Answers to Common Interview Questions

Women answering interview questions Congratulations! You landed a job interview. Now, don’t mess it up! 

Just kidding 😉 You won’t mess it up. You’ve got this. To help you prepare, we’ve prepared the best and worst answers to the most common job interview questions.

First off, there are three overarching things you need to remember when going into a job interview.

#1 Just be yourself!

The traditional job interview could be quite standard. Relax and be you for you. They’ll love you for it.

#2 Create Rapport

As Stephen Shehori says, Create some g-darn rapport. Rapport is about being friendly and memorable. You need to stand out from the rest. Most interview questions are prepared ahead of time for multiple interviews. You want to be the one that impresses the interviewer the most and be remembered for it.

#3 Be smart, have some etiquette

Leading etiquette expert, Diane Gottsman reveals 13 etiquette tips for you to consider when going in for your interview. She’s got some great advice, such as be kind to the receptionist and turn off your smartwatch. 

So let’s get to it shall we?

Tell me about yourself
Get beyond the nerves and tell the interview about you and why they should hire you.

Best Answer: “I’ve been working in sales for the past five years and I’ve recently completed a popular online course on the art of social selling . It’s the new way of sales and I’m fully equipped to bring in the best customers for your company. At my previous job, I improved their customer conversion rate to an impressive 30%. I’m a person who is always keen to learn, improve and be great at what I do.”

Worst Answer: “There’s not too much to say. I’m a happily married mother of two boys. I just moved here a few months ago and now that I’m settled in, I’m ready to start working again. I’ve worked a number of jobs and I’m looking to work for a company that will help me grow.”

Why is this a bad answer? There’s nothing wrong with giving a glimpse into your personal life but the main reason the interviewer is meeting with you is to see if you’re the right fit for the job. Rambling on about your hobbies, personal life and minimizing your skill sets is not helpful and will disinterest the interviewer.

Read: Job Search: Tips to Land Your Dream Job

Why do you want this job?
It’s important to show the interviewer that you’re invested in this opportunity and that you know a lot about the company.

Best Answer: “I’ve been following your company for quite some time now. When I saw this job opening, I felt I was absolutely perfect fit for the role. The job sounds really interesting and something I could especially thrive in. I have the experience you are looking for and I’m very impressed with what your company has done.”

Worst Answer: “Your job ad interested me quite a bit. It looks like you run a great company and this seems like a good opportunity”

Why is this a bad answer? It doesn’t show that you are truly interested in the role or the company.

What’s your greatest weakness?
Before we dive into the best and the worst. Remember that your answer must make your weaknesses work for you. Here’s an example:

Best Answer:  “I’m a perfectionist. I’m someone who cares a lot about getting something right, which can be a hindrance at times. What’s great is that my perfectionism, for the most part, doesn’t slow me down one bit and I end up catching errors which may have been overlooked by others.”

Worst Answer: “I don’t have any weaknesses.”

Why is this a bad answer? Everyone has weaknesses. If you say you don’t have any, you’re lying and that doesn’t look good.

Why should we hire you over anyone else?

Take this opportunity to share why you are the best person for the role. Really sell yourself here and use tangible examples.

Best Answer: “I’m sure you will be meeting with many great, talented people. I think that’s great. I do want to tell you why I’m the right fit for the job. Well it seems like your highest priority for this person is to have them bring in quality leads to grow your company. From my experience in sales, I know how to target prospects and I know how to nurture them into lifetime customers. I’ve been working in sales since…”

Continue to communicate your experience and educational background to show more reasons why you’re the best fit.

Worst Answer: “I have great communication skills. I work hard and I’m very reliable”

Why is this a bad answer? There is too much jargon. Avoid jargon as much as possible. The interviewer will not get a good idea about why you’re the right fit and it doesn’t make you stand out.

Do you have any questions for us?
Take this opportunity to ask a smart question. Something that shows you know your stuff and are keen to know more about the company.

Best Answer: “Yes, thank you for asking. This sounds like an amazing opportunity. Can you tell me about what some of my major responsibilities might be on a daily basis? Also, I know you’re a fairly small team. How would you describe your office culture?”

Worst Answer: “How many days of vacation will I have?”

Why is this a bad answer (errr question)? You will find out vacation days at another time and honestly, it just gives the vibe that you only care about time off, not about working hard.