How To Answer Common Interview Questions

Answering interview questions

How To Answer Common Interview Questions

Knowing how to answer common interview questions is an essential skill for the most coveted of job roles. Unfortunately, interviews are not relaxing environments, and the stress can be overwhelming, throwing you off your game. Thankfully, we have some handy tips to help you prepare for those frequently asked interview questions so that you can impress any interviewer.

3 Ways to Prepare for General Interview Questions

Preparation is the best way to ensure success when it comes to job applications and interviews. Being prepared allows you to keep calm and offers you the opportunity to showcase yourself at your best. Here are some simple things that you can do to make sure you know how to answer common interview questions:

  1. Be sure to carefully examine the job description. Most of the general interview questions that pop up can be linked back to the original job description. The more familiar you become with the details, the more your interviewer will be able to see that you are both interested in and qualified for the job. By examining the job description, you will be able to find clues and ideas about the types of questions you will be asked throughout the interview.
  2. Take a minute to think about why you want the job and why you are qualified. This is a question that should be relatively straightforward to establish. Before the interview, think about what it is about the job that interests you and why you believe that you are the best person for the role.
  3. Undertake some research on the company and the position. Not only will this give you some context for general interview questions and conversation, but it will help you prepare some good questions for the interviewers themselves. This will give you an advantage, and it shows that you have put thought into the application and about how you can fit into the role. 

5 Common Job Interview Questions

While there are several common interview questions that you will come across in interviews, we have chosen a handful of good, frequently asked questions to help you prepare:

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

A standard opener, this question allows you to make references to the information you have included on your resume, whilst adding examples to further explain why you are a suitable candidate for the job. Be careful not to simply repeat your resume or cover letter word for word, but don’t be afraid of expanding on impressive achievements, interesting work experiences, and other aspects of your professional background.

2. How did you find out about the job?

This common interview question is a simple one that only needs a short, concise response. With that in mind, it doesn’t need to be lacking in detail.This question is a great way of showing that you have your foot in the door by keeping up with company news, employee stories or workplace activities. If you can find some specific examples of these things, mention them to your interviewer to add an extra layer of depth to your answer.

3. What are your skills and strengths?

While it can be uncomfortable singing your own praises, this is the perfect time to tell your interviewer all the wonderful things that you can do and have accomplished in the past. Interviewers use this to ascertain whether a person has the type of skill set that they are looking for, so use the initial job description to try and tailor your response. An important part of answering this question is letting your potential employer know that you can do things that others can’t.

Whether it’s your exceptional problem-solving skills, your experience in leadership roles or your excellent communication skills, no detail is too small when promoting yourself, so long as they are critical to the position. Backing these up with real-world examples will help you ace this question, as it allows the interviewer to fully understand your capabilities and visualise how you can use them for their company’s purposes.

4. Provide examples of challenges you have had to overcome.

This can be one of the more challenging questions to answer, as you are probably not in a hurry to point out your flaws. However, you don’t have to look at this as an individual challenge. Perhaps you were part of a team that needed to overcome a particular obstacle, and you played a significant role in ensuring the group’s actions were successful. Make sure to include the skills that you used to overcome the challenge and what you learned from the experience that led to you becoming a more well-rounded professional.

5. Provide us with an example of a personal or professional achievement?

For this question, think of an achievement that directly relates to the position you are interviewing for. This will be of more interest to the interviewer as they can see how any skills or qualities you describe will be directly transferable. Include details like previous job roles, general timeframes on how long the achievement took to come to fruition, and the outcomes you experienced.

The CAR Format for Common Interview Questions

Using a structure to answer your questions is a great strategy for nailing an interview. The CAR format is a straightforward way to help you provide good answers to those standard job interview questions:

  • Let’s start with the Challenge. This step involves describing the situation or task that you needed to accomplish in your previous role or capacity. Remember to be specific about what this is, give plenty of details to engage and impress your interviewer, but also remember to keep things