10 most common job interview questions

Time will come or you have already been invited for a job interview, what you are looking for now is to prepare yourself to ace your job interview and make sure you will have enough bandwidth in your selection job process for you to choose for which company you want to work and not the opposite.

common interview questions asked to a job candidate

There is one good point about job interviews, even if year after year we see companies becoming creative in their job interview process, good stuff is that 95% of companies continue to use the old fashion way of running job interviews.

Knowing someone starts by setting up the foundational knowledge about who, what, how and why, same goes for a job interview.

We will see most of the time the second round being a little bit more creative but when it comes to your first round of job interview, you should at least prepare for the following 10 most asked job interview questions.

Those questions are the ones that most recruiters, hiring managers or colleagues will use in order to identify which candidate will be selected for the second round or even best for the job position.

Those questions even incredibly prepared won’t do the job if you do not accompany them with a smile, positivity and in general, a friendly and approachable behavior.

We are here giving you the keys to get right on the most asked job interview questions but we also advise you to check out our blog on:What questions to ask in an interview ? to get yourself up and running for the big day.

What are the 10 most common job interview questions? What should you know about those? What are the most important aspects of it, and more importantly how do you respond to it?

1. Can you walk me through your resume, experience or can you tell me about yourself?

To know:

This question is very often the first one to be asked, this question is a good ice breaker because it's open and gives the opportunity to the job candidate to speak about the curriculum vitae in its whole. It gives the possibility to focus on any aspects but also to clarify a gap, or give more details on an important experience.

Most important aspects:

This question is to understand how you tell a story, how you summarize it and how you tell something extremely long such as your life story in a short, crisp and concise answer.

How to respond to it:

Start from your oldest experience and finish up by your current situation. Don’t make it longer than 2/3 minutes. Highlight the most relevant experiences linked to the job position you are applying to. In case there is a gap in your CV, like traveling a year, tell about it and mention quickly what you have learnt during this experience.

2. What do you understand from the job description, how do you picture a day in that job position? What do you think you will be doing in that role?

To know:

Pay attention, this question may not always be asked so directly, it can be more ambiguous. When you are asked to describe the role, the job interviewer wants to know if you have properly researched and studied the job description.

Most important aspects:

Most companies share the same job title because it speaks to all, however the job title is not so important but the job description will tell you how the company explores the potentiality of the job role. The job description will give you a lot of indications on how to make it visible to the job interviewer that you have well understood the role you are applying for and everything that it implied.

How to respond:

Use keywords from the job description, eventually the job interviewer would have read the job description and in the best-case scenario even wrote the job description for him or herself. By using keywords, you will create a direct link and the job interviewer will easily relate to it. Tell about what you think you will do on a day to day basis but also what you think the challenges or key performance indicators may be. By doing that you proactively tell the hiring manager that you have studied the question and you are already thinking of the overall aspects of the job position, so you won’t have any surprise and won't be disappointed.

interview questions and answers discussion

3. Why do you want to quit your current position?

To know:

This question is being asked to understand if you are not a negative person who will be criticizing managers, team or even the nature of the team.

Most important aspects:

Whatever reason you are quitting your current position, this reason should not be something that could happen in the new job position.

How to answer:

Provide the reason using positive words and aspects, if possible, link it to ambition or future opportunity to learn and grow. Those reasons are legitimate and can be experienced by anyone.

4. What do you want to do in 5 years or where do you want to be?

To know:

This question is not for the hiring manager to know if you will take his spot, but rather to know if you are planning to stay long enough in that position, so he or she will not hire again in 6 months. The hiring process is one of the most costly processes in a company. In addition to the time and effort dedicated to the candidate selection process through job interviews, most job positions also require in depth onboarding and training time.

Often when an employee is leaving, rare will be company hiring before the employee has left. By consequence, often the team itself will be tight up and highly overloaded. For all those reasons, a hiring manager would rather have someone stable and willing to stay for an extensive amount of time.

Most important aspect:

In this job interview question, it is important that you show yourself as stable and ambitious with expectations that are real. Some hiring managers are, on purpose, looking for someone ambitious to prepare for their replacement in a few years.

How to respond:

This interview question should be responded to based on your expectations and your desire to grow or not. There is no bad answer, we advise you to read the job description. On the contrary, what we say shortly above, some positions are also open just for a few months. Understand what the expectations of the role and the hiring manager could be.

