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Common Interview Questions and Their Answers

Author: Susannah Snider Source: US News

Before heading into a job interview, it’s essential to prepare to answer a range of common interview questions.

While you can’t anticipate – or memorize – the responses to every interview question you’ll be asked, practicing good answers, brainstorming illustrative anecdotes and doing the research to address these types of interview questions is a great place to start. Better yet, rehearse your answers aloud with a friend who can offer insightful feedback and help you practice to overcome your pre-interview jitters.

You’ll know that you’re ready for the interview when you fully understand the company, its mission, the job description and how your experience fits in with the goals of the position and employer. “Know your own narrative,” says Yasmin Sahami, ZipRecruiter’s senior manager of talent acquisition. “More importantly, know how your narrative meets the job requirements and how it relates to the responsibilities and deliverables of the job.”

Prepare for These Common Job Interview Questions

• Tell me about yourself. This “wide open” question is one of the hardest to answer, says Joe Weinlick, senior vice president of marketing at Nexxt, a Pennsylvania-based recruitment media company. Keep your answer short – you don’t want to start with the story of your birth – and use it as an opportunity to highlight the skills and experiences that mesh well with the job description.

• How did you find out about this position? Here’s your opportunity to spell out who referred you to the position or where you saw the job posting. Make sure you state your answer accurately. If a job applicant names a site where Sahami knows ZipRecruiter doesn’t list its job postings, it doesn’t come off well. “That person has not done their research and is just making something up,” she says.

• Why do you want to work here? You need to do your research before responding to typical interview questions such as “Why do you want to work here?” Get an understanding of the company’s initiatives, mission, industry and major projects – and use that information in your response.

• Why should we hire you? You’ll need to highlight what sets you apart from other candidates and why you’re a fantastic fit for the position. One trick: Use the language or words in the job posting when talking about yourself to subtly show your fit for the role, Weinlick says.

• What interests you about this job? Doing your research and understanding the parameters of the job is essential to nailing this common question. Before the interview, create a list of your skills that meet the job’s requirements and practice explaining how your work history sets you up to succeed and thrive in the new position. “This is where I’m listening for how much research, due diligence, they’ve done on the company, on our products,” Sahami says. “Is [what interests the candidate] our mission statement? Our product offerings? Services we offer? The great feedback they’re getting by reading employee comments online? I want to know psychologically what is drawing them to the position.”


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