In this article, I have presented some common job interview questions and how you can answer them. I have been asked a couple of these questions in interviews and this is how I have been approaching them. They did work for me because I ended up successful and got the job and so I strongly believe that these tips can help you ace interviews as well. Make sure to check out my other articles on How to Make Your Job Interview a Success and Effective Resume Writing.
1. What can you do for us?
Here, the interviewer wants to see the value that you can add to the company. He wants to know whether you are the ideal candidate for the job. Therefore, to answer this question, make sure to do some research about the company. Read their website, understand their vision and try to convince the interviewer that with your skills and experiences you would be able to help them meet their vision. You can even go further through your research to find out some weaknesses of the company and how you plan to address them if hired.
2. Do you work well under pressure?
Here, the interviewer wants to know that you do not get stressed out or panic under pressure. Therefore, the best way to answer this question would be to give an example of a situation that you had to work under pressure and how well you handled it.
3. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Here, the interviewer is looking at how committed you are going to be. He wants to know how long you are going to stick to the company. So, you can say “5 years from now you want to have gained more skills and experience and take up more responsibilities within the company”.
4. What do you know about our company?
Here, the interviewer is trying to find out whether you are serious about the job. A serious candidate will invest time to know more about the company that he/she wants to work for. So, make sure to do your research before the interview. One simple way is to visit the company's website and read about what they are into.
5. Do you enjoy challenges at work? If so, what kinds of challenges have you recently faced?
Here, tell a story about a challenge that you encountered may be in your former job or in a school project and how you handled it comfortably.
6. What are some of the most creative things you have done?
Here, think of a situation where you did something creative and tell the story. I was asked this question in one of my interview and all I did was pick one event in my life where I did something creative and related to the job in question. When I told the story about the event, the interviewer was really impressed with my answer.
7. How would you get subordinates who didn't like each other to work together?
This question is trying to test leadership skills. A good leader should be able to unite people together. Therefore, to answer this question, tell the interviewer a story of situation may be in your former job or in school where you had to unite a team together. The story would create more impact.
8. Tell me about a time when you were working on a team that wasn't functioning well?
Tell the interviewer a story of a situation that you found yourself working on a team that wasn't functioning well and how you brought things in order. The interviewer is trying to find out whether you are the kind of person that make things right when they go wrong. In other words, are you the kind of person who is able to get things working again or do you just escape from it.
9. You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and thrown into a blender. Your mass is reduced so that your density is the same as usual. The blades start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?
This question is common in the IT world e.g Google interviews. Here, the interviewer is more interested on how you go through the reasoning of the problem and not necessarily whether you got the right answer. So do not panic when you are asked a question like this.
10. How much do you think we can pay you?
This is a critical question and so you need to be smart here. There are different ways that you can handle this question. Some include:
a. Talk to a former or current employee and find out before your interview how much they pay employees for the position. Lindkin is one way that you can use to get to a current or former employee.
b. Asked the interviewer to let you know what the salary range is for the position. If he tells you the salary range, it becomes easy for you to mention an amount which should be within the salary range.This is a more proactive approach.
c. Another approach would be to reply back with a question. For example, you could reply by asking the following question:
“Base on my skills and experiences, how much do you think you can pay me?”
By doing so, the interviewer becomes the first to mention an amount.
d. Another approach would be to ask the interviewer to discuss the compensation once it has been agreed that you are a good fit for the job. By doing so, you avoid any chance of being eliminated because another interviewee mention an amount lesser than what you asked for.
I hope you found these tips informative. Remember to prepare well for your interview and be confident. Leave a comment below, ask your questions, share your ideas etc. This post now feature on Alltop - “a website that put together all the top stories or headlines from popular topics around the web in one place”. If you are on Alltop, you can also add my Alltop feed to your own MyAlltop page so that you are up to date with all my new postings.
More questions that can be asked in an interview
- Do you work to achieve your objectives? If so describe how hard?
- How important are promotions and advancement to you?
- Did you implement any new procedures in any of the positions you have held?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your greatest weaknesses?
- How do you make important decisions?
- How well do you handle change?
- Why do you want to work here?
- Tell me about a time when you had to disagree with your boss?
- Tell me about a time when you had to get a project done with lack of resources?
- Tell me about a time when you had to let somebody go?
- Tell me about a time in your life when you came up across a road block. What did you do to overcome and get around it?
- How many trees can you plan on Earth so that each tree is equidistant from any other tree?
Below is a good kindle book by Peggy McKee which you can get for more knowledge. The book provides some insight to interview questions and how you can answer them.