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Common Interview Questions

Most interviewers for a job position will use common interview questions when talking to you about the job you applied for with their company. Many times these questions are asked during a first interview as a means to weed out candidates. Being prepared will help you breeze through these basic questions and leave a good first impression with the interviewer.

Many of the first common interview questions are asked as an ice breaker, so you can get comfortable talking to the interviewer. These questions include:

  • "Tell me about yourself?"
  • "Tell me about your experience or education?"
  • "Why do you want to work in this field?"

The interviewer wants to learn more about you and see how well you communicate verbally by asking these basic questions. These first questions should be easy for you to answer because they are about you. The key to making a good impression with the ice breaker questions is to talk calmly and with enthusiasm.

After several ice breaker questions, you may receive more common interview questions that include "How would your co-workers or other people describe you:

  • "Why are you interested in working here?" The interviewer wants to know what there is about the company that caught your attention to apply. Do your research on the company before the interview so you know what the company does and how the position fits into your career goals.
  • "Give me an example of a problem you encountered at work and how you solved it?" A common interview question of how you solved a problem in the past is a method of getting you to communicate the steps taken to get a positive result. The interviewer is testing you on communication skills and problem solving. This question may also have the twist of how you worked with a difficult customer or client.

Sometimes, there are common interview questions that make you want to roll your eyes during an interview. These common questions include:

  • "What are your strengths?" and/or "What are your weaknesses?" Interviewers that follow a list of classic interview questions will most likely ask about your strengths and weaknesses. Strengths tend to be easy to communicate, but the key to answering about weaknesses is to put a positive spin on the answer. If you have a hard time taking criticism, include that you learned to value this information for improving your job performance.
  • "What part of the job listing interests you the most?" Researching the company before the interview will help answer the question of what interests you the most about the job listing or company in general. Know what position entails so you can effectively answer what interests you.
  • "Where do you want to be in five years?" Having set career goals are helpful when answering where you want to be in the designated number of years, but the employer also wants to hear that you plan to contribute positively to the company during this time frame. Avoid giving the illusion that you are just applying to gain skills that will help you move on to something else.

Taking the time to research the company before the interview is going to be the key to moving forward in the interview process. Knowing this information will make you appear prepared for the common interview questions and give the impression that you are interested in working for the company. Remain calm and relaxed during the interview and give an honest answer to make a good first impression.