So many job candidates feel intimidated by the interview process.  Just as with many other tasks in your life, when you study or prepare, you will feel more at ease and less apprehensive about the whole process.  Answering common interview questions should be as easy as reciting the alphabet.

While every interviewer has their own set of questions they like to ask, there are a set of common questions asked by almost every interviewer.  Below are a few of these common questions and tips on how you should answer them:

  • Tell me about yourself? This question is often asked as one of the first interview questions.  You should prepare a short statement that summarizes your professional life, skills, and goals.  Do not repeat what is written on your resume, as the interviewer is looking for a more in-depth answer here.
  • Why did you leave your last job? Most job candidates cringe at this question, like they have something to hide.  The key to answering this question is to make sure your answer is positive.  Never speak negatively about your prior position.  A simple answer such as they were downsizing, or I decided to make a career change would be good options with this question.
  • Why do you want to work for us? When the interviewer asks this question, they are typically looking to see if you did your homework on their company.  Which by the way, you should.  Your answer to this question should align your goals mentioned in the earlier question, tell me about yourself, with the goals of the company you found during your research.
  • How have you improved your knowledge or skills over the last year? Most interviewers want to know that you are passionate about your career and one way this shows is in your thirst for knowledge and bettering your skills.  Without giving too much detail (unless asked directly), mention any new skills you have learned on-the-job, in reading material, or any classes taken.

There are many common interview questions.  Take the time to review the most common questions and practice your answers.  Remain positive in your answers.  As you practice answering these common questions, you will find that interviews are not so scary after all.

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