How to ace 10 of the most common interview questions


Each job interview has its own quirks, queries, and themes, but there are top 10 interview questions managers rely on. If prepared, you will be armed with information and confidence to tackle these questions head-on and hopefully secure the job.

Experts from Career Junction share 10 questions to study to help you ace your next interview.

Tell us a little about yourself?

This is a basic yet critical question. Don’t be tempted to narrate your autobiography. Giving a pitch is preferred, one that is convincing and brief. Start off with the accomplishments that you want the interviewer to notice first. End by explaining how those achievements make you the best fit for the job.

What do you think about this company?

When asked this question by the interviewers, they aren’t asking to judge whether you know the mission of the company. Instead, they want to know if you truly care about and understand the organization. You should show that you know the company’s objectives by using expressions and keywords from the company’s website – but make it personal. You can start by saying “I am attracted to this company because…” and share an individual case or two.

Why should we hire you?

As much as this question can be somewhat intimidating, consider yourself lucky if you are asked. This is your best chance to pitch your skills and yourself to the interviewer. You only have to use an answer that highlights the following things:

  • You can deliver good results.
  • Get the work done.
  • You will be well adapted with the rest of the team and its culture.
  • They need to know that you’d be a superior choice over any other competitors vying for the position.

What weaknesses/shortcomings do you have?

Direct your focus on an area in your position that needs an upgrade. You may have the wrong training that is contrary to the position at hand. Call attention to it, as something you have recognized and are concentrating on resolving. Interviewers need to know that you can speak truthfully about yourself and on self-improvement.

What are you looking for in terms of salary?

This appears like a straightforward question but it is not. You can lose the chances of being hired if you price yourself out of the market. If you under-price yourself, you may get the job offer, but you risk getting a lower salary than the role deserves. Find out how to effectively negotiate your compensation so you get the pay you deserve.

How well do you work in a team?

Consider experiences whether professional or otherwise, from your past, that show your capacity to network, find lasting solutions or simply get along with people. This question is particularly critical for individuals who need to be team leaders or office administrators.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Job hopping. This is the new normal and most bosses perceive that people, particularly youthful, driven individuals, are continually searching for better opportunities. Don’t pretend that you will still be working in the organization past five years. Rather, speak about your dream job at that company that you can work towards, together with your experience and interests. This shows the hiring manager that you’re driven and are in search of professional growth.

How would you deal with pressure and stress at work?

The most ideal way to answer this typical job interview question is to give a case of how you have effectively dealt with pressure in a previous work environment. Don’t say that you rarely get stressed to feel pressured at work. Rather, plan your answer in a way that recognizes that one can be stressed at work and how you conquered it or even utilized it to your advantage.

Why are you leaving your present place of employment?

Try and sound positive when answering this question, as it shows you in a bad light if you talk negatively about your current employer. Show that you are keen for growth and new opportunities presented by the company compared to your current position.

Do You Have Any Questions you would like us to answer?

At the end of the meeting, most interviewers ask whether you have any queries concerning the job offer or the organisation. Having no questions prepared makes you appear as though you are not passionate about the opportunity. Use this opportunity to ask about the organisation’s strategic direction for the next five years and how your business unit contributes to the achievement of business objectives. Also ask about the company’s culture as well as the culture within the team you’d be joining if you’re the successful candidate. Lastly, ask about job opportunities, how talent is identified and nurtured in the organisation and how the organisation gives back to the communities it operates in.

By Amanda Ndlangisa

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Sihle Bolani

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