Interview Tips

A good job interview gets you one giant step closer to your dream job so you want to be prepared in order for it to run as smoothly and successfully as possible. Employers tend to ask similar questions, and knowing how to put together some strong answers to these questions is key to landing the role. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions in a job interview, to guide you in your interview prep.

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

This is usually the first question asked in a job interview, and it is your chance to leave a good first impression on your potential employer and really make yourself stand out from the crowd. You should keep your answer brief and concise, beginning with your qualifications and jobs you’ve held. There is no need to go into too much detail at this point, however it is a good idea to highlight some of your strengths that are pertinent to the job you are interviewing for, as this will capture their attention from the start. 

What are your strengths?

It’s important for you to pick some of the skills that are most relevant to the job you are applying for. These skills could be either tangible or intangible. For example, knowing how to use a particular software is a tangible skill, while good time management skill is an intangible skill. The job description usually gives you some hints on what skills the employer is looking for.

What are your weaknesses?

For many people, this is the hardest question of a job interview and can be a tricky one to negotiate. The best way to handle this is to put a positive spin on your weaknesses. For example, if you are not good with a certain computer software, point it out to the interviewer and tell him or her how you plan to work on improving your skills in that area. The interviewer may view your initiative as a strength.

What are your goals?

It’s best to split your goals into long-term and short-term, and relate these goals to the job you are applying for. Show the interviewer that you are motivated and you know exactly where you want to be. Most employers are looking to hire individuals who will be committed to the company and stick around for a while, so try to link your goals to the company or industry you are applying for. 

Why should we hire you?

Again, this is where the job description will help you. Before you head into an interview, put yourself in the employer’s shoes and come up with an ideal candidate. When you are asked this question, answer it as if you are the ideal candidate. Tell the interviewer about your achievements and what these achievements can benefit the company.

Why do you want to work here?

One thing you should never say is “I need a job.” Even if it’s true, you may come across as desperate and uncommitted to the role you are interviewing for.

To prepare for this question, you need to know the company’s mission statement, values, plans, and products. Tell the interviewer how your goals align with the company’s values. Finish your answer by telling the interviewer that you would enjoy working for the company and would strive to become a valuable asset.

Image Credit: Shutterstock


About Sophie Deering

You can follow Sophie at @SophieDeering.

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