How to Answer 10 Most Common Interview Questions? (Best Answers)

Have you ever experienced being asked a question which you don’t know how to answer?

Many job seekers like yourself stumble through interviews as they were asked a variety of difficult questions. Stammering in front of the interviewer while thinking of an answer may not be something you want to do, especially if you want to land yourself in the dream job you have always wanted.

Do you know there are a few interview questions that are almost bound to be asked by the interviewer?

You can actually better prepare yourself before the next interview. Study this list of frequently asked interview questions and think of answers ahead of time. If you are well prepared you’ll be ready to answer them with confidence.

10 Most Common Interview Question

1. What are your weaknesses?

“What are your weaknesses” is one of the most asked questions that interviewers love to ask. This is one of the most feared question of all.

So how should you handle such a question?

Simply minimize your weaknesses and emphasize your strengths. Everyone have weaknesses, but it is the way how you overcome your weaknesses that counts. Always stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on traits that is work related.

A great example of an answer will be:

“I am always working on improving my communication skills in order to be a more effective presenter. In order for me to improve on that, I have recently joined Toastmasters class, which I find it very helpful.”

Do not say things such as:

“I am a perfectionist.”

It makes you sound unreal and sounds arrogant. Definitely not a trait any interviewer will like to see.

2. What are your Strength?

“What are your strength” is one of the most asked questions that interviewers love to ask. Here you are given an opportunity to tell your interviewer what you can do, a time when you can actually shine!

So how should you handle such a question?

Here are a few pointers when answering this question:

  • How your strengths align with the company’s needs
  • How your strength help you in the job
  • How your strength makes you the best person for the job
  • How your skills, and/or experience set you apart from the competition
  • How your strength makes you an excellent addition to the team

A great example of an answer will be:

“My strength is my flexibility to handle change. As a customer service manager at my last job, I was able to turn around a negative working environment and develop a very supportive team. One example is…”

Do not say things such as:

“My strength is that I’m a hard worker.”

No one will admit that they are lazy or do not work hard at the interview. Just saying you are a hard worker doesn’t make you shine and differentiate you from the many other candidates.

3. Why should we hire you?

Similar to what are your strength. “Why should we hire you” gives you an opportunity to tell you employer why should they hire you!

So how should you handle such a question?

Answer “Why should we hire you?” by summarizing your experiences and what are the unique trait you have that others don’t.

A great example of an answer will be:

“With five years of experience working in the sales industry and my proven track record of acquiring sales and managing key clients of the company. I’m confident I would be a great addition to your team.”

Do not say things such as:

“Because I am good.”

You may be surprise at how many interviewees actually says that when being asked why should they be hired. Saying you are good, does not makes you good, you have to prove to the interviewer. It is a red flag when any interviewer hears that.

4. Why do you want to work here?

By far, why do you want to work here is one of the easiest question to answer, but also trickiest of all. If you answer this well, it may just land you the job, if you don’t, it will just break any chances you have in getting it.

So how should you handle such a question?

By asking you, “Why do you want to work here?” the interviewer is actually looking for the answer that tells that you have given this job some thoughts when you are applying. It is to see are you just blindly sending out resumes just because there is an opening, or something more. Are you really in line with the company’s vision or just the money.

A great example of an answer will be:

“What excites me and makes me passionate to work in this company is its mission statement. These values of the company are in line with my values, where I know I could be excited about what the company does, and to be a part of the team of this company is an honor.”

Do not say things such as:

“Because the pay is good.”

Everyone knows most job seekers are attracted to the pay, but just talking about the pay makes you just money minded and definitely not a trait any interviewer will like to see.

Companies takes lots of time and resources to train an employee, and if the employee is not loyal but only motivated by the money. That employee is not a good candidate to consider.

5. Why did you leave (or why are you leaving) your job?

It is OK to leave your job and find others. It is OK to find a job that you like. Asking why you leave a job is one of the most common question an interviewer ask. And thus, it is important that you will know how to answer it.

So how should you handle such a question?

Here the interviewer is listening for any hint that you will leave their company after they hire you. The interviewer wants to know what is the most important reason that motivates you to leave.

A great example of an answer will be:

“My company was undergoing a corporate down sizing. A 50% cut in the workforce is required. It was a choice between me and my other colleague who just gave birth to her 3rd child, thus I volunteers to be let go. Though I love what I do, but sometimes tough choices have to be made.”

Do not say things such as:

“My boss is a jerk and I really don’t like him, thus I fire my boss.”

Remember, the person interviewing you will soon be your boss. And no one like anyone who talk bad about others. We always have to treat others with respect and kindness. Even if your previous boss is a jerk, you should just keep that to yourself, or just take it as a training to be a better you.

6. What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?

This is one of the best question that any candidate can ask for. “What can you do for us that other candidates can’t” basically ask you to tell your interviewer why you are better than other candidates. Why should they stop interviewing and hire you now!

Emphasize what makes you unique when you’re asked, “What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?”. This will take an assessment of your experiences, skills and traits. Summarize concisely: “I have a unique combination of strong technical skills, and the ability to build strong customer relationships. This allows me to use my knowledge and break down information to be more user-friendly.”

So how should you handle such a question?

Simply emphases what makes you so unique. What do you have that other don’t. Simply tell your interviewer about how your experiences, skills and traits can benefit the company.

A great example of an answer will be:

“With 5 years experience as the lead of the team, I have a unique combination of strong technical skills, and the ability to manage cross-functional teams. This allows me to think critically and break down information to be understand by personnel with different education background.”

Do not say things such as:

“I don’t know.”

You are here to convince the interviewer to hire you. And if you don’t know why should they hire you, your interviewer also won’t see the reason why they should hire you.

7. What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?

Yes! This is where you will tell your employer everything nice about yourself! You may want to blow your own horn a bit but never too much. Of course, back them up with some real world example and have to be true. Your potential employer will definitely call your referral to see if what you say are true.

So how should you handle such a question?

With this question, it is time to pull out your old performance appraisals. Scan down to the comments section and read what your boss says about you. If you are a fresh graduate, simply find the remarks that your lecturer says about you. There you should see things such as, “leadership skills, positive mindset, responsible etc.”

A great example of an answer will be:

“My boss has told me that I am one of the most creative designer she has ever had. She knows she can rely on me to get things done. Thus, I am entrusted with a small team of new designer to complete some of the biggest projects of our company.”

Do not say things such as:

“I am the best.”

If you are the best, you need to give example to say why are you the best. Never say something without a supporting statement. Best it is to illustrate an attribute that the company you are interviewing wants.

8. What salary are you seeking?

Money, money, money! Yes, your hiring company knows you are here for the money. But they are not sure how much are you willing to accept, or rather how much lower can they pay you!

So how should you handle such a question?

When asked, “What salary are you seeking?” it is to your advantage if the employer tells you the range first. But that may not always be the case. You as an candidate may want to prepare by knowing the going rate in your area.

For salary, you need to the the following:

  1. Rate in the area
  2. Your Bottom Line
  3. Your Walk-away Point

A great example of an answer will be:

“I am sure we can agree on a reasonable amount. In what range do you typically pay someone with my background?”

Do not say things such as:

“What is the highest amount you can pay me.”

Yes, we know you wants a high salary, everyone does. But saying that you want a high salary does not means you will get one. Your salary you will be getting depends on your ability and your experience. It tells your potential employer that, you are here just for the money. Definitely not a trait any interviewer will like to see.

9. What are your goals?

Here your interviewer is not asking for your life goals such as, buying a car or living in a bungalow. They want to know what are your goals when you join the company.

So how should you handle such a question?

When asked, “What are your goals?” you can talk about short-term and intermediate goals with an approx. time-frame in mind. It is about your goals when you are here in the company. As the company grow throughout the years, how may you want to progress and grow with the company you are working in.

A great example of an answer will be:

“My immediate goal is to be able to use what I know to contribute to the growth of the company. Eventually, my long-term goal will be grow into a position of responsibility and help to drive the future of the company.”

Do not say things such as:

“I aim to be where you are right now.”

People are insecure creatures. Though they know you will take years before you have enough experience to take their place. Some employers who are closed minded will feel that you might threaten their position, thus will not hire you.

10. If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?

Weird it may seems that they should ask. But this question do have a lot of basis in it, and what animal that you choose will give an rough idea of what kind of personality you have.

So how should you handle such a question?

Answer careful but try to be honest. Interviewers especially newer companies use this type of psychological question to see if you can think quickly. Each animal represents a certain characteristics.

Answer the questions below:

  • What animals have what kind of personality?
  • What type of personality would it take to get the job done?
  • What impression do you want to make?

A great example will be:

  • If you answer “a bunny,” you will make a soft, passive impression.
  • If you answer “a lion,” you will be seen as aggressive. 

Unlike the previous few questions, there is no absolutely right or wrong answer. Each answer depends on what position you are applying and your role in the company.

If you are interviewing for a management position what animal should you be?

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