Guide to Answering Common Interview Questions

popular questions during an interview.

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what questions a hiring manager would be asking you in your next job interview? A pocketbook, made just for you, containing all the popular questions during an interview.

We can’t read minds, but we can give you the next best thing: a list of some of the most asked interview questions, along with advice for answering them all.

While we don’t recommend having a canned response for every interview question (in fact, please don’t) we do however recommend spending some time getting comfortable with what you might be asked, what hiring managers are really looking for, and what it takes to reflect that you’re the right person for the job.

Interview Question and Answer Study Guide:

1. Tell Me About Yourself.

This question seems simple, so many people fail to prepare for it, but it’s crucial. Here’s the deal: Don’t give your complete employment (or personal) history. Instead, give a pitch—one that’s concise, compelling, and shows exactly why you’re the right fit for the job. Talk a little bit about your current role (including the scope and perhaps one big accomplishment,) then give some background as to how you got there and experience you have that’s relevant. Finally, segue into why you want—and would be perfect for—this role.

2. How Did You Hear About This Position?

Another seemingly innocuous interview question, this is actually a perfect opportunity to stand out and show your passion for, and connection to, the company. For example, if you found out about the gig through a friend or professional contact, name drop that person, then share why you were so excited about it. If you discovered the company through an event or article, share that. Even if you found the listing through a random job board, share what, specifically, caught your eye about the role.

3. Why Do You Want This Job?

First, identify a couple of key factors that make the role a great fit for you (e.g., “I love customer support because I enjoy the constant human interaction and the satisfaction that comes from helping someone solve a problem,”) then share why you love the company (e.g., “I’ve always been passionate about education, and I think you’re doing great things, so I see strong alignment.”)

Before we continue to the popular questions during an interview, note that  point 1, 2 and 3 are very common.

4. Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job?

Definitely keep things positive—you have nothing to gain by being negative about your current employer. Instead, frame things in a way that shows that you’re eager to take on new opportunities and that the role you’re interviewing for is a better fit for you. For example, “I’d really love to be part of product development from beginning to end and I know I’d have that opportunity here.” 

5. Why Should We Hire You?

Your job here is to craft an answer that covers three things: that you can literally do the work and deliver great results; that you’ll fit in with the team and culture; and that you’d be a better hire than any of the other candidates. 

With all of these, write your answer out and spend time saying these out loud. We would never suggest that you memorize a canned answer but familiarize yourself with the narratives. We also suggest you write up stories from experiences you’ve had that you would consider wins, challenges overcome, and other anecdotes that reflect your impact and success. Preparing for these popular questions during an interview will give you the confidence as you go through the interview process. These are the top interview questions that will help you be successful.

Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help learn about interview questions. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and the #1 career coaches in Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

 

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