The Ultimate Guide to Answering the Most Common Interview Questions

The subject of interviews has become one of the most discussed topics especially among fresh graduates and professional/career people and has been gaining a lot of traction because of its relevance in the 21st century workplace in recent years.

The importance of being able to effectively answer interview questions cannot be over emphasized. As Someone who is looking to switch jobs or as fresh graduate who is seeks internship opportunities and graduate entry opportunities. It has become very imperative that you know how to effectively tackle interview questions. Let me share a bit of my story as a career person.

I am a graduate of Information and communication engineering, I concluded my undergraduate studies in 2018. But prior to then , I had already started applying to some firms where I would like to work immediately after my convocation on July 20th. Fortunately for me I got an offer with a tech startup in Lagos, Nigeria. Prior to that moment when the offer came, I had already gotten an offer from another company but I declined the offer due to some unfavorable factors.

To cut the long story short in 2018, I got about 5 offers from different companies and I would be sharing the tips and strategies which i adopted that helped me land those jobs in quite a bit. One of the questions which often come up in interviews is “Tell me about yourself” or “Can we meet you”

To effectively answer this question and every other subsequent question, you need to strategically position yourself and make sure and hands are well placed on your laps, maintaining the 90 deg sitting posture. sit straight, no slouching or hunching. Sitting straight not only helps you convey confidence , it also gives good leadership impression traits about you. This is to ensure that you do not give the interviewers false impression about you as poor sitting posture can depict fear, or lack of confidence..

Maintain good interview postures

some interview questions can be very tricky When a question such as “How much do you want to be compensated with” is asked, in this scenario, the interview is trying to guilt trip you to short paying yourself. You need to know your worth and know ultimately, you should research about the company and the market value of the role you are interviewing for as it would potentially help you in acing your next interviews and help you land your dream job.

However, before answering any interview question, it is advisable to take a deep breadth and pause for a few secs before answering the questions. The reason for that is so that you can have some time to think about the questions in order for you to be able to provide appropriate answers to the questions.

Another mistake people often make is inability to communicate their thoughts appropriate effectively to the interviewers. This challenge can be overcome by adopting some the strategies mentioned earlier such as being relaxed and showing high degree of confidence.

Also, do not forget to ask questions having been interviewed as it would give help make the interviewers have the impression that you really want to get the job. The following are some of the skills which are highly needed in the 21st century workplace. some of which include:

  • Well laid out CV

  • Excellent Interpersonal and social skills

  • Problem skills

  • Excellent communication skills

The following are other very popular questions which often come up during interview sessions

1. Why do you want to work here?

Tip: Interviewers ask this question to see if you are really interested in working with them and to see if you are a good fit for the organisation.  recruiters usually ask this question in order depict if you really took time out to research and read extensively about the organisation . The best way to prepare for this question is research and learn about the products, services, mission, history and culture of the company. In your response, mention the aspects of the company that appeal to you and align with your career goals.

Example: “The company’s mission to help college grads pay off their student loan debt speaks to me. I’ve been in that situation, and I’d love the opportunity to work with a company that’s making a difference. Finding a company with a positive work environment and values that align with my own has remained a priority throughout my job search, and this company ranks at the top of the list.”

2. What interests you about this role?

Tip: Like the previous question, hiring managers often include this question to make sure you understand the role and give you an opportunity to highlight your relevant skills. In addition to thoroughly reading the job description, it can be helpful to compare the role requirements against your skills and experience. Choose a few things you particularly enjoy or excel at, and focus on those in your answer.

Example: “Making a meaningful difference in the lives of my patients and their families motivates me to strive for excellence in everything I do. I look forward to seeing their reaction when we get a positive outcome that will change their lives forever. Like the family of a young boy we treated last year—at eight years old, he had experienced rapid weight gain and signs of depression. His parents described him as a usually joyful child, but now he seemed disengaged and uninterested in his typical schedule. In the end, we determined that it was hypothyroidism, which is, of course, controllable with medication. The boy is adjusting well to the treatment and has returned to his joyful self. That’s why I became a nurse and why I’m pursuing a position in pediatrics.”

3. Why are you leaving your current job?

Tip: There are many reasons for leaving a job. Prepare a thoughtful answer that will give your interviewer confidence that you’re being deliberate about this job change. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your current or previous role, focus on the future and what you hope to gain in your next position.

Example: “I’m looking for an opportunity that gives me the ability to build closer, long-term relationships with clients. In my current role, the sales cycle is so short that I don’t spend as much time building a rapport with my customers as I’d like. Relationship-building is one of the reasons I chose a career in sales, and I look forward to working with a company where that’s a top priority.”

4. What are your greatest strengths?

Tip: This question gives you an opportunity to talk about both your technical and soft skills. To answer, share qualities and personal attributes and then relate them back to the role for which you’re interviewing.

Example: “I’m a natural problem-solver. I find it rewarding to dig deep and uncover solutions to challenges—it’s like solving a puzzle. It’s something I’ve always excelled at, and something I enjoy. Much of product development is about finding innovative solutions to challenging issues, which is what drew me to this career path in the first place.”

5. What are your greatest weaknesses?

Tip: It can feel awkward to discuss your weaknesses in an environment where you’re expected to focus on your accomplishments. However, when answered correctly, sharing your weaknesses can show that you are self-aware and want to continuously get better at your job—traits that are extremely attractive to many employers. Remember to start with the weakness and then discuss the measures you’ve taken to improve. This way, you’re finishing your answer on a positive note.

Example: “Earlier in my career I noticed that because I was so enthusiastic about my work, I had a tendency to say ‘yes’ when I should have been saying ‘no.’ At one point I ended up so overwhelmed by my workload, taking on so many projects, that I was working evenings and weekends. It was stressful, and that stress affected my production quality. I realized this was counterproductive, so I started using workload management tools to set better expectations for myself and my teammates.”

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