5 Common Job Interview Questions

1. What is your dream job?
Career counselors like to think about good jobs as the intersection of our skills, interests, and values.

That’s a good way for us to approach it as well. Talking about our skills will give us an opportunity to sell them a bit—after all, it’s an interview.

Our interests will show our investment, and our values can help illustrate our fit with the company.

Good answer sample:
“I’ve thought about this before, and I know I would want to keep honing my skills in … as well as learn more about… .”

“In terms of job content, I’m interested in work that involves … and … . I’ve been curious about things like this ever since …, so I would definitely want that to be part of my dream job.”

“Based on my skills and interests, in my dream job, I would want to … as related to …, ideally in a company where I could … and …. These are both really important to me, and I’m excited to see that they seem to be equally important to this company.”

2. Why did you leave your last job?
If we chose to leave on our own terms, stay positive and focus on what we wanted to gain from
the decision, rather than bad-mouthing or focusing on negatives we wanted to avoid.

Good answer sample:
“I left for an opportunity to advance my career.”

“My department brought in a new manager and I felt it was the right time to leave.”

“I was hired for a certain role, but over time that changed and I was no longer being given the opportunity to do the work I was interested in.”

“I didn’t feel there was an opportunity to grow or advance further in that role so I decided a change would best for my career.”

“I had been with the organization for a number of years and wanted to experience a new environment to continue growing.”

3. What other companies are you interviewing with?
Hiring managers are curious about what other companies we’re interviewing with for a few reasons.

They might want to scope out the competition, see how serious we are about the industry, or even gauge their likelihood of landing such a star candidate.

Good answer sample:
If we’re Interviewing for Competitors:
“I do have a couple of interviews coming up soon with … for senior marketing positions.
But I can tell you that, based on what I know, this position has exactly the kinds of challenges
I’m looking for in my next role.”

If we’re Interviewing in Other Industries:
“I’m interviewing with a few companies for a range of positions, but they all come down to delivering an excellent customer experience.

I wanted to keep an open mind about how to best achieve that goal, but so far it seems that this role will really allow me to focus all of my energy on customer experience and retention, which I find very appealing.”

If we’re Not Interviewing Anywhere Else:
“I’m still pretty early in my job search. I’ve applied to a number of opportunities that will allow me to use my skills in data visualization to help educate clients, but this position is most exciting to me.

In fact, I think this position is a particularly good fit for my skill set because I can leverage my significant experience working with complicated data sets.”

4. What is your greatest weakness?
We never want to say we struggle working with others, or we’re bad at resolving disagreements, or taking direction from a manager, etc. Those things will get us rejected in the interview.

So pick a specific skill, but pick something that won’t severely impact our ability to do this job.

Good answer sample:
“I’m not particularly strong in social media marketing. For the first few years of my career, I focused entirely on email marketing.
That’s still what I specialize in, which is why I applied for your Email Marketing Manager job.

But I’ve realized it’s also helpful to understand the principles of social media marketing because some of the strategies that work there also work well in email.

So I’ve started spending a couple hours a week of my own time studying and learning this new area, and it’s helped me a lot.”

5. What type of work environment do you prefer?
Ideally one that’s similar to the environment of the company we’re applying to. Be specific.

Although most places have a section on their sites devoted to explaining culture, they tend to be filled with phrases like “dedicated to customer satisfaction” and “we encourage our employees to grow.” That tells us a whole lot of nothing.

Share This Post

Related Articles

© 2024 Human Resource Management. All rights reserved. Site Admin · Entries RSS · Comments RSS
Powered by HRM Practice · Designed by HRM Practice