Going on job interviews is both exciting and nerve-racking. You want to put your best foot forward, looking and acting your professional best, but sometimes it’s hard to know what to expect. Fortunately, there are some common job interview questions that most hiring managers include in their one-on-ones with potential employees. The best way to prepare for your interview is to know what those questions are and what your answers will be.
Can you tell me something about yourself? Don’t let this common open-ended question stump you! No one knows you better than you, but how should you respond to such a broad query? The best way is to think about the job and consider how you’ll be a good fit to it. If they’re looking for an auto technician, you might want to talk about your passion for cars. Or if you’re interviewing for a practical nursing position, share a story about your compassion.
What is your greatest strength? Highlight just one or two traits that will demonstrate that you’d be a good addition to the team. And don’t just say you’re hard working and conscientious; give examples. The best way to state your case is to provide real world instances of your abilities that your references could then corroborate.
What is a weakness of yours? You can turn a weakness into strength if you give it the right spin. For example, telling a future employer that you’re a bit of a perfectionist may mean you spend too much time on projects. But, if you then explain that you’ve learned to meet deadlines while still doing your best work, you’re giving them only good news.
Why did you leave your last job? Whatever you do, don’t badmouth a former employer! Instead, talk about what you wanted and couldn’t find at your last job. Maybe you felt there wasn’t much room for growth or you didn’t feel challenged enough. There are good reasons to leave a job and those that speak to your personal growth send a positive message to a future employer.
Why do you want to work here? If you’ve done your research, this should be the easiest question to answer. Tell them something you know about the company and the position. What about it appeals to you? But also be sure to explain how you’re going to be an asset. Use language from the job posting to explain how the characteristics they’re looking for are exactly those you possess.
If you’re looking for a career and not just a job, consider the programs at Porter and Chester Institute. We’ll teach you the fundamentals of your new career but also the soft skills that will have you job-ready in no time. Students can contact Career Services Advisors to schedule mock interviews and practice answering these questions and many more.