Preparation is critical when it comes to interviewing for a job. Here are some common questions asked during job interviews and tips on how to answer them successfully.
Question: What do you know about this company?
Interviewers ask this question to see how much research you have conducted prior to the interview. Research their website to find out as much as possible about the company. When asked this question, talk about the organization's products, clients, history, goals, different company locations, etc.
Question: Tell me about yourself.
This is a job interview, so the interviewer is not interested in hearing all about your family, friends, hobbies, etc. Keep it professional. Talk about your education, previous work experience, volunteer experience, and so forth. Show how your past experiences can help you bring value to the position for which you are interviewing. This is the question where you can really sell yourself. Make it count.
Question: What are your greatest strengths?
You have many strengths, so pick three or four that best fit with the position for which you are interviewing. For example, if you are interviewing for a position that involves extensive multi-tasking, emphasize your organizational and time management skills. If you are interviewing for a sales position, you may want to highlight your leadership and people skills.
Question: What are your greatest weaknesses?
This is a tricky question. You should state your true weaknesses, but then stress the steps that you are taking or have taken to overcome them. For instance, if one of your weaknesses is that you have a fear of public speaking, talk about how you are taking or have completed courses in public speaking to help you eliminate that weakness. Keep in mind that your answers to this question should not be critical to the job position (i.e. don't say that you have a tendency to procrastinate when you're interviewing for a deadline-driven position).
Question: How do you handle stressful situations?
Give a specific example of a stressful situation you have dealt with at a previous job or in the classroom. Talk about the steps you took to get through the situation successfully and how you reduced the stress for you and those around you. This is also a good time to highlight more of your strengths, such as your problem-solving skills.
Question: What are your goals for the future?
Be sure to keep the company you are interviewing with in mind when answering this question. Don't discuss plans for opening your own business or starting a family. These goals are not relevant to the position for which you are interviewing. Instead, keep your answer pretty general and talk about how you would like to grow with a company where you can enhance your skills and take on additional responsibilities.
These are just a few of the more common questions asked during job interviews. As long as you know your best attributes, you should be able to successfully answer any question that the interviewer may ask. At the end of the interview, make sure to ask some questions of your own as to show your interest in the company. For more tips on how to have a successful job interview, read How to Sell Yourself During a Job Interview.