How to Respond to Five Common Job Interview Questions


Job interview questions have the tendency to be daunting at times, and this makes it hard for people to push through with their interviews. In turn, this would cost a person a chance to land a job. To avoid this scenario from happening, people can prepare in advance for interview questions that would likely be asked. 

By being prepared, this gives candidates a boost of confidence and an edge over other candidates.

How to answer job interview questions easily?

Before anything else, an interviewee must know that they cannot blurt out everything that is on their mind. It’s easy to make this mistake, but not recommended. Diving in head-first and having a cluttered mind will only cause confusion during the interview. 

If the interviewee’s mind is focusing on different things all at once, they will not be able to give a direct answer. 

To avoid this, it is important that the interviewee stay on track. One way to have a linear explanation for any question is to follow a simple formula. It can be either of these two formulas:

  • Present, past, and future. 
  • Past, present, and future. 

Now, applicants may use either one of these, but it would be best to apply this accordingly based on how relevant their skills are to the position they are applying for. 

For example, if the applicant’s current skill set is closely related to the role they are applying for, then it would be best to use the first formula. 

1. Tell me about yourself 

This is the most common interview question thrown at applicants, and if one is not prepared for this, then the whole process might not end well. First impressions last, so the applicant must be prepared for the first question that is asked of them. 

There are several ways applicants can go about this question. First, one way to respond to this question is to start discussing relevant achievements and responsibilities. 

Another way to answer this question is by summarizing any key experiences that the applicant had and discussing how that helped them prepare for the role they are applying for. It would be best if the experiences mentioned were quantifiable. 

2. Why should we hire you?

The question seems so simple, and yet, this is something that immobilizes applicants in their seats, and that stops them from thinking of concise, relevant, and confident answers. 

One of the best answers that an applicant could give is to emphasize their skills, strengths, work experience, and relevant achievements and explain how these can contribute to the company they are applying to. 

In addition, aside from showing capability in performing the tasks asked in the job position, it is recommended that applicants show enthusiasm in performing them. 

3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This question is a bit tricky, especially when asked about what the applicant’s weaknesses are. When asked about strengths, it is better for the applicant to highlight their analytical skills, leadership skills, communication skills, and adaptability in working with a team. 

It is essential for applicants to remember that the strengths they mention, whether it be in the resume or the interview, should be backed up with experience. This is to show the interviewer that the applicant is not simply blurting out random strengths they looked up online. 

Also, applicants must be careful not to exaggerate their strengths and other capabilities. 

As for the weaknesses, it is better to be honest about them. However, applicants should be wary of exposing themselves too much. While it may be smart to turn weaknesses into strengths, it is still better to be cautious and not mention too many weaknesses. 

Too many weaknesses will make the interviewer think that the applicant is not capable of doing the job that would be asked of them. 

4. Expect the job interview question: “Do you have any questions for us?”

While this may seem like an extra irrelevant question that is usually asked toward the end of the interview, it is quite the opposite. The worst answer an applicant would give to this question is “No.”

Not only does this seem like the applicant is uninterested in the company, but also this robs them of an opportunity to know more about said company. By asking questions to the interviewer, it would mean that the applicant was listening attentively to the interviewer’s questions. 

Lastly, applicants must take note of timing. Asking about the benefits outright is too forward. This would also look as if the applicant is so certain they got the job. It is best to ask questions relating to the job position’s responsibilities and how compatible the applicant is with said position. 

5. Tell us about a time you faced a challenge and how you dealt with it

This can be considered one of the trickiest and heaviest behavioral questions asked of an applicant since this is where an interviewer would gauge how capable an applicant is when faced with difficult situations. In a way, this is how an interviewer checks if the applicant is a problem-solver or not—and this quality is a must in any company. 

The best way to prepare for this question is to follow the STAR formula: Situation, Task, Action, and Result. 

  • Situation. This is all about giving the interviewer a clear picture of how the problem rose. 
  • Task. Entails what was assigned to the applicant at the time when the problem rose. 
  • Action. This talks about how the applicant was able to handle the situation. What steps they took and what the thought process was like. 
  • Result. This is where the applicant must mention how their action had a positive result. It is essential for the applicant to mention their involvement with regards to the problem-solving part as much as possible. 

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