Answering the most commonly asked interview questions

19 May 2021

Job interviews can be stressful: you’re anxious about what may be asked, and your knowledge will be tested. To make things worse, there are other applicants who are interested in the job and could do better than you. Interestingly, you can prepare for an interview and it’s not just about preparing your suit or dress the day before. Several questions are asked in every interview, but even though they are commonly asked, they are tremendously important. Don’t undervalue the common questions – they tend to be at the start of the interview, so preparing for them will not only give your interviewer a good impression of you but will also give you the confidence you need to ace the interview! 

Tell me about yourself

Probably one pf the toughest question we’ve ever been asked, not because we’re not interesting enough but because psychologically, it’s easier for us to talk positively about others rather than ourselves. Keep in mind that your interviewer has only seen you CV, cover letter but is likely to have checked your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to find out more about you. This question is usually the first asked and is designed to ‘warm up’ the candidate. Make sure to give the interviewer something new - don’t repeat what you’ve already listed. The trick is to talk about who you are outside of work, but don’t be vague or speak in too much length. In addition, be smart. Link the description of yourself to the job position, but don’t lie – be honest. Remember, your social media says a lot about you. 

Why did you choose our company?

Show that you’ve done your research about the firm and know information about it. Side note, before the interview make sure to visit the company’s website, social media channels as well as news articles. Moreover, try to stand out with your answer – don’t say that you’ve applied at that company because you’ve applied at every other company of the field. Try to link the company’s mission and values to your own life to help show how this is the right career path for you. 

What are your strengths….

Don’t oversell yourself. Think of two or three of your best attributes and examples to back them up. Show how these strengths can be used during work. Be sure not to talk too long about your strengths.

and your weaknesses?

Most candidates here identify another strength and give it a twist to sound like a weakness. “I tend to get immersed into the job and overwork,” or the classic “I keep thinking about the work I’ve to do, even after work hours.” If you prefer to give such a “weakness” go for it but think about mentioning a real weakness that you’re currently working on. This will show your interviewer that you’re not trying to sound perfect and will help them see when actually overcome the mentioned weakness. 

What would you bring to the company?

This is a famous question during which other candidates end up begging for the job. Well, not you. Not this time! Take a moment to reword the question and answer it by taking another shot at questions that you could’ve answered better earlier. “What do you feel I need to know that we haven't discussed?” is a better version of the question. It’s very normal for previous answers to misdirected or perhaps you were still a bit nervous to say what you wanted to say. Here’s your chance again. Don’t waste time talking about your passion, desire and commitment – the interviewer has probably heard it all before.