How to Approach Common Job Interview Questions

Please watch the following video. Then, read the following text.

When preparing for a job interview, it’s essential to rehearse your responses to common questions to present yourself confidently and effectively. Below are strategies for approaching some of the most frequently asked interview questions:

1. “Please tell me about yourself.”:

  • Approach: When responding to this question, focus on providing a brief summary of your professional background, skills, and experiences that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
  • Strategy: Start with a concise overview of your education and career path. Highlight key accomplishments and experiences that showcase your qualifications for the job. Remember to tailor your response to align with the job requirements.

2. “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”:

  • Approach: This question aims to assess your self-awareness and ability to reflect on your skills and areas for improvement.
  • Strategy: When discussing your strengths, emphasize qualities that are relevant to the job and align with the company’s values. Support your strengths with examples from past experiences. When addressing weaknesses, choose a skill or trait that you are actively working to improve, and explain the steps you are taking to enhance it.

3. “Why do you want to work for this company?”:

  • Approach: Employers want to understand your motivation for applying to their organization specifically.
  • Strategy: Research the company’s mission, values, and culture to identify aspects that resonate with you. Tailor your response to demonstrate how your values align with the company’s, and how you can contribute to their goals and success. Avoid generic answers and instead, provide specific reasons for your interest.

4. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”:

  • Approach: This question assesses your long-term career goals and aspirations.
  • Strategy: Offer a realistic yet ambitious vision for your professional growth within the company. Demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and development. Align your goals with the potential career paths within the organization to show that you are invested in a long-term relationship with the company.

5. “Why should we hire you?”:

  • Approach: This question allows you to make a compelling case for why you are the best candidate for the job.
  • Strategy: Highlight your unique skills, experiences, and achievements that set you apart from other applicants. Connect your qualifications directly to the job requirements and demonstrate how you can add value to the team and contribute to the company’s success. Be confident and persuasive in your response.

By approaching these common job interview questions with thoughtful strategies and practicing your responses, you can effectively communicate your qualifications and suitability for the position, increasing your chances of success in the interview process.

Now that you have had a look at some of the most common job interview questions, consider the following questions. Write out your answers on a piece of paper (or a Word Document).

  1. Consider the importance of conducting research on a company before an interview. Why is it crucial to provide specific reasons, rather than generic answers, when explaining why you want to work for a particular company?
  2. Answer: “Please tell me about yourself.” What skills do you want to highlight? Make sure that the skills and aspects of yourself that you highlight are relevant to the job position and make you an attractive candidate.
  3. When an interviewer asks, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”, what is really being asked? Does the interviewer just want to know what you are good at and not so good at? What kind of answer would you like to see if you were an interviewer, and what does this say about the interviewee (an interviewee is the person being interviewed)?
  4. What else tells an interviewer about you? Think of what your posture, dress, or your personality tells an interviewer.
  5. What kind of person would be best suited for a job as an accountant? What kind of person would be best suited for a job as a teacher? As a professional chef? Are there any characteristics that would be useful for all of these jobs?

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