The Top Job Interview Questions and Answers
We understand what it’s like going into a job interview. It can excite the motivation and unnerve the best of us.
You may think your resume and your appearance look impressive, but those aren’t the only attributes that will catch the attention of your prospective employer. They’re going to want to know a little bit more about you and your work habits.
Preparing to answer the employer’s questions can prove challenging. Most of the time we don’t really have a firm grasp on just exactly what they’ll be asking, despite our assumptions and predictions.
It isn’t until we’re there in the seat and under the spotlight on interview day that the real test comes. However, it’s still important to practice, prepare, and brainstorm.
The Most Asked Job Interview Questions and Answers
The best way to do that is to consider the possibilities within the realm of your prospective position in relation to the company’s goals, as well as what makes an outstanding modern employee.
If you want to be the one candidate who sticks out as being committed, knowledgeable, and well-researched, it would do you well to consider – at the very least – the top job interview questions (and answers) in 2018.
Related: What makes a good recruiting agency?
What can you tell me about yourself?
This is the most common question, and also one of the hardest to answer. Not that you won’t know what to say about yourself, but what exactly do you focus on? For one thing, the interviewer is not looking for an autobiography. They’ll be looking for something informative, but concise.
The best way to handle this one is to stick to a simple five-point intro: State your name, status, educational and work accomplishments, what type of person you are, and why you applied for the position.
The interviewer is more interested in your demeanour, attitude, and how well you can articulate yourself. Show that you understand what is expected of you and how you regard yourself. Keep it simple and leave room for the interviewer to maintain an interest in you.
Why do you want to work here?
It’s best to skip some of the obvious responses, such as, “I need a job,” and “I’m qualified.” They figured just as much by seeing your application and granting you the interview. This question is intended to find out how much you know about the company, not about your need for a job.
Do your research and get a firm understanding of the company’s mission, initiatives, any major aspect of the industry, and something specifically related to the position you applied for.
This is what you should be responding with. This not only lets the interviewer know that you’re educated about the company, but that your goals as an employee align with theirs as a whole.
Why should we hire you?
There’s no reason to skirt this question with responses like, “I work hard and I’m friendly.” The interviewer wants to know if you understand and can contribute to their business goals and values.
While preparing for a question like this, connect the dots between your skills and the company’s mission, as well as the position.
These points will show how valuable you can be as a team player and they will highlight what sets you apart from other candidates.
One of the best ways to go about this is by even using the language or words directly from the job posting in relation to you.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This one may prove tough because not everybody enjoys talking about the areas they feel need the most improvement. And you also don’t want to appear to go too overboard while singing your own praises. The point of this question for the interviewer is to determine how self-aware you are.
Not only that, they want to know if you are genuine.
Naturally, knowing your strengths and weaknesses will also help them determine any problem-solving or analytical skills you may bring. On the strengths, stick to any knowledge-based skill, transferable skill, and personal traits that you can back up with examples.
On the weaknesses, it’s important to demonstrate honesty. But be sure to follow it up with means of how you intend to improve on them.
Why did you leave your previous employment?
Be honest, but avoid negativity. There are many reasons why someone may leave their job, and they aren’t always going to be pleasant reasons.
What the interviewer is mostly concerned with is how you were able to get along with your previous employer, the terms of separation, how you view employee/employer relationships, and whether any of that will work for them.
They’ll listen for clues about loyalty, respect, and any possible scenario for your future with them. Refrain from responding in any way that may reflect poorly on you. For example, don’t give them any inclination that you’d likely quit over something trivial.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
This may also seem like a daunting question, but it’s best not to answer with anything vague or that shows you haven’t thought about your future. Refer back to your interests in the job, your core strengths, professional goals, and continue with how you intend to progress in your role.
The interviewer wants to know if you have long-term potential, ambition, and have taken the time to really think about wanting to be there. It’s also okay to admit you’re not entirely certain but show that you believe this new position will help you navigate you in the right direction.
What can you tell me about a time when you resolved a conflict?
This question may also come in the form of being asked about a hypothetical conflict and how might resolve it. These are important for relating anecdotes. But they also show how you deal with problems and think on your feet.
The interviewer may be interested in your process, how you manage stressful scenarios if you can be rational and logistics, and if you make a genuine attempt at engaging the conflict versus passing it off to someone else or just giving in to another party involved in the conflict.
Do you have any questions for me?
The worst thing you can do when responding to this is to not have a question. There will always be at least one. Perhaps you may have questions that will be answered during the course of the interview before this question arises, so it’s important to make a list of several.
The interviewer wants to know if you’ve been paying attention and asking a question or two will show a sense of interest on your part. One of the best questions you can ask is to find out what the interviewer thinks is required of an employee to be successful in their position for the company.
Another would be to find out why they are looking to fill the position.
There are plenty of possibilities in a job interview for what questions may be asked. And if you would like more assistance on how to prepare for a job interview, get in touch with us at our Maui or Oahu locations.
As a leading employment agency, our professional and friendly staff has been fulfilling Hawaii’s employment needs with a variety of premium services since 1981.
Related: tips to get hired in Hawaii.