don’t have all day. Your interview could last less than an hour and this is just one question.
The answer is yes, but you do it in such a way as to highlight the important periods in your life that guided you in the direction you are currently pursuing. Where did you come from – what kind of environment did you grow up in? What caused you to pursue the field you are in? How did you decide upon your education and how you would receive your training? Has it been fulfilling? Are you looking for bigger challenges? What would you tell your best friend if they asked you this question?
Chances are, you could give your friend an excellent, heartfelt, and fairly brief answer. And, that’s how you need to do it in your interview. So, practice how you would tell your best friend.
2. Why Do You Want This Job?
Simple question, but not so easy to answer. Actually, it is easy to answer if you just take a look at why the job offer attracted your attention in the first place.
One would hope that you have some experience and skill in the area that you feel would directly apply to what the company is looking for. Do you? Tell them what you can do and what you know and why you feel it will satisfy what they are looking for. What would you tell your best friend if they asked you this question?
3. What Are Your Strengths?
What do you really think they are? Your strengths may have very little to do with your skills. Think of the answer to this question in terms of what you are personally good at that when applied with your skills, makes you the perfect candidate for the job?
Maybe a personal strength of yours is that you love to challenge yourself and that level of determination motivates you to never give up on a task until you have nailed it. Ask your best friend what they think your personal strengths are and then think of the benefits an employer would gain when you applied those strengths to the job you are applying for.
4. What Are Your Weaknesses?
This is often one of the top interview questions and it comes from “psycho-metrics” compiled by psychologists for job interviewers. For some reason they sometimes feel it’s important to try to trip up the applicant or to see if the applicant has a good understanding of themselves.
Of course this is ridiculous, but you need to be prepared for as many of these top interview questions as possible. So, do the same thing here as you did with your strengths and be honest with yourself because what you feel is a weakness, may be perceived as a strength by an employer.
For example, if you glance over your employment history, you may see that you tend to care a lot about your job and you therefore work harder than required; which may take you away from time you could be devoting to your social life or family.
Yes, that could be a negative for you personally, but would an employer necessarily see it that way? Is working hard and caring a weakness or a strength?
5. Where Do You Want To Be In 5 Years?
Obviously, the intention here is to see how purposeful your life is. The interviewer wants to accomplish 2 things here. They want to see whether or not you have direction and responsibility in your life and they want to get an idea of how stable you will be as an employee.
The company will be making a significant investment in you both in time and in money if they hire you. Will that investment pay off for them? You need to think about this and have a legitimate answer.
6. Why Should I Hire You?
That’s for them to answer for themselves, isn’t it? But, there’s a good chance you will be asked this one because psychologists have determined it’s a good question and interviewers think it’s clever to ask it. Plus, other companies they admire ask it, so they are going to ask it too!
You should say something like: “Because you want somebody who can competently fill the position and who you won’t have to baby-sit…someone who won’t be here today and gone tomorrow.”
7. Do You Have Any Questions For Me?
Believe it or not, it’s very important for you to have an answer to this question. It will probably be the last of the top interview questions and most job applicants will say “No”.
But think about it. If you were the interviewer and an applicant had a question or two that demonstrated they knew something about your company or about the industry wouldn’t you be impressed?
The interviewer is expecting you to say “No”. Surprise them. They have spent hours and hours asking the same top interview questions to maybe dozens of applicants and it will be refreshing for them to do the answering for a change. This will really make you stand out from the others.
Your question of them cannot be about you! Do not ask such questions as: “When would I get a raise?” or “What about vacation time?” It has to be about them or their Company.
Ask something like: “Do you feel it’s possible for us to directly compete with (one of their top competitors)?” And then follow that up with: “I would definitely like to be a part of that challenge…Do you think my position here can play an important role in that?”
Sometimes, the interview process is influenced by “psycho-metrics”, body language and even handwriting analysis. Don’t be concerned about it.
Just be as relaxed as possible and straightforward with your answers to the top interview questions. Do not fidget, squirm, or have your eyes darting all over the room during the interview.
You’re not going to be able to talk your way into the job. You and the job position are a good fit or you’re not. So, let it go and just be yourself.
I know the job interview process can be stressful. That’s why it’s so important for you to be as armed as possible with tips you can use to build your confidence. After you do well in your first interview, you will often be asked back for a second interview.
The good news is that you impressed them enough to get called back! But, it also means you will have to get prepared for a new set of interview questions. You can get helpful tips for your second interview by going here to Second Interview Questions.
There are many more easy to apply tips that will make your life easier and your job interview experience much less stressful and you can find them by going here to Job Interview Tips.
About the Author
The Administrators of Job Interview Tips 101 are continuously updating the site to provide you with the most current information on how to best prepare for your next job interview