5. What are your strengths and your weaknesses?

To know:

We all have an important amount of weaknesses and strengths, and those may change based on the situation, there is no need to make up your answer. Most job candidates would go make a research online to respond to this question. Spend a few minutes asking your friends and family about it and they will quickly tell you. Ps: being too perfectionist is no longer a good answer 😉

Most important aspects:

The most important aspect of this question is that you spend more time on your strength and you give an example on when you have applied your strength so the hiring manager can place it in the context. Regarding the weakness, pick one that is not critical for the job position you are applying to.

How to respond:

Start first by your weakness so you finish on a positive note with your strength. Use one or two max, if the hiring manager doesn't ask you a specific number and tell how you are working on it or have already worked on it so it is no longer a challenge for you on a daily basis. Then tell about your strengths and choose the ones that will be extremely useful for the job position or the manager to have in his or her team.

6. Why will you be a suitable candidate for this position, what can you bring to the company, why should we hire you? What skills will you bring?

To know:

This question is for the hiring manager to understand if you have correctly identified the responsibility of the job position and if you are self aware about the necessary skills to perform the job.

Most important aspects:

Think about the challenge of the job position and what will you need to overcome them, think also of the hard skills meaning the direct knowledge you will need to do it.

How to respond:

Showcase your skills giving examples of when you have used them. Select examples that may also be applying in the job position.

7. How do you handle a stressful situation? How do you handle a conflict? How do you work under pressure?

To know:

The hiring manager wants to know how you deal with your environment, your stakeholders, your team when you are outside of your comfort zone.

Most important aspects:

Select an example with your family or friends, make sure this example is considered by everyone as a stressful example, if you choose an example that may not be stressful for some people you take the risk to tell the hiring manager that this is the limit you can handle.

How to respond:

Use an example, explain the situation of the stressful example, what was your role in this situation, what you have done to overcome this situation and highlight what you have done in particular to turn it into a positive situation.

8. Can you tell us of a great achievement in your professional life and tell us how you did it? What are you proud of?

To know:

The hiring manager wants to know what you consider success and achievement and how you accomplished it.

Most important aspects:

It is important that you pay attention to the way you describe your achievement. If you apply for a manager position but you are most proud of an event that you accomplished by yourself, this may trigger some negative feelings towards the job interviewer.

How to respond:

Based on the job position, select something that you have accomplished that could also be relevant for the position, mention in the order, the situation, the task and the additional actions you have taken to accomplish it, finish up by telling the results and the positive feedback you have received.

9. What do you know about the company?

To know:

This very basic question is for the hiring manager to know if you have the minimum level of motivation to at least check the company information and activity on social media. This question may more often be asked to a job entry position but better be prepared.

Most important aspects

Make sure you read the history, the latest news about the company, that you understand the market and the products as well as what kind of blogs and articles the company is actively writing about.

How to respond:

Give historical info so you know how to place the company in the timeline, describe the type of product and the type of customer profile the company may have. A good way to end this question is by mentioning an article or a latest post relevant to what the hiring manager may know and ask a question about it.

10. Do you have any questions?

To know:

The answer to this question is the last impression you will leave to the hiring manager, this is not the most important one but an opportunity for you in the event you had a good interview to make the hiring manager even more confident about your application.

Most important aspects:

Don’t ask too many questions, watch if the interview time allocated allows you to ask 2 or 3 questions. Avoid asking questions, the hiring manager may not know, and

How to answer:

Focus on the following 3 topics: Team organization, Manager style or Company objective and focus for the next months. In general, those topics help you to get information you may be curious about and are for the hiring manager great questions to answer.

interview question and answer meeting with two women

We have reviewed the 10 most common questions at a job interview, in one hour, there is only a limited number of questions that the hiring manager can ask you, the chance that you will get most of them is great, our advice is to prepare it very well.

In case you get one that you had not the chance to prepare, you will be having enough energy and positivity from the job interview to improvise.

A job interview is by definition a challenging time because we ask you to sell yourself, all the skills to ace your job interview and be the chosen candidates are in you. No one better than yourself will know what are your strengths, your weaknesses or what is the biggest achievement you have done so far.

You need good preparation. If you want to discuss your job interview preparation, you can reach out to The Ambitious to help you prepare for it and get yourself in the best spot.

For more on interview preparation :

. 6 tips to ace your first job interview

. How to negotiate a salary ?

. 7 questions to prepare your remote job interview

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