Don’t Choke! 10 Interview Questions (with Answers) That Will Help You Land Your Dream Job

Joseph Meyer
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Tell me about yourself.

This is a stock question that virtually every interviewer will ask. Your interviewer is not trying to put you on the spot or stump you. It’s being asked for a specific reason.

The most important thing to remember is to not let the question throw you. Take a deep breath, and relax. You have practiced this interview a thousand times, right?

The reason the interviewer asks this question is because he wants to understand your background, your experience, and your goals. He wants to see if the journey to this point matches what he is looking for in terms of experience, skills, and education.

One of the best ways to answer this interview question is to follow a STAR structure. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Results. “This is what happened, this is what I had to do, this is what I did, and this is what the results were.”

You’ll be using the STAR structure in many of your answers, so it’s a good idea to practice it ahead of time. The S represents the situation, which is where you explain briefly what you were doing, what was going on, and the context of the situation. The T is the task you were given. The A is the action you took. The R is the results of your actions.

Why are you interested in this job?

This is the standard question asked and should be one of the easiest ones to answer. Start by identifying the things that attracted you to this particular company. What is it about this company that really stands out? Explain why you also have a genuine interest in the type of work that person does and the industry. And be sure to connect the dots between all the things you are enthusiastic about.

Where do you see yourself in X years?

This is a classic and overused question that is meant to test your long-term thinking. Some candidates will think in terms of years and the interviewer will immediately realize that this candidate is not going to be someone who thinks strategically. This question can bring out your creativity and forward thinking.

On the one hand, it tests your professionalism and ability to think on your feet. But on the other hand, it also tests your confidence and your ability to tolerate a certain amount of pressure. Remember that you only get one chance to make a first impression, so think twice before answering this question.

What is your biggest weakness?

This is a great interview question from the employer’s perspective. Now if you’re being asked this question, it means the employer is curious about you. He’s seen that you have strengths; he has seen the work you’ve produced. So the next step is to find out how you cope at your worst, what are you like under stress, and what you can improve if necessary.

For this reason, you want to answer this question not by just saying one thing that you feel is a weakness but really kind of showcase yourself. You want to show him that you can learn from your experiences and you can improve based on the feedback that you’ve gotten so far.

What are your salary requirements?

We’ve all heard this question before.

And although it may seem routine, it’s actually one of the most dangerous questions you can be asked in an interview. If you were to provide your desired salary in response to this question, you would be giving the employer valuable information about the upper limit of your salary expectations. This could be a bad thing because most employers will offer a lower or mid-range salary in response. However, if you have done your homework and know the average salary for someone in your field, then you should indicate this number as your salary requirement.

Sometimes, you may get the question “what is your salary expectation”, when a company managing a salary range is offering you a job. The answer to this question should be straightforward, you should ask for a salary within the salary range.

What kind of co-workers do you find difficult to work with?

Be specific! Don’t complain about the whole group. Be certain to delineate the exact challenges that you are dealing with.

For example:

You’re here for a long haul. It will get better under the right conditions.

In this example, you have shown that you have the strength to persevere when things are not going your way. This behavior demonstrates a deep desire to work in teams though this answer could also be interpreted as being disloyal to others.

Describe a problem you have encountered and how you solved it.

This question is an example of a behavioral interview question. It asks you to describe a problem you’ve encountered and how you solved it. Since this question is somewhat situational, you can answer it in your own words.

A good answer might show that you used good old common sense, as opposed to an impressive-sounding but impractical degree. And, of course, you want to communicate that you are an intelligent, resourceful, problem solver.

Here’s a good example of a smart answer to this interview question. Suppose, for instance, that during your last job you needed to find out who in your client’s firm was in charge of starting the project. You might say that you asked some clarifying questions; gathered as much information as you could; and then used your knowledge of a customer project launch process to identify the key decision makers. You could also add that in the past you might have called the project team together to brainstorm and that ultimately posse of people pointed you in the right direction.

What are the first five things you would do if you got this position?

Most people who are getting ready to begin a new job are familiar with this question. It’s one of the most common interview questions and is used by hiring managers of all industries.

It’s used to gauge the candidates’ general level of interest and enthusiasm for the work, and also to gain insight into the candidate’s personality and level of ambition and to test how they think on their feet.

Before you go into an interview, be ready to answer this question. After having worked through so many different jobs, it’s time to take the time to reflect on your experiences. What have you enjoyed doing at work? What made you stop in your tracks, say out loud, “you got to be kidding me?” What were you good at? What were you bad at? But also, what have you failed at? Write a list of these and find an answer to each one.

You need to have a good-impression answer to the question, so if you’re looking for some help, here are some of the top answers I’ve received.

The unconventional question.

Whenever you’re asked a really weird question, the answer always lies in the question. It’s not about answering with what pops into your head, but thinking about why you are being asked these questions and what the employer wants to know.

In this case, the company is not looking for you to tell them how great their business is. They are looking for you to explain how you would handle this situation if it were yours. The interviewer wants to know how quick you would think on your feet and what you would be willing to compromise on. So tell them, in as much detail as possible, how you would fix the problem and what you would need to make it happen.

What questions do you have for me?

This is often the first question an interviewer asks. Essentially, it’s a control question. They know this will put you on the spot. It’s a way for them to test your confidence levels. Plus, it gets them thinking about what else they want to ask you.

Another reason for this question is that it can reveal a lot of information about your personality. Take a few minutes to jot down a list of questions you’d like to ask the interviewer. And then respond with them.

Don’t waste the interviewer’s time by asking questions that don’t pertain to the position. Be concise. Keep the questions relevant. This is your time to shine. Use it to your advantage.

First, think hard about what you’d really want to know from the company. What problems will this company be able to solve for you? Maybe you’d like to know their product roadmap. Or questions around their marketing strategies.

Feeling overwhelmed by all the possibilities?

Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Will I have a mentor?
  • Where did the position come from?
  • What benefits are included in this position?

Preparing for the Interview

Whether you’re just starting out in your job search as a recent college graduate, or just feeling a little out of the loop in the job search when it’s been awhile since you’ve last been employed, preparing for an interview can be pretty tricky.

In fact, most people who are in the job search believe that they are thoroughly prepared when in fact they are not. Preparing for an interview isn’t easy. Don’t be hard on yourself if you’re not ready. The preparation for the interview can often be the trickiest part of the interview process.

Make a list of all the questions that you might be asked.

From this list, choose the top 4-5 questions you are likely to be asked during the interview process. Review them and create as many answers as possible in your head. Practice saying them over and over until you are feeling comfortable with the answers before you move on to the next question.

Practicing these answers out loud will also help you ingrain these answers deep in your brain. Remember that if you do not have a solid answer to this question, you might not get the job opportunity.