• Ricia Marano

5 More Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

So many potential questions, so many answers to formulate. The truth is that no matter how much you prepare, you can’t predict every question. Part of that is by design; hiring managers want to see if you can think on your feet. You may get thrown a curveball by an especially creative hiring manager, but a lot of them like to stick with the tried and true questions because they’re effective. So let’s get started with the first one…

Why are you leaving your current job? Look, you may hate your current company, boss, working environment, etc. However, this is not the time to air that fact. Take the time to write down all the reasons you are choosing to leave your job. Then focus you answer on the positive, like what you believe you will get from the company you’re interviewing with, such as a different opportunity, a better path to advancement, more responsibility, or that the position is a step up from your current job. If you left your last position involuntarily through a lay off or because you were let go, be honest but also be prepared for follow up questions. For example, why were you let go? Again be honest, but follow it up with what you’ve done to change and learn from the experience.

What do you like least about your job? Like the last question, tread carefully. Don’t bad mouth your job, your boss, and so on. The interviewer is looking for a response that highlights what you are looking for in a job. Therefore, focus on what the current opportunity has that your old job does not. Maybe the new company emphasizes career development and helps with it and this aligns with your personal goals. This way you can focus on the current opportunity and underscore your interest. Be specific in how you are trying to reach your potential and where the company can fit in.

How would your boss describe you? With this question, remember that they will be calling your former boss for a reference. Honesty is key. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Hopefully, you have some old performance evaluations laying around with positive comments that you can pull from. If not or your workplace didn’t do them, then think about a time your boss may have complimented you. What was it about? Perhaps you put together a particularly good presentation, then you could say that your boss would probably say you have good presentation skills and/or communication skills. Now if bridges were burnt and/or you were fired…again be honest. However, you could still say that even the relationship didn’t end well, that your boss may still say you were “fill in the blank”.

Why do you want to work at this company? Here’s where you can really stand out. Having done your research (and you did, didn’t you?), you should have a good idea the company, their culture, their goals, etc. Talk about something you feel makes the company unique and that aligns with your own goals, values, career path, and so on. If you know an employee, you could also talk about how your interaction with them got you excited for the opportunity. Another possibility is focusing on the company’s growth and how you feel you could contribute to it. However you choose to answer this answer, just be sure to be specific in your reasons.

Do you have any questions for us? The answer to this is always yes. You should definitely have some questions prepared for your interviewer. An interview is a two way street. You want to be sure this is the job for you as well. Plus it shows that you’re interested in the company/position. Consider what you want to know about the position, the company, the department/team you’ll be working with? Ask questions about the company’s growth. You can even ask the interviewer what they like about the company they work for. Questions to avoid: anything about salary or benefits if it’s a first round interview. It’ll look like that’s the bottom line of what you’re interested in and will ruin all your hard work during the interview.

Interviews will always take preparation if you want to do well in one. Coaching yourself on common question is a great step in your success.

What other questions have you been asked that you found to be difficult? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll address it in a future article!

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