25 Most Common Interview Questions
When it comes to interviews nowadays there are many different techniques companies use to assess an individual to see if they are right for the job. Sometimes it's common that the first phase of an interviewing process is a telephone interview or sometimes even a skype call. In other incidents, it could be a group interview whereby the main thing the interviewers are looking for is to see if you as an individual can work with others from different backgrounds and ages to engage in conversation as well as listening to others opinions.
However, often it is the individual interview that is the determining factor in establishing whether an individual gets the job or not. Some people find an individual interview better than a group interview often if they feel nervous speaking out in a crowd, whilst others do not like the individual interview as often it can be intense and quite intimidating with only you being directed questions at.
Preparation though is key to success in individual interview as it avoids you from rambling and making answers up on the spot. Personal experience as well helps to improve an individual's confidence in future interviews as once you have experienced a formal interview process you know what to expect next time round. Therefore, as a result of this you will feel more confident and can take more time preparing what type of things to say in the interview rather than spending the time that you have worrying about the interview process.
A good foundation for preparing for an interview is to think of the realistic questions the interviewer could ask and from there how you would go about constructing an answer. Fortunately there has been a list collated of the most asked questions interviewees are presented with at an interview and are as follows.
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why are you interested in working for [insert company name here]?
- Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
- Why do you want to leave your current company?
- Why was there a gap in your employment between [insert date] and [insert date]?
- What can you offer us that someone else can not?
- What are three things your former manager would like you to improve on?
- Are you willing to relocate?
- Are you willing to travel?
- Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
- What is your dream job?
- How did you hear about this position?
- What would you look to accomplish in the first 30 days/60 days/90 days on the job?
- Discuss your resume.
- Discuss your educational background?
- Describe yourself.
- Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
- Why should we hire you?
- Why are you looking for a new job?
- Would you work holidays/weekends?
- How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?
- What are your salary requirements?
- Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.
It's clear from the above list that some of the questions that are commonly asked are easier than others but it is important to also see through some questions that may appear straight forward enough to answer when in reality the interviewer is looking for a more complex answer that will allow them to properly assess you as an individual.
For example, question 18 at a first glance seems a really easy question to answer simply just describing yourself, something many people enjoy and are good at talking about themselves. From personal experience I have also fallen into this trap and talked about enjoying art and walking my dog and so on and so on.
No, this is not what the interviewer is looking for with this answer and it seems that it is deliberately set up to trick people into the trap that I fell into. Instead, the company want you to phrase your answer by talking about things such as wanting to excel in selling to a successful company. Therefore, keep your answers to this question in relation to the job that you are going for. They really aren't that interested in your love for your dog or cat!
Another question that can sometimes be a stumbling block for interviewees is question 12, tell me about a time that you made a mistake. The majority of us don't like to admit defeat and in the environment of an interview it would seem that bringing up a mistake that you have made in the past would instantly put a negative spin on the interview.
However, the company are looking for you to admit that you have made a mistake ( we all are human) and see what you have learned from it and where you would go about to rectify the mistake in the future. This will show the interviewer that you aren't afraid to admit defeat when it happens and that you are good at problem solving so that should the same or similar situation occur again you are confident at knowing how to deal with it.
Obviously, there will be some interviews that you will have in the future that will only ask one of the questions above along with other questions that have not been mentioned in this article. An interview’s purpose is not a memory test in the way that some exams are, they are not there to test if you can remember a pre prepared answer to a question. They are instead to see if you can present yourself well and answer the questions to the best of your ability so that the interviewer can assess if you are the right person for the job.
Don't be disheartened if your interview does not go well and the answers that you give aren't substantial, good interviews are a work in progress and the more practice you get the easier they become. Good Luck!