How to Tackle Common Interview Questions

When you’re at a job interview, even the most basic interview question can feel like a trick. You’re nervous, and you want to be sure you’re letting your skills and passion for the field shine. While a job interview is always slightly nerve-wracking, knowing what to expect and how to answer the questions you’re asked can help give you more confidence. Here are some of the most commonly asked interview questions, as well as tips on how to approach them:

Why are you interested in this position?

Whether you’re interviewing to be the VP of a company or are looking for a temporary job, you’ll probably get asked this question. Though it’s generic and not terribly exciting, it can be a good chance for you to show off your skills and your passion for the field. Talk about how your past experiences have helped to prep you for this job, and touch on some past successes that show that you’re the right candidate.

Tell me about yourself.

Another boring yet standard question. Don’t go on and on about your hobbies and your pets when it’s asked, though. Instead use this inquiry as another opportunity to direct the hiring manager’s attention to your skills and accomplishments. Talk about why you love the business and what you hope to bring to that organization specifically. Just because the question is broad and uninteresting, doesn’t mean your answer has to be too.

Why are you leaving your current job?

In a way, this question can be seen as a trick, because hiring managers are looking to see if they can detect any red flags in your answer. Do you start ranting about your boss? Do you tell them you were fired? Though you may be tempted to vent about how horrendous your current work situation is, or how you were let go unfairly, keep these emotions in check. Instead, frame the answer positively. Explain that you want more room for growth, that you’re hoping for more responsibility, or that you want a chance to develop other skills. Even if it may be true, fight the urge to rant about how your current boss is the spawn of Satan and shouldn’t be allowed to run a company. That sends up a huge red flag to a potential employer.

What do you know about us?

Thanks to Google, this is a pretty easy one to answer. You should have an understanding of the company’s recent accomplishments, their main competitors, and their major clients. The hiring manager is asking this to see if you’ve done your research prior to the interview.

Lastly, almost any interview will conclude with the hiring manager asking if you have questions. Always have questions. Think of something to ask in advance, ensuring that these inquiries are not just things that you could have looked up on the company website.

Have you ever had a curveball thrown at you during an interview? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments below!