Your chances of success in any job application rely heavily on how well you perform during the interview. Here are surefire answers to the 20 most common interview questions that any job applicant ought to know.

1) Tell me about yourself

Use the Present-Past-Future formula. Start with what you are doing at present. Then, backtrack to significant job experiences in the past. Lastly, express your future career plans in relation to your current job application.

2) Where do you see yourself in five years?

Your career objectives should not only support your growth but also contribute to the company’s bottom line.

3) Why do you want to work for us?

Show the interviewer your belief in the mission, vision, and values of the company. Stress that your skill sets and past experiences can help the company achieve its goals.

4) How do your colleagues describe you?

Gather examples of compliments you have received from your colleagues. If your colleagues say you are a team player, recall a situation where you stood your ground in a difficult situation for your team.

5) What are your strengths?

When identifying your strengths, mention those that you think would be most beneficial to the company, such as your organisational skills or ability to analyse big data.

6) What are your weaknesses?

You demonstrate maturity when you admit your weaknesses and present a plan to overcome them.

7) What sets you apart from other candidates?

Manifest your enthusiasm for the job position by actively researching about the company, its business, and how you fit into the system.

8) What are three positive things your supervisor would say about you?

Reconnect with your former supervisor and find out how they would answer this question. You could also refer to your past performance appraisals.

9) What salary are you seeking?

Refer to authority websites like PayScale and select the highest possible salary figure (from the range) that you can justify based on your skills, work experience, and education level.

10) What is your greatest achievement?

Pick a significant achievement that will highlight qualities or skills that the company highly values. For instance, you were assigned to lead a special project while heading the logistics team.

11) What is your dream job?

An ideal job is one that allows you to apply your skills, immerses you in engaging tasks, and shares your values.

12) Why did you leave your last job?

Whether you resigned, got laid off, or was fired, it is important to always present all reasons, whether good or bad, in a positive light.

13) Tell me about a challenge or conflict you faced at work, and how you dealt with it.

Recall a concrete situation at work and the specific task that you were required to complete. Then, describe the actions you took and the positive outcome that resulted from those actions.

14) Narrate an instance where you exercised your leadership.

You may narrate episodes that displayed your project management skills or details that manifested your ability to motivate fellow colleagues.

15) Tell me of a time when you disagreed with a decision that was made at work.

Show the interviewer that you can resolve conflicts or differences in a professional manner. Recall incidents that revealed your communication skills, diplomacy, and tactfulness.

16) Can you explain why you changed career paths?

Highlight transferable skills and experiences common to previous job positions, and show the interviewer how they can be beneficial to the new job position.

17) Why was there a gap in your employment?

Focus on how you spent your employment ‘breaks’ with self-enriching activities, such as taking up professional certification courses or being engaged with volunteer work.

18) How do you deal with stressful situations at work?

Again, concrete situations (with sufficient details) will speak well of your composure in the midst of unexpected dilemmas.

19) What can we do better or differently as a company?

Cite any critical observations that can benefit the company. It may be about the designs of their current product line or the quality of their after-sales service.

20) Do you have any questions for us?

Evaluate if this is your ideal job and company. You can ask the interviewer questions related to company training, performance appraisal, or employee benefits.

The job interview is as important as the credentials on your resume; hence, you should devote time to sufficiently prepare for it. With adequate amount of practice, you can develop the confidence to face any interviewer, leave a positive impression, and boost the chances of nailing that much desired job position.

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