Interview Questions

5 Questions to Expect at Your Next Job Interview

Interview QuestionsUnemployment leaves you with a lot of uncertainty. From income insecurity to pin-pointing a new passion, this is a time to ask, and answer, some tough questions.

Along the job hunt, employers are no different. They are interested in filling their teams with individuals who not only fit their culture and have a skill set that matches the needs of their available positions, but also know it and can communicate their competency confidently.

This is where the job interview process becomes extremely important. When the time comes, you will need to be prepared to demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the given opportunity. The interview process gives employers extra insight into your story, and lets you learn more about a company’s culture and potential fit.

Here are a few questions you’re likely to encounter when searching for your next job, and some ways to prepare for success:

“Can you tell me a little about yourself?”

This question is deceiving in its simplicity. Your interviewer may be asking a question like this in hopes of learning more about your background. However, you will not have time to retell your whole life’s story when responding. In this case, it’s important to pick a specific area of your background – for example, educational experiences or industry-specific involvements – and zero-in on how these moments have shaped you up to this point. Pick a few short and specific stories that illustrate how you’ve gotten to this point, and what your goals are ahead.

“Why did you leave your last job?”

Whenever discussing a former employer, it is important to stay positive! Bad mouthing those you have worked with in the past only weakens your own credibility. Stay honest, of course, but try and focus on the constructive things you took away from your last job. An optimistic outlook can only have a positive effect on your interviewer.

“Why are you a good fit for this position?”

Keeping your responses vague, using cliché phrases like “I am a team player!”, won’t help to get you to the heart of this question. Rather, try focusing on the specific skills you can bring to this new opportunity. By citing experiences you have had, special training or other details that make your contributions unique, you can set yourself apart from the pack.

“What are your weaknesses?”

Similarly, using tired phrases such as, “I just work too darn hard,” can get you into trouble; employers can see right through this and will most likely find it lazy! Instead, try being truthful about an area of your skill set that you would like to build on. For example, maybe if you’re in a tech heavy role within the world of healthcare, you can mention your goals of earning additional certifications. A dedication to continuous education and self-improvement can go a long way for interviewers.

“Do you have any questions for me?”

This might be the most important question of all, and sometimes it isn’t even said! Be ready to turn the tables on your job interview and ask some questions yourself. Make sure to research the company and position thoroughly before interview day. Then, craft a few specific, targeted questions to ask during your session. After all, asking questions might be the most important thing you do during a career transition.

Do you have any other job interview questions to share? Post them below!

31 thoughts on “5 Questions to Expect at Your Next Job Interview

  1. Great questions and one more tip to think about. Make sure you are skilled and have the proper experiences the company is asking. Giving false information on your resume knowing you were not qualified for job will show up if you do get hired.

  2. I always research the company and the position before the interview. Unfortunately, I can never think of any good questions to ask! Do you have some examples?

    • Hi Ramiro,
      I’m happy to help! Interview questions can vary from office to office, but it’s important to prepare for possible scenarios in order to build confidence and develop clear, specific examples to use. Thank you for joining the conversation!

    • Hi Shalanda,
      I would be happy to help! Below I’ve included a link to some additional articles we’ve written to assist with some common interview troubles – including tips for answering specific questions and how to recover from a flub. I hope this helps you in your preparation. Thank you for reaching out today!

    • Hi Pancho,
      Thank you for this great follow up question; this is definitely one to keep an eye out for. Essentially, you’ll want to convey to the interviewer that you’re looking ahead in your career and making constant improvement in your skills. In other words, “I don’t just want any job, I want to work towards a defined career path.” Try developing a specific career goal for yourself, and describe a few steps you hope to take to reach that goal. For example, you could express interest in a specific industry skill, then detail education courses you hope to take to achieve your goal.
      I hope this is helpful! I encourage you to continue practicing a variety of questions as you prepare. Thanks again!

    • Hi Juanita,
      Thank you for bringing this scenario to my attention! Referring to a previous position in an interview can be tough. In the end, it is most important to be honest and positive when addressing any previous experiences; being truthful is important because an employer can easily verify your information after an interview, whereas positivity is important to maintain your credibility and give an employer the best impression of your work ethic. We recently wrote on this topic, and I’ve shared a link to the blog post below. I hope this additional information is helpful on your job search!

  3. Hi, I’m currently working in a full time position that I don’t like. A hiring manager at another company gave me a phone interview. Now he wants me to come in for a fac

  4. Sorry…this hiring manager wants me to come in for a face to face interview. My problem is what can I tell my current manager as for leaving work early. I can’tcome up with a good idea. Would you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Reggie,
      While you may not want to communicate your job search to a current employer, you also do not want to be in a position that requires lying. Only schedule any possible interviews outside of your work hours – before work, during a lunch hour or after work – and do not conduct your job search using a current employer’s office resources or time. Thank you for sharing your story!

  5. This is very helpful info! I am transitioning from billing position to a human resources position. How do I answer interviewers when they ask “what makes you better in a human resources position vs billing”? I said my work ethics and my passion to add to strategic employee decisions. I was told to explain and drew a blank…

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Thank you for joining the conversation! Each interview question is an opportunity to share a story specific to your experiences. When crafting a response, be sure to include a specific example of a time when you applied the particular trait or quality to a work (or otherwise applicable) situation. For example, instead of simply stating you are passionate, share an example of a time that your passion for your position positively impacted other employees. I hope this is helpful on your search!

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