Top 7 Common Interview Questions You Should Ace

John Krautzel
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Being ready for anything can help you survive weird interview questions, but you have a better chance of acing a job interview if you prepare for the most traditional topics. Experienced hiring managers accomplish more with less, using subtle, open-ended questions that disarm you and persuade you to divulge too many details. Before your next job search, master these common interview questions to avoid oversharing and keep your candidacy intact.

1. Why Are You Interested in the Job?

Candidates frequently botch this interview question by overpraising the company or only discussing what they hope to gain. A smarter approach is to highlight the values and mission of the company, connecting them to your personal skills and goals. Emphasize your ability to get things done by including concrete examples of why you find the work fulfilling or how you can solve problems.

2. Tell Me About Yourself

A broad introduction can be daunting as you try to guess what information the hiring manager wants. Instead of rambling or reciting your resume, deliver an elevator pitch tailored to the company. Explain the core solution and skill set you offer employers while incorporating accomplishments that relate to the position. Show hiring managers you have a long-term vision by finishing up with a goal statement that ties in with the company's vision.

3. What Is Your Greatest Strength?

Hiring managers want candidates who are self-aware and authentic, but they expect most candidates to default to empty answers, such as "good communicator" or "hard worker." Lend credibility to your response by stressing how a past boss or mentor described your strengths, making sure to explain how your skills, personality or work style benefited your team.

4. What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

Tackle this dreaded interview question with honesty, because interviewers are used to hearing strengths disguised as flaws. More importantly, weaknesses are relative to the job and work environment. Choose a weakness that doesn't interfere with fulfilling your role, and emphasize the steps you take to overcome it.

5. Why Are You Looking for a New Job?

Hiring managers don't want to hear complaints about unsatisfying work or frustrating teammates and employers, so approach this interview question with censored honesty. Focus on how a career change serves your professional goals and why a different position or environment better suits your passions and strengths.

6. What Is Your Desired Salary?

Stating salary requirements right away could land you a considerably lower amount than the employer is willing to pay. Research common salaries for the position in advance, and make sure you have a thorough understanding of the job duties. Even if you have flexible expectations, start at the higher end of your target range, and explain why your distinct expertise justifies the investment.

7. Do You Have Any Questions?

Never leave hiring managers with the impression that you are uninterested and inattentive. Take advantage of this final moment to shine, and prepare interview questions that show your understanding of the role. Let interviewers know you're ready to take action by asking how to succeed in the role or discussing the most pressing goals a potential hire needs to accomplish.

Keep your job search short by making every word count during interviews. Hiring managers use every interview question strategically, so be equally tactical in your responses.

Photo courtesy of Samuel Mann at


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