Common Job Interview Questions

Interview Questions and Suggested Answers

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While it is impossible to guess exactly what you will be asked during a job interview, you can prepare yourself by developing answers to the most common job interview questions. This kind of preparation will not only help you remain calm during the interview, it will help you control the results.

Regardless of your field, there are five things that almost every interviewer asks. Review each one of the questions and think carefully about your answers. The, practice in the mirror or with a friend until you are comfortable with your responses.

Can you tell me about yourself?

This is the most hated and most common question in interview history. Typically asked at the beginning of the job interview, this question gives the interviewer an opportunity to gain knowledge about you and your capabilities.

When you answer, offer a summary of your personality, skills, experience, and work history. Do not mention your knitting hobby or your pet iguana. Try to stick with facts that will demonstrate why you are the person for the job. 

Why do you want to work here?

Even if it is true, do not answer with: "Because I really need a job and you were hiring." If you did any research prior to the interview, you can answer this question. Utilize what you know about the company. Tell the interviewer why you admire the company, their practices, or their product.

If all else fails, make a connection between the job description and your abilities. Tell the interviewer why you are compatible with their company.

Why should we hire you?

This is one of the most important questions that you will be asked, and you need to make sure that you have a very good answer. Try to be as specific as possible. Explain in detail: why you would make a good employee, why you are the right fit for the job, and what sets you apart from other applicants. Point out your achievements, accomplishments, and applicable experience.

Why did you leave your last job?

This is actually more of a test than a question. The interviewer wants to see what pushes your buttons. Your answer should be as honest as possible, but whatever you do, try not to sound bitter, angry, or violent. And most importantly, do not badmouth your former company, boss, or co-workers. Learn how to explain that you were fired. Learn how to explain why you quit.

Where do you see yourself in five (or ten) years?

Why do interviewers continue to ask this question? Because- it shows them how motivated you are and it offers insight into your professional intentions. Instead of telling the interviewer that you would like to be sailing in the Bahamas, try offering information about your professional goals as the relate to your job or industry. 

Additional Tips

Answering these common job interview questions in an intelligent manner is important, but you shouldn't stop there. Practice other common job interview questions and answers and find additional ways to prepare for your interview. For example, practice your handshake or try on various outfits until you find something suitable to wear to the interview. It is important that you feel and look comfortable and confident throughout the interview.