Job interview questions
Learning and practicing good answers to job interview questions will help you do well at your interview.
When you apply for a job, you will get asked some job interview questions. You will be asked about your skills and experience. There are some questions many employers ask. Practice answering the most common job interview questions. Practice will help you do well!
General job interview questions
Here are 5 questions that many employers will ask you:
Tell me about yourself.
This is the first question you will get asked at every interview. Briefly describe the jobs you have had and talk about what your best skills are. If you went to school, talk about what you studied. Don’t talk for too long, and finish up with the present. For example, you can say you are excited to be applying for this job.
What do you know about this organization (or business)?
When you are asked this question, talk about the positive things you know and what you like about the company. Prepare for this question by looking at the employer’s website. Read about the company’s goals and what projects they are working on. If the company does not have a website, use websites Glassdoor or Yelp. They may tell you what other people think about the company.
Why should we hire you?
Before your interview, read the job description. Choose 3 to 5 skills you have that are the most important for the job. Talk about those skills. Say how they would help the organization. For example, someone applying to be a teacher’s assistant might say, “I have more than 8 years working with children at daycares and in community centers. I have experience creating curriculum and working with people from many cultures. I noticed that many of the families that come to your school speak Spanish. Spanish is my first language, so I could help translate.”
What is your weakness?
Do not say you don’t have a weakness. Choose something that can be fixed. Talk about what you have done to work on your weakness. Explain how it has gotten better, if it has. An example of a common weakness is public speaking. You could say you have taken classes in public speaking and have practiced a lot at your last job. End by saying that you now feel much more confident when speaking in public, or that you are still working on it.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Say that the most important thing to you is to get the job and do well. If you know what the job above your position is, mention it. If you don’t, say that you would like to be in a higher level job where you could help the company even more. Mention what skills you would want to use.
When answering all job interview questions, try to answer in 2 minutes or less. If the interviewer wants to hear more information, they will ask follow-up questions.
Behavioral job interview questions
Sometimes, an employer may ask you to tell them a story about how you behaved in a difficult situation. They want to learn about your personality.
When answering behavioral questions, use the Problem, Action, Result format, also known as “PAR.”
1. Problem: Start your answer by describing the situation and problem in detail. Describe the job situation and the people. For example, you might say “When I was a manager at Cocina Michoacana, I managed five waiters and waitresses. One of the waiters would often not show up to work on time.”
2. Action: Describe what you did to fix the problem. You might follow up with, “I talked to the waiter privately about coming to work on time. He told me that his mother was very sick. He was not able to find a full-time caretaker for her in the morning. Sometimes, he had to stay home if she was not feeling well.”
3. Result: Talk about the successful result and what you learned. A good ending would be, “I decided to change the waiter’s shifts to later in the day. I asked if it was okay to tell some co-workers so they could help. He said yes. They agreed to cover his shift if there was an emergency.” Do not tell a story where the problem was not solved.
Here are some other common behavioral questions:
- Tell us about a time you disagreed with your boss.
- Describe a time you had a conflict with a coworker.
- What is your proudest accomplishment?
- Tell us about a time you made a mistake at work.
- Describe a time when you were under a lot of pressure at work.
Your interviewer is not allowed to ask you personal questions. This includes your marital status, how many children you have, and your age. If someone asks you a personal question, you can say politely say, “I prefer to not answer that question.”
Job interview questions make everyone nervous. The best thing is to remember and practice your answers! If you can, practice with a friend or family member.
- Read more common job interview questions here
- Read more common behavioral interview questions here
- Learn resume tips
- Prepare for a job interview
- Learn how to write professional references
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