Wouldn’t it be awesome if you had all the interview questions your potential employer was going to ask you in your next job interview?
Well prepared and confident, you could then give the recruiter an element of surprise, wowing them with your wit, experience, and charm. The truth is, we already know what they are going to ask you. That’s because a vast majority of employers tend to ask very similar questions that follow an objective evaluation system.
While we don’t recommend giving a practiced response to each interview question (please don’t), spending some time getting comfortable with what you might be asked can set you up for success. That said, here are the ten interview questions you should be prepared to answer.
- Tell Us About Yourself
Often asked at the start of each interview, this question is commonly used as an icebreaker. How you answer it will make your first impression.
Don’t give your full employment or personal history. Instead, give a brief, concise description of who you are and your key qualifications, skills, and experience. Make sure to tailor your answers to the role you’re being interviewed for. For example, if you’re being interviewed for an accounting role, you could explain how you became a CPA without a bachelor’s degree. While it’s possible to become a qualified certified public accountant without a degree, it’s a challenging process with stringent experience requirements. Describing your accountancy journey can show your determination to succeed.
- Why Do You Want to Work for this Company?
When a recruiter asks this question, they not only want to know why you want to work for them, but also what you know about the company. Do your homework to find out as much information about the company as possible. When answering the question, frame your answer in a way that will portray your strengths and how passionate you are about the work they do.
- What Are Your Weaknesses?
Hiring managers ask this question to test whether you’re qualified for the job. They want to know whether you can cope with challenges and learn new tasks. The trick here is to structure your answers around positive aspects of your skills in a way that will seemingly turn weaknesses into strengths.
- What Is Your Greatest Strength?
Your greatest strength, in this context, is a skill that’s valuable to the company. On that note, don’t choose something unrelated to the job, like mastery in Solitaire (unless it’s a game tester role). Instead, pick a skill they need help with most. For example, if the recruiter is a realtor, you could point to impeccable negotiation skills as your greatest strength.
- Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?
This question aims to figure out if you’re able to set realistic goals. If you plan to work with this company, make sure you understand the organization’s hierarchical positions and the potential for career growth the company offers. Focus on your career goals, and ensure the answer you give aligns with the position you’re interviewing for.
- Why Did You Leave Your Previous Job?
The essence of this question is to test your character (honesty, perseverance, etc.) Even if you left under challenging circumstances, do not say anything negative about your previous or current employer. Instead, focus on what you want to achieve in the future.
- How Do You Respond to Working Under Pressure?
The interviewer wants to know how you handle workplace stress. What do you do when things are not going according to plan? The trick here is to reveal your problem-solving skills. Give an example of a time when you were faced with a stressful situation and how you successfully managed it.
- What Is the Most Difficult Situation You Have Faced at Work?
Similar to the question about how you handle workplace stress, you will want to exemplify your impeccable problem-solving skills here.
- What is Your Greatest Accomplishment?
Consider this question an invitation to brag about what you have achieved in your career. Much like the question about your greatest strength, the answer to this question should align with what the employer needs. Focus on your recent career achievement and demonstrate how it can be of value to the company.
- What Are Your Salary Expectations?
This can be a tricky question to answer. You don’t want to underprice yourself or place yourself out of a job offer. Research the company well to know where they peg their employee salaries, then quote a figure that is commensurate with your skills.
Once you’ve mastered these interview questions and prepared yourself accordingly, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition.
Author Bio: Bryce Welker is an active speaker, blogger, and tutor on accounting and finance. As the Founder of Crush the CPA Exam, he has helped thousands of candidates pass the CPA exam on their first attempt.