Although almost every interview will be different (based on the position, the interviewer’s style, company, and industry), there are a few common trends amongst most interviews that can provide you with an advantage if you’re prepared for them. Our expert recruiters have cultivated a shortlist of general topics the most common interview questions stem from, based on data from thousands of interviews and client & candidate feedback across the United States in various fields and industries.
Collectively, these topics are all tailored toward the interviewer obtaining a better understanding of who you are, why you’re interested in the position and company, and what level of value you can bring to their organization. It’s extremely important to rehearse your answers to such questions and be fully prepared to adjust your answers to satisfy specific responsibilities and/or experience each position you interview for requires.
What made you interested in this position and joining our organization?
This question may carry some of the most weight in your interview as it will show the person conducting the interview how much time you invested into both reviewing the job description and researching the organization. By taking time to fully prepare for this question, this will be one of your best opportunities to sell yourself and explain how your interests and experience align with both the position and the organization’s culture.
Tell me a little about yourself.
Similar to the previous question, this will be another one of your best opportunities to sell yourself both personally and professionally for this job opening. Our expert recruiters highly recommend tailoring your answer to how you became passionate about your specific career, previous accomplishments, current responsibilities, and what you’re seeking in the next position. Ultimately, you want to refrain from reading your resume word for word and focus more on connecting the dots on your resume for the person interviewing to provide them with a better idea of what you’ve done and why you chose this path.
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
Our recruiting firm strongly advises to prepare an answer for this questions that relates directly with the type of position and company you’re interviewing with for this role. It is also important to mention general responsibilities and projects you would hope to be working on, and how this position will provide the opportunity for this to be possible, rather than citing specific job titles or salary ranges.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
For some, this question can be one of the biggest challenges in an interview as you want your response to be authentic and genuine, but avoid casting a negative opinion of yourself to the interviewer. For strengths, we recommend including a story that provides an example of you utilizing the specific strength in a situation that’s relevant to the position your interviewing for or its responsibilities. For the weaknesses part of the question, we suggest determining an aspect of your professional life that you can improve and already have a plan in place that you’re actively utilizing to better yourself and the strengthen the weakness.
What do you believe is your biggest professional accomplishment?
The key to answering this question successfully is the overall relevance of your answer to the position. Our top recruiters strongly advise sharing an achievement you’ve made that relates as closely to the position’s responsibilities that you’re applying for and allows the interviewer to picture you in this position making similar accomplishments. We suggest utilizing the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, & Results) in order to prepare your answer to this question.
Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced recently and how you were able to overcome the situation.
To prepare for this question, our recruiters recommend placing yourself in the interviewer’s shoes and asking yourself what you would like to hear from a prospective candidate. Ultimately, most interviewers would strongly prefer obtaining a better understanding of the candidate’s ability to solve a problem, reason with other parties whom are involved, lead in making a decision, and occasionally be willing to take intelligent risks to better a situation. We also suggest focusing on the resolution more than the conflict and being transparent about possible changes you’d make or things you would do differently in the future to further show you’re willingness to learn from difficult situations.
Why are you currently seeking another position?
As a nationwide staffing agency, one of the most common topics we find in which candidates can jeopardize their entire interview involves questions that pertain to discussing their employment history. Luckily, this can be completely avoided by keeping your current and past experiences positive and refraining from speaking negatively about any past or present employer, manager, or co-worker. An easy way to rephrase your answer is to discuss limitations on future growth and how the position you’re interviewing could provide more opportunities for future advancement and better align with your long-term goals and passion.
What do you believe separates you from any other candidate who applies for this position?
When asked this question, candidates are given yet another opportunity to sell their knowledge, experience, and passion to the interviewer. Our recruiters highly recommend utilizing this time to explain the value you can bring to their organization, how this position and company is a perfect match for your current and future goals, and how your experience will allow you to make an immediate positive impact.
Do you have any questions for me?
This question typically comes toward the end of the interview and allows a candidate the opportunity to show the company how prepared they are for the interview and further explain why the company and position are such a strong fit for them. Asking questions relating to specific short-term goals that are expected within this position, the company’s top priorities for the next year, and what specific traits make an individual successful within this position are great starting points to consider discussing to further prove how passionate and invested you are in obtaining this position.
As a nationwide staffing agency, working with companies of all sizes in almost every industry, we tend to see changes in interview trends and commonly asked questions before they are well-known publicly. We plan to continue analyzing our research and findings in an effort to consistently provide the most recent and relevant information possible. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team if you have any questions!