Interviews can be nerve-wracking. Sitting down, being asked questions, being evaluated on your answers, it’s no wonder that so many people struggle to find themselves at ease when sitting across from a hiring manager. However, most interviewers ask similar interview questions, and knowing how to answer them can help feel confident during your next interview.
Common Interview Questions
Here are five common questions hiring managers often ask during an interview and some tips on how best to answer each one.
1. “Tell me a little bit about yourself.”
Strangely, this question seems to trip people up all the time. It’s as though the moment they’re asked this question their mind goes blank and they can’t even remember their name, much less anything interesting. Be prepared to give a brief history of yourself as well as a few interesting facts, but try to make them work-related if possible. Do not give your full biography. They don’t care. The interviewer simply wants a better understanding of you as a person so they can find out whether or not you’ll fit in with the company as a whole. An appropriate answer would include:
- Any family such as a spouse or kids.
- Where you went to college and what you studied.
- Positions you’ve been privileged to work and skills you developed.
- Passions and talents, specifically in regards to what work you may do for the company.
- A hobby or interest (don’t spend 20 minutes explaining how you reroute the wiring on a motorcycle, just mention that you enjoy working on them).
You can always turn things around and answer their question with one of your own, “What would you like to know?”
2. “What’s your greatest strength or weakness?”
This is not an opportunity to brag about how perfect you are. Interviewers can see through that. Your answers should be humble and realistic. For your greatest strength, consider “my ability to adapt under pressure” or “time management and communication”. For greatest weakness, DO NOT say you are a perfectionist. This is clichè and a common answer to this interview question. Set yourself apart by saying something like “in my desire to do my best I tend to focus a little too much on the details” (aka detail-oriented) or “it’s hard to focus if I’m disorganized” (aka organized). Try to describe your weaknesses in a way that they can see the underlying strength.
3. “Why do you want this job?”
This interview question is very common, and yet difficult to answer if not prepared. The last thing you want to say is “because I need work”, so it’s better to have an answer ahead of time. Explain to the hiring manager your desire to work for their specific company because of how you admire their work culture. Or tell them how you love their company’s vision and it’s something you’d love to be a part of. You will need to do some company research so you can speak to these points intelligently.
Hiring managers don’t want to just hire someone to fill a position, they want someone to become a part of their team and help drive the company forward. Demonstrate this line of thinking and you’ll set yourself apart from other candidates.
4. “Why do you think we should hire you?”
This question is not a license to brag, but it is an opportunity to explain what abilities you have that set you apart. Humbly discuss your strength and skills and how you feel they can benefit the company. Confidently explain what you bring to the table and how you’ll be an asset to the company. Hiring managers will notice if you’re confident in your abilities and can communicate them clearly.
5. “Explain a time when you had to resolve conflict in the workplace.”
This question has different forms. From, “how do you deal with stress and pressure,” to “what would you do if your boss did something unethical”. This interview question typically has to do with conflict resolution (and are you a team player). Explain how you would confidently take initiative to solve the problem in a mature and discreet manner. Whether that means talking to an individual one on one, taking the problem to your manager, or even going higher up, show that you are able to keep your cool and seek resolution. Prepare a few stories of how you’ve done this in the past and use the most appropriate based on the specific question.
Every interview is different, and it is impossible to be 100% prepared for everything. But these interview questions are common and knowing how you will answer ahead of time will ease your nerves and help you confidently set yourself apart as you strive to join a new team in the workforce.
How Can TechBridge Help?
Our goal is to bridge the gap between business and employee, matching qualified workers with the companies who need them. If you have any further questions or you’re ready to start the recruiting process, contact us today.