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Top 10 Common Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Top 10 Common Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
Reading Time: 6 minutes

 As this year goes by, the amount of people changing or quitting jobs continues to grow. This means many job seekers are exploring the job market looking for the next big opportunity in their careers. If you fit this description and have some interviews scheduled already, you surely want to ace all of them. The best way to achieve that goal is to review and prepare for the most common questions hiring managers are making. 

What types of interview questions should you be expecting? 

Depending on the course of your job interview, the hiring manager may ask you questions with different objectives. Certain interview questions will gather valuable information from how you discuss abilities and work experience to the way you demonstrate traits of your personality and soft skills in answers.

In order to prepare for the meeting, you should know the types of interview questions you could get, so here they are.

Background questions

These types of interview questions have the simple objective of fact-checking the information from your resume. In order to prepare for these questions you have to make sure you’re honest about all the content in your CV. Staying sharp and well-versed in the details of your education, certifications, and professional history gives you a leg up over your competition.

Behavioral questions 

This is a common style among interviewer questions. Behavioral questions include a wide range of options, from questions about your workplace behavior to presenting you with a specific situation and asking how you’ll react or resolve a conflict. Your answers to these questions give a hiring manager insight into past behaviors that indicate perception and critical analysis skills.

Opinion questions

These types of questions are similar to behavioral questions. Interviewers are looking for your subjective opinion about a certain scenario or topic. They typically seem inconsequential and may even confuse you, but even when trying to find an appropriate response, the tricky part is recognizing that there is no “right” answer. Instead of trying to please your interviewer, you should use this opportunity to give a hint about your decision-making skills.

Brain-teaser questions

Another tricky type of interview question you should be aware of are brain teasers which range from case studies or situational questions to problem-solving questions. At first, you may find them random, but they’re strategically testing your logic and math skills. The interviewer’s interest focuses on the process you follow to get to an answer rather than the answer itself, so make sure to showcase your rationale and out-of-the-box thinking skills. 

Top 10 interview questions in 2023

While some of the questions you’ll receive during your job interview will relate to the role and specific hard skills you’ll need for it, expect at least a few questions from the previous groups. 

If you want to be prepared for these, here is a list of 10 common interview questions hiring managers are using in 2023, along with some example responses or answering techniques you can use.

Tell me about yourself

Arguably the most common question made by a hiring manager isn’t actually a question at all, but a request. The first thing interviewers want to hear about is your story, not only professionally but also from a personal standpoint. It’s all about you, so don’t be shy to talk about your growth, achievements, and why you’re the best fit for the role. 

Try to keep your answer concise and direct. Structure your response into a three-phase story with an interesting beginning, a compelling middle, and a convincing ending expressing how you’re a good match. Make sure to include your education and training, as well as the motivations and experiences that led you to pursue your career.

How did you hear about this position? 

Knowing how you got to their company reveals a lot about your interest in the opening and your drive to get hired. If you’re working with a recruiter or a current employee who recommended the position, let your interviewer know who. This will improve your credibility, especially if this person considers you a good fit because of your background, skills, or reputation.

If you found the role because you’re particularly interested in the company, explain to the hiring manager what caught your eye, how long you’ve been pursuing an opportunity with their company, and how your values align with theirs.

Why do you want to work at this company? 

To correctly answer this job interview question, you must understand the company you’re applying for, even if you were only initially interested in the role. It’ll help you know if the company fits your current career path and let your interviewer know if you took the time to research the company and evaluate if you’re a good match. Do the homework. Learn about their products, services, values, and history, and when the hiring manager asks this question, mention the appealing highlights that align with your goals.

How do your skills/profile align with this role?

Each of these common interview questions offer interviewers a glimpse of how well you match the position, none dive deeper into your qualities, work ethic, and the specific training that makes you the perfect fit for the role more than this question. Make sure to include your soft and hard skills in your answer, or try using the STAR method to showcase how your skill set will benefit the company in specific scenarios.

Why did you leave your last job? 

Interviewers ask why you quit your last job to better analyze your work etiquette. Though there is nothing wrong with seeking new challenges or opportunities, it’s better to have an answer ready for this question so you are prepared with well-defined reasons for your career move. 

A thoughtful and honest response without giving too many details about the relationship with your previous employer is the safest course of action. Instead of focusing on your previous company, shift the discussion toward the future, your expectations, and the challenges you’ve set for yourself.

How do you handle conflict at work? 

Conflict resolution interview questions lend insight to hiring managers during job interviews. This is a topic of interest for employers because it allows them to evaluate your conflict-solving skills and ensure that you’ll have the professional capacity to deal with difficult situations. 

Conflicts are a natural part of work relationships and workplaces, so don’t shy from sharing your experiences. When answering these questions focus on successful resolutions; be clear and concise in every detail of the situation you’re using as an example; and finally, demonstrate what you’ve learned and how your previous experiences have strengthened your skills.

What is your greatest strength/weakness? 

Although this is more like a two-for-one, these will likely be on every job interview questions list. On one hand, sharing your strengths will let the interviewer know how qualified you are for the job. Remember to use examples that show your abilities instead of just bragging about them. 

On the other hand, reflecting on weaknesses during a job interview may be more tricky. Though it may feel awkward to highlight your flaws, this is a chance to show the interviewer you’re self-aware of your areas needing improvement and that you’re interested in continuous growth and learning. The important part of your answer should be how you’re overcoming a weakness, not the weakness itself.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Similar to the previous interview question mentioned, you’ll most likely be asked about your success in previous roles. Narrowing down your greatest achievement is an important task even if you’ve had a long career. Consider picking a few smaller achievements that showcase your work style, values, and skills. Think of it as a case study in which you tell the interviewer how you managed to improve or solve an issue. 

What motivates you?

This is an interview question meant to evaluate your self-awareness. The main objective for the employer is to ensure you have an inner drive that’s aligned with the company’s objectives. To answer appropriately, be conscious of your “Why” and be specific. Give your interviewer real examples of how these motivations relate to your job search and the role you’re applying for.

What are your goals for the future? 

Talking about your immediate future or what you expect to achieve will let a hiring manager know about your commitment and your longevity with the company. The idea is to see if the expected growth and trajectory of the role matches your plans or if you’ll move on as soon as you get a better salary or benefits.

Envision your career path and carefully consider what you’ll share with the interviewer. You wouldn’t want to share something that gives the wrong idea or make you look like a job hopper.  Focus on the company, and be honest to yourself and the interviewer if this position fits your long-term goals.

Preparing for a job interview is much more complex than just having your resume ready, picking an outfit, or preparing referrals from your previous work. You’ll have to think thoroughly and practice your responses to important questions, but rest assured that even if you don’t have all the right answers, the next best thing is leaving an excellent first impression.

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Contributed by Luis Arellano

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