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10 most common interview questions (and how to answer them)

 

Most people, if not everyone, has to go through an interview at one point or the other during their career. Getting an interview is challenging; however, it is not as challenging as answering the questions during the interview. Different companies or hiring committees ask varying questions depending on the position, brand, and other elements. However, there are a few questions that are extremely common in almost every job interview. Below are some of these questions and the best response you could give to them;

Tell Me About Yourself

Perhaps this is the one question you will never miss in a job interview. While some people have encountered this question often, it still seems to be challenging for most job seekers to answer.

How to respond:

The best thing to do when responding to this question is to keep your answer concise and to the point. Speak of where you are professionally, the lessons you have learned from past work experiences, and why you are looking forward to the new working opportunity. Make sure you research the company to give answers based on the specific strengths and qualities that they are looking for. Try as much as possible to keep your answer work-specific and do not include false details.

What are your weaknesses?

This is one question that most people dread during job interviews. However, you shouldn't worry too much about it. You must find the best response because it shows that you are not full of yourself and aware of your shortcomings.

How to respond:

All you need to do is make sure the weakness you pick is not a critical factor that the company is looking for in that specific job. Make sure you also show the interviewee that you can improve yourself. Avoid responses like "I am a perfectionist" and give a genuine weakness that won't cost you the job. Also, make sure you do not avoid the question.

What is your greatest strength?

In addition to your weaknesses, the hiring committee or manager may also ask about your strengths. This is one of the most straightforward questions you could get in an interview.

How to respond:

You can use one of your best success stories to respond to this question. Make sure you highlight how that strength will be beneficial for the position you are seeking. It would help if you had ample knowledge about the company to know which strengths they are looking for. Make sure you do not make claims that you cannot illustrate. It would help if you also made sure that your strengths are more significant than the weaknesses you tell the interviewer about.

Why should we hire you?

This is also an incredibly common question. However, it is an excellent opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd by showing the company that hiring you would be the right decision.

How to respond:

It would be best to show the hiring committee that you possess unique qualities that could benefit the company and suit the specific position. The trick is to present yourself as a solution to their problems. It would also help if you showed that you know some specific details about the company and their practices. This will show that you are prepared and give you an idea of presenting yourself as a solution. You can also tell a success story that displays your qualifications. Avoid giving general answers and try not to be modest while still not sounding arrogant. 

What do you know about the company?

As mentioned earlier, before you present yourself at a job interview, make sure you have done your research. The information you gather will come in handy during the interview.

How to respond:

Please talk about the foundation of the company, the market it serves, and its core products. Try to summarise all the information you have gathered. Remember, the more knowledge you have, the better chances you have to stand out.

What is your most significant career achievement?

This question can be phrased in so many different ways. For instance, you may be asked, "what career achievement are you most proud of?" or "What makes you stand out?" Regardless of how it is asked, the answer you give will determine what makes you stand out from the crowd.

How to respond:

Make sure you talk about an accomplishment that exhibits how you would benefit the company in the position you are looking to get. Make sure you display genuine passion when talking about the accomplishment. Make the interviewer see that it is indeed a great accomplishment even if you feel like it may be too small. Most of the time, the interviewer is looking to see your passion.

What are your career goals for the next 5/10 years?

This is one of the most challenging questions for most interviewees, especially construction recruitment agencies. On the surface, it looks like a simple question, but when you look at it from a deeper level, you will realize that it is a tricky question.

How to respond:

 The trick to giving the perfect answer is trying to show that you are ambitious but still focused on the job at hand. The interviewer wants to know the level of commitment you have for the position you are looking to get. You also need to outline a growth strategy and stress your interest in a long-term career at the company. Make sure you do not appear overly ambitious and unrealistic.

Who has had the most significant influence on your career?

This is quite a simple question. The interviewer wants to know about the people you look up to. Make sure the person you choose portrays the values the company is looking to get from you.

How to respond:

You can respond with a personal story. Most people would like to go for big names. However, you can go for a personal answer and also a prominent name. For instance, if you are interviewing with a construction industry recruitment agency, mention someone related to the industry.

Do you work well under pressure?

The interviewer may also ask you, "how do you handle stress and pressure?" The interviewer wants to know how you can deal with difficult situations or handle workplace stress. It is common for construction recruitment agencies to ask this question because it is riddled with stress and pressure.

How to respond:

The best way to respond is by sharing an example of how you have previously handled a stressful situation. It would be best if you avoided claiming that you have never found yourself in such a situation. Display how you were able to use the pressure or stress to your advantage. However, do not make extreme claims that you cannot back up.

What questions do you have for me? 

After answering personal and professional questions throughout the interview, the interviewer will end the session with this question. You can approach this question as you want. However, it would be best if you looked at it as a chance to know more about the company.

How to respond:

Ask questions about the company, the role you are interviewing for, the team, and your interviewer. You can also ask questions about the management team and the company's strategy and growth trajectory. For instance, if you are interviewing with a construction industry recruitment agency, you can ask about their past projects. 

Conclusion

The best way to approach an interview and have the best answer for the questions above and more is to prepare beforehand. Look up potential questions and come up with a response. Read about the company and the role of relating your responses with the information you get. Remember, confidence is vital in any interview. Therefore, whether or not you have the perfect answer, make sure you portray confidence throughout the interview.

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