Ace your job interview and land on your dream job

Ace your job interview and land on your dream job
The difference between landing the job of your dreams and bombing the interview boils down to one key element; good preparation.

A job interview is surely a crucial stage for every job applicant. After human resources review the applicant’s resume, there will be a face-to-face discussion with the company’s hiring manager. The interview will be an evaluation of his skills and attitude which will determine if the candidate is outstanding for the job since every company has its own set of requirements for each post.    

If you have an upcoming interview, preparation is much needed. The best way to prepare for that interview that you have been waiting for aside from choosing the right outfit for your interview, you must also have to prepare and take time to review the most common interview questions that you will be most likely to be asked.

You don’t have to memorize a specific answer for each question, but you have to take time to consider how you will respond to each of the questions. The more you prepare for your interview, the more you will likely feel confident during your interview.

Ace your job interview and land on your dream job

Interviewers will start the interview by asking questions about yourself to gain insight on your personality, hobbies, interests, family background and job experience to determine if you fit the company’s culture and the job itself. It will open-end questions that will allow the applicant the opportunity to show the employer that you are more than qualified for the position. Most hiring managers prefer to stick with more traditional questions during the interview but come prepared to answer one or two more unusual questions on your interview.  

According to a study conducted by Linkedin in 2019, there are at least a couple of questions that were asked in almost every interview. It involves behavioral and accomplishment-based questions. Other interview questions may seem odd but it goes to show the applicant’s willingness to be candid.

Questions about personal information:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What makes you unique?
  • What motivates you?
  • Describe your typical workday.
  • What are you passionate about?
  • How do you handle pressure?
  • Describe your work style.
  • How many hours a week do you normally work?
  • Do you work well with other people?
  • What are your pet peeves?
  • What is the worst thing you’ve gotten away with?
  • Would you rather be liked or respected?
  • What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?
  • How do you see yourself ten years from now?
  • Is there anything else we should know about you?
  • How would your co-workers describe your personality?
  • How are you different from the competition?

Indeed, job candidates can’t predict the interview questions they will be asked, they are best served by practicing their answers to those that are commonly asked. A candidate should conduct a research about the company and the position they are applying for and read relevant news and ask questions to their network for some feedback about the company.

Questions about current and past jobs

They ask reasons behind leaving his past employments. A candidate must make sure that he has cited the same reasons as the employers will say about his employment should they be contacted for a reference. If you have any gaps in your employment history, prepare to answer questions about what you were doing during your absence in the workforce.

  • Questions about your work history.
  • Questions about your resume
  • What are your responsibilities
  • What are the major challenges and problems did you face and how did you handle them?
  • Why are you leaving your job?
  • Why do you want to change job?
  • What are your expectations for the job and up to what extent were they met?
  • Why were you fired?
  • Why did you quit your job?
  • What have you been doing since your last job?
  • Why have you been out of work so long?
  • What have you learned from your mistakes?
  • What did you like or dislike about your previous job?
  • Why did you resign?
  • Which was the most/least rewarding?
  • What is your biggest accomplishment in this position?
  • Describe the work gap in your employment history.

Questions about salary expectations

During a job interview, the topic regarding the salary is among the top of both party’s concerns. It is one of the hardest questions during the interview. Questions about the salary can certainly be tricky to answer and a candidate should come prepared upon encountering this part of the discussion with the hiring manager. Here are some questions that a candidate would most probably be asked:

  • What were your starting and final levels of compensation?
  • What are your salary requirements?
  • Would you take a job that offers less salary?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Why would you take a job for less money?

Questions about qualifications

Questions about one’s qualifications and how he suits for the job compared to other applicants. It is the most important consideration for the job interviewer. The most likely questions can be one of these:

  • What are your experiences applicable to the role that you are applying to?
  • Tell me about your educational background
  • What can you do better for us than the other candidates for this role?
  • Which parts of the job that are the most challenging for you?
  • What strength will help you the most to succeed?
  • Sell me this pen
  • Interview questions about your abilities
  • What makes you stand out among the rest of the applicants?
  • Why are you interested in this role?

Questions about job performance

Let’s not forget about the job performance questions. How you performed as an employee on your previous companies will surely indicate how you will work on the position you are applying for. Prepare to answer questions about your performances and avoid responding negatively to the questions. The questions thrown are undoubtedly describing instances that you were in a challenging situation and make sure to relate your performance to the employer’s requirements:

  • What makes you angry?
  • When was the last time you became angry? What happened?
  • What problems have you encountered at work?
  • Tell me about something you would have done differently at work?
  • What is the biggest criticism you received from your boss?
  • Why weren’t you promoted at your last job?
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • How do you evaluate success?
  • What do people most often criticize about you?
  • Describe a difficult work situation and how did you overcome it.
  • What is the worst thing that you have ever gotten away with?
  • Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how did you handle it.
  • What would you be looking for in an applicant?
  • What strategies would you use to motivate your team?
  • Tell me about a time you showed leadership
  • Tell me about a time you were successful on a team
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What would your co-workers say about you?

Questions about personal goals

Aside from being asked about the details written in your resume, your personal goals will also be part of the interview. Understanding and answering these common questions with confidence and preparedness will benefit an applicant:

  • Why did you choose this career?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your hobbies outside of work?
  • Where do you see yourself in the future?
  • How do you make most of your free time?
  • Are you planning to take further studies?

An interview is an opportunity for job candidates to also ask questions, request clarifications and follow-up relevant questions involving the opportunity and the company that has been missed out on their earlier discussion. It’s a two-way benefit, it gives a candidate further details about the company, the position they are applying for, if they will push through with the position they are applying for should the applicant will be considered for the role and if the company and its culture would fit their expectations. For the company, on the other hand, it will give them more clarity about the applicant’s background, achievements, and personality and how will he be an asset to the company.


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