Job Interview Questions 101

Preparing for a job interview can be daunting. Answering questions with the right measure of reading between the lines almost seems like trying to hit a moving target. While interview questions can vary, however, some will likely appear in most interviews you go to. Read on for commonly asked interview questions and what you can do to prepare for them!

Before the Interview

Preparation doesn’t always have to come in the form of anticipating questions. By doing your homework on the company and industry, you’ll have given yourself a leg up on the competition, regardless of what the questions are.

Research the Company

Doing this will have a major carryover to your ability to answer the following interview questions:

  • “Why do you want to work here?”
  • “What do you know about our company?”
  • “Why should we hire you?”

Answering based on the homework you’ve done shows the interviewer that you’re genuinely interested in contributing to the company. Needless to say, this leaves a great first impression.

Look Into Average Salaries

This will help you get a range of wages for your desired position. This is important because you may be asked a question about your desired pay.

You’ll want to give a number that’s within industry ranges. After all, nobody likes working for low pay. And, no employer will appreciate nickel-and-diming from a potential employee.

Check Your Resume

Of course, the information you’ll provide needs to be consistent with the resume or CV you’ve submitted. Make sure that the resume highlights your skills and qualifications and that you’ve only included information that is relevant to the job position.

The Most Common Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)

Questions will vary from one company to another. However, you’ll likely find these directed at you when your interview date arrives:

1. “Can you tell me about yourself?”

This is a question you can take at face value. For this question, you’ll want to be concise and highlight only the essentials.

In order, provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Experience (or field of study if you’re applying for a career in academia)
  • Skills
  • How you learned about the job opening (optional)

2. “Why do you want to work here?”

This is a very common interview question that causes anxiety in many interviewees. The safest approach to this question is to answer in the following order:

  1. What you learned about the company
  2. How the company’s core values resonate with you
  3. How the skills you have in your resume can contribute to the company

Don’t respond with the fact that “you need a job.” This is a major turn-off.

3. “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”

When mentioning strengths, present them alongside your career highlights. For example, you can mention your leadership qualities, also including projects you headed in the past.

In presenting your weaknesses, don’t present them as weak points. Instead, according to Monster, as things you’re actively “working on.”

For instance, are you bad with project management software? If so, you can phrase this weakness as “I’m currently in the process of familiarizing myself further with tools like Asana and Wrike.”

4. “What is your preferred compensation?”

This is where your research will come in. There are two safe ways to answer this question:

First, you can respond with a number that is within the industry range. Of course, if your interviewer presents a range, feel free to use that as a basis.

Or, you can deflect the question back to the interviewer. You can then respond based on what the interviewer discloses as the standard amount for employees in your industry or position.

5. “Why should we hire you?”

To answer this question, mention how the core values of the company appeal to you. After that, you can proceed to mention the qualities that make you the right fit for the position.

Questions To Ask Your Interviewer

It’s also a good idea to prepare a couple of questions to ask during a job interview. These could include:

  • What does a typical day look like for someone in this position?
  • What are you looking for in a candidate?
  • What could I do to impress you in my first few months of work?
  • Will there be any opportunities for progression?

Hone Your Interview Skills and Finance Fundamentals

A job interview can be one of the most nerve-wracking experiences for anyone looking to find a job. However, it doesn’t have to be.

Are you looking for a way to sharpen your interview skills while fortifying your financial prowess? Take advantage of our personal finance fundamentals courses!

Arm yourself with the knowledge to nail interviews, get out of or avoid debt, and increase your savings and investments!

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