What Questions Do They Ask in an Interview?

All candidates want to be prepared before a job interview. While you can never be sure exactly what questions you will be asked, there are common interview questions you can practice. In this article, we will break down the most common questions you will encounter during the interview process and the best way to answer them.

Top 5 interview questions

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Why they ask it

Companies are looking for candidates that have a career plan. They do not want to hire someone who will look for a new job in a year. The company's recruiters are screening for potential employees who could have longevity.

How to answer

Even if you have no idea where you want to be in five years, have an answer that speaks about career growth and taking on more responsibility at the company. Show your ambitions without being overconfident. Don't say things like "I want your job in five years" or "I want to be retired." 

Keep it professional.  If there is a degree or certificate you want to achieve, mention that as well.

Why do you want to leave your current job?

Why they ask it

Hiring managers want to understand why you are looking to leave your current company. Is it something that could easily happen again if they hire you?

They are also looking to see if candidates are only after a salary increase or if they are looking for a long term career.

How to answer

Make sure you stay positive when answering this question. You do not want to bash your last job or the people you worked with at the company. You never know who the hiring manager knows from your last company, so it's best to discuss professional reasons for wanting to leave your current job.

Why do you want to work here?

Why they ask it

This is one of the most common interview questions. The interviewer wants to get a good understanding of who you are as an employee. Such as, are you looking to advance your career or simply get a larger paycheck?

How to answer

A good answer is one that ties the job description in with your experience. You want your next job to be at a company you can advance and grow with. Express how you are a good fit for the job and like what the company has to offer.

Be careful to not just say something generic like, this is my dream job. You want to show the employer that you did your homework and your experience makes you a great candidate for the job.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Why they ask it

You can almost bank on being asked these job interview questions. Every hiring manager wants to know what you are good at where you need to improve.

You are not expected to be the greatest at everything but they are looking to see if you will be successful in the open position.

How to answer

Always have an example to go with your strengths and weaknesses. Your answers should describe how you would excel in the role by talking about your skills and expertise. Use a past difficult situation to talk about your weaknesses.

List how you are working to improve areas where you need help. Prepare to talk about both strengths and weaknesses, and a time you could have done better.

Tell me about yourself

Why they ask it

While you can't know what questions they are going to ask in an interview, you can bank on at least one interview question about who you are. Every company you have a job interview with will ask about who you are as a person and the type of employee you will be.

This question is used to get as much information about you as possible. It might help the hiring manager to make a decision on who would have the most success in the role.

How to answer

During the job interview process, you should prepare to talk about yourself both personally and professionally. Your interviewer may use this as the first question during your job interview.

It's important that you give this answer some thought. How you handle this question will direct the rest of your interview.

Focus on your skill set an what makes you stand out from other candidates. You will also want to show that you've done your research on the company. Try to find ways to show you visited their website and read about their culture.

It's good advice to keep your answer to this common interview question focused on your career background. The hiring manager is trying to find a good fit for the job and company.

You don't want to take up too much time talking about what you like to do on the weekends. Try to show you are the right person for the job and are in expert in the main skills needed to get the work done.

Final thoughts on what interview questions you will be asked

Make sure you are prepared before your job interview. While you never know exactly what interview questions you will be asked, you can be ready.

There are plenty of common interview questions you can practice answers for. If you spend a couple of hours preparing, you will definitely increase your chances of being hired.

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Dave Fano

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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