6 of the Most Common Questions and Answers

John Krautzel
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Picking out a professional outfit, practicing your elevator pitch in front of the mirror and updating your list of references are great ways to prepare for a job interview. Researching some common questions and deciding how to answer them also serves as an excellent way to gain a competitive edge. To get started, consider these six questions that often come up during a job interview.

1. "What Can You Tell Us About Yourself?"

Use this question as an opportunity to deliver your elevator pitch. Talk about your educational experiences, your employment history, and the qualifications and skills that make you right for the position. Avoid the desire to share details about your spouse, children or medical issues, since these topics may raise red flags.

2. "What Are Your Greatest Strengths and Weaknesses?"

When discussing your strengths, explain the traits that make you an ideal candidate for the job. Review the job description before the job interview and formulate a list of desirable skills. When listing your weaknesses, talk about skills that don't come as naturally for you, and describe how you're working to improve them.

3. "Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Employer?"

Never use this question as an opportunity to badmouth a current or former boss or co-worker. This instantly raises red flags for the hiring manager. Instead, talk about your desire to find a more challenging position or to work for an employer that offers opportunity for growth.

4. "What Do You Know About Our Organization?"

Hiring managers often ask this question to find out which candidates did their research. Prior to the job interview, learn all you can about the potential employer. Prepare for this question by checking out the company website, reading about the key players, researching products and services and perusing press releases and news articles.

5. "Why Do You Want This Position?"

While you may be desperate to escape your current employer or in dire need of a weekly paycheck, these aren't great reasons to cite when explaining why you want the job. Instead, talk about your desire to make a difference in the industry, and demonstrate how your skills and experience can bring value to the organization.

6. "What Are Your Hobbies?"

Your response to this question shows off a bit of your personality. Whether you're a big fan of science fiction movies or an avid bicyclist, talk about your hobby with pride and enthusiasm so the hiring manager can learn a bit about your other interests.

Knowing some common questions that hiring managers usually ask helps you plan ahead for job interviews. These six questions are just a few to get you moving in the right direction. What are some other common interview questions you've been asked?

Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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