1. What makes you the best person for this position?
To show the hiring manager that you’re the best, you have to tell them in what way you are better than the rest of the candidates. Of course, you don’t know who they are and what their skills are but generally, people stick to the job description and say they can do all that was required. Go beyond that and say in what way you can expand on the job by naming your knowledge or skill that can help you perform the job better and go beyond the duties. You can even propose a couple of improvements for the job.
2. Why should we hire you?
You should take an extra care in preparing for this question. You have to carefully research the company or the department you’re applying for, anticipate their goals for the future and try to convey how your skills can help them achieve these goals. The real meaning behind this question is: If we hire you, what benefit would you bring to the company? In your answer, you should deliver a clear message to the recruiter: that you’d fit well into the team and the work environment, that you’re better than the rest of the candidates and that you deliver outstanding results.
3. Can you tell me a little more about yourself?
In your answer, it’s important to not just repeat what’s on your resume. Also, don’t make it sound as if you carefully rehearsed for this question. Imagine yourself as a product that you’re trying to sell. In about three or four sentences you have to give the recruiter enough reasons to “buy” you. Point out some of your greatest accomplishments and strengths. Mention some of your good personal traits and how these would help you in the job. Let them know you’re sociable and that your personality is likely to fit well in the team.
4. How did you hear about the position?
This is quite an easy one. The HR person simply wants to know what made you send your resume to apply for this company. They’re interested in hearing what in particular caught your attention. In answering the “how” part, just be specific and honestly say where you heard about the job offer: either through a friend, social media or just a random job site. In fact, the “how” part is not even that important as much as what was it that made you interested in the position and the company itself.
5. What do you know about the company?
It’s always best to know as much as possible. When asked this question, don’t just recite the whole about section on the company’s website you learned by heart. It’s not only about understanding what the company does. The recruiter wants to know whether you care about the company and identify with its mission and goals. Personalize your answer and say why you want to work for this particular company and what personal reasons you have to identify with it. Go the extra mile and learn more about the company from various different sources. Be up to date – be familiar with the company’s recent work and say a couple of complimentary words on their latest ventures or successes.
6. What are your professional strengths?
The key to answering this question is not mentioning as many of your strengths as possible. Pick two or three of your most eminent ones and elaborate on them. Don’t just strictly keep to the ones listed in the job description, but you should definitely mention strengths that are relevant to the position. Be specific – don’t use cliché and vague phrases such as “I have excellent communication skills” or “I’m customer oriented”. If you want to point out you’re great at communication, give concrete examples and demonstrate it in a particular situation. Pick two or three strengths that are easily connectable, so as to create an appealing bundle of skills.
7. What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
Mention an achievement that relates to the job offer. You might have an impression that to give a great answer to this question you’ve had to have years of experience and achieved many professional triumphs. It’s not really so. You can tell them about your minor accomplishments in your part-time job or a summer job. It’s a good idea to mention even a minor achievement if it includes a skill or a trait crucial for the job in question. For example, if you’re applying for a position as a sales manager but haven’t had any notable experience, think of a time when you made somebody buy something from you and tell them what sales methods you used.
8. What are your weaknesses?
This is a tricky and common interview question. It’s always difficult to talk about your weaknesses in front of somebody whom you want to impress by your awesomeness. The key to answering this question is to show your weakness is something that can be improved. You have to let the recruiter know that your weakness has a potentially positive outcome. For example, you can say you’re often too absorbed in your work that you tend to forget about other things around you or that you’re prone to burst with impatience when your colleagues don’t meet deadlines which affects your work as well.
9. Why are you leaving your current job? / Why were you fired?
Stay positive. If you’re leaving your current job by your own choice, there’s nothing wrong with saying in all honesty why you’re leaving. What you should avoid, though, is to talk badly about your past employers. Emphasize that you’ve learned a lot in your previous job and that you’ve grown both professionally and personally and now it’s time to move on to the next chapter.
If you were fired, don’t get into too much detail about it. You can always say you were made redundant because of some inter-departmental issues etc, which would suggest it wasn’t really your fault. However, this might get tricky if the HR person calls your previous employer. The best answer is to simply smile and say: “They had to let me go, that’s life. Now, I’m ready to take on a new opportunity.”
10. Why was there a gap in your employment?
This is one of the most common interview questions overall! Recruiters usually don’t like to see gaps in your employment history. The best way to excuse a gap is to describe what you were up to in the meantime. A gap is not always a bad thing. You might have traveled, volunteered, started a successful blog, or learned new things through books or online courses. Always be honest. If you have a relevant reason why you were unemployed for a while, say it. Don’t make excuses and by no means say you were trying hard to find a job and you couldn’t get one. It’s always better to say you were unemployed by choice, and not because nobody wanted to hire you. Even unemployment has its perks. You should highlight that this period was enriching and worth it.
All 20 questions can be found at http://blog.kickresume.com/2016/05/06/how-to-answer-most-common-interview-questions/