Acing the Most Common Interview Questions

Nancy Anderson
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Preparation is the key to success when it comes to acing your job interview. Take a look at the most common interview questions you might find in the job market in 2017, and then learn how to ace these questions and win the day.

1. What Are Your Weaknesses?

Knowing yourself and answering honestly are two admirable traits when it comes to interview questions. The trick to answering this question is threefold. Only give one weakness if the interviewer asks in the plural form. Leverage your greatest weakness into how you turn it into a strength, such as using your weakness as an opportunity to learn a new skill. And make sure your weakness isn't central to your basic job duties.

2. What Are Your Strengths?

Contrary to interview questions about weaknesses, focus on two or three of your greatest strengths. Share a story that shows, rather than tells, how you actually have these strengths in your repertoire. If you're applying for a job in sales, demonstrate a past example of how you went above and beyond your ordinary job duties to help a co-worker succeed in landing a sale, or think about how you went out of your way to help a potential customer to land a contract.

3. Why Do You Want to Change Jobs?

Answer this question with a simple, straight answer, such as wanting to face new challenges. This rings true if you're trying for a promotion to a higher level, changing careers entirely or making a lateral move to a competitor. Other interview questions may need longer answers, but this one should be short and to the point because you don't really need to say much about your current employment situation. Turn this answer into a segue for how your new challenge is to help this company solve a problem and why you're attracted to this opportunity in particular.

4. Why Are You Interested in This Company?

Interview questions like these let you showcase your research skills. Here, you get the chance to say your professional goals are in line with the company's vision, such as wowing customers with world-class service, improving the lives of clients or using technology to make people's jobs easier. Telling this story also taps into your passion, which should come through in your voice, smile and nonverbal cues.

5. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

You can't predict the future, but you can impress your interviewers by laying out a basic plan for your professional life five years from now. Speak in general terms; say you want your career to progress naturally forward with the skills and experience you gain from the position for which you're interviewing. This gives the people in front of you a chance to explain any training initiatives, promotion plans or career tracks you may embark upon with the employer. Your answer also creates a talking point that keeps the conversation going.

The most common interview questions shouldn't make or break your face time as long as you prepare well-thought-out, intelligent and measured responses. Rehearse your answers until they sound natural to come across as someone who truly wants the job.

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