Job interviews, no matter how much you have prepared, are almost always unnerving and intimidating experiences.
But despite the anxiety that naturally comes from being one of dozens candidates applying for the same position, one thing job interviews don’t have to be is unpredictable.
Here are five questions you should expect to hear in any job interview, as well as a few of the best ways to answer them.
- Tell me about yourself
It’s no wonder that this has become the almost guaranteed first question of every job interview. Interviewees not only want to know right off the bat who you are, they want to find out what your speaking style is and how you can handle a very much open-ended question. Prepare for this question by thinking ahead of time of one or two things that describe you best, and list them in an organized fashion. This way, you can give employers a sense of where you come from and what you’re interested in, while also showing you can speak in an easy-to-follow way, without jumping all over the place.
- How much do you know about what we do?
Hiring managers spend much of their time communicating internally with their coworkers–when interviewing, it’s their chance to see what others think of their company. Don’t make the mistake of simply repeating the mission statement you read on the company’s website, but instead come up with your own unique description of not only what the company does, but how they help improve the local community as well as the world.
- What are your strengths?
There’s no one way to answer this question, as different job opportunities will obviously call for different skill sets. There are, however, excellent techniques to prepare for this question long before you even have your interview scheduled. Whenever you find yourself updating your resume or writing a new cover letter, make it a habit to update your “strengths list”–a document to keep track of your best skills that only you see. When the opportunity does come for a job interview, circle two or three that best apply to the position, and focus on those in your interview.
- What are your weaknesses?
On the flip side, employers love to see how potential candidates deal with one of the most classic–and daunting–interview questions. One of the best ways to answer this question is to recount a story where you faced a problem during a project at school or at a separate job. Point out what went wrong, but make sure to spend equal time recalling how you and your team overcame whatever issue it was you were having.
- Do you have any questions for us?
This is how almost every job interview ends, and when an interviewer asks you for your questions it’s not just a formality–it’s an opportunity for you to show your interest and enthusiasm for the position. Some good questions to ask are those regarding the culture and environment of the workplace, what a typical day in the workplace looks like, or even how performance and progress is measured in employees. In any case, don’t bypass this opportunity to learn more about the company while also displaying your excitement for the position.
Need more help preparing for your next job interview? ACI’s student assistant experts are here to help. Feel free to contact ACI Specialty Benefits at (800) 932-0034 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ACI can also be found on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, orYouTube.