Job interviews can be tough for everyone involved, especially the interviewee. There are few common questions that are often asked at job interviews that can make or break a candidate’s chances of getting the job. Understanding what these questions are and how best to answer them can help interviewees to see from the other side a little and understand why these questions are asked and what interviewers are looking for.
What Is Your Biggest Weakness?
Answering this question honestly is the best way to go. Trying to disguise a strength as a weakness by saying something to the effect of “I care too much,” can annoy interviewers and make it seem like you cannot take responsibility for your own shortcomings. By identifying where you could use more training or by highlighting a personal weakness, you let the interviewer know that you understand you’re not perfect, but are willing to invest effort to gain skills.
Why Do You Want to Work for Us?
Waxing on and on about how great a company is when asked this question can make interviewers internally roll their eyes. It’s important to do some research to prepare for this question, but personalizing it will make it more genuine. Tell the interviewer about how the company’s mission aligns with your goals, how the structure fits with your lifestyle, how you have heard great things from current employees.
What Can You Bring to This Company?
Going vague or generic with your answer can hurt you when you answer this question. Stay away from saying things like “good work ethic” or “leadership” that could literally apply to any company. Instead, figure out what technical or scholastic skills you have that could better the company or help you contribute to current operations.
Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?
If you haven’t left and you’re passively seeking a job, this question is a lot easier to answer because you can simply talk about why the new company is better than the one you plan on leaving. If you left on bad terms or were terminated, it can be a bit trickier. Even if you gave two weeks and quit the proper way, it’s important to be tactful when discussing why you left the last job.
The worst thing that you can do is bash your last employer and managers. Your interviewer is carefully weighing your words and trying to determine how you will speak about the company after working there. You should be honest about why the company didn’t fit with your goals or fulfill your expectations, but be respectful and avoid undermining the other company.
Where Do You See Yourself in Five (Ten) Years?
Flattering the interviewer and saying that you would like to be where they are can be effective if the interviewer is in a management position, but may come off as a bit cheesy. Whatever you say here, be mindful of how your achievement goals may fit with the company’s goals for succession planning and expansion. Including some goals to receive industry-specific training within the next few years may also impress your interviewer.
The interview is an important step in the hiring process, so try to put your best foot forward and impress your interviewer. Stay away from canned answers and really let your skills and personality shine when answering questions that interviewers have asked 1,000 times.