How to answer the most common job interview questions

Kristine Tarbert
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

Job interviews can be extremely nerve-wracking and sometimes no matter how much you prepare, many people will always have one question that catches them off guard.

Between everything that’s on your resume, things you’ve learnt about the company and the job in question there is a lot to remember to sell once you get the chance.

Ashleigh McKeown, who has released a book called ‘S**t you’re an adult now – what I didn’t learn at school but wish I had’, says an interview should be more like a conversation than a Q&A.

Photo: Getty

Here she details some of the most common interview questions and how to answer them best.

Tell me a little about yourself?
“Most fumble when they are greeted with this question,” Ashleigh tells Be. “I know what you’re thinking ‘You have my resume right there’.”

Ashleigh says what the recruiters are looking for here is a short 30 second elevator pitch about yourself that explains two or three of your experiences or values that makes you suitable for the job.

Photo: Channel Nine

What do you know about the company?
With this question the interviewer simply wants to know if you care about the company.

“So if you’ve done your research you will be able to make your answer personal by saying ‘I am drawn to….’ or ‘I believe in your approach to…’,” Ashleigh explains.

Why do you want this job 
Employees want someone that is shows passion for what they are going to do, so just simply tell them a couple key factors why the job is great for you.

Photo: Getty

Why should we hire you
“I love this question – even though it is intimidating all you have to do is sell yourself by telling them that not only can you do the work but deliver great results, you can fit in with the team, and why you’d be a better hire than any other candidate,” Ashleigh suggests.

What are your strengths
Ashleigh says here it is important to just be relevant, accurate, specific and include a specific example. That way you will come off humble.

What are your weaknesses
“This one sucks because no one likes to admit what it is they struggle with,” Ashleigh tells us.

But you don’t need to stress about this one because employers generally know that nobody is perfect.

“If you can identify something you struggle with then you can also identify how it is you are trying to improve on it,” she says.

Photo: Getty

Tell me about X scenario and how you would respond to it
With this question Ashleigh says your potential new employer wants to gauge how you would deal with a relevant situation to your new job.

“Even if you have no experience the situation could be transferred to other aspects of your life, such as a sport you might play,” she suggests. “They just want to know that you would handle it professionally, productively and how you would come to a resolution.”

Do you have any questions
This question goes back to the premise that an interview should flow like a conversation. Ashleigh says you should actually be throwing in questions throughout if you have them. But if you haven’t then of course, now is your time.

“An interview is not only for them to see how you will fit into the job, but also how the job and the company will suit you,” Ashleigh says. “For instance, you will never be happy if even one of their values or beliefs doesn’t hold up to your own standard.”

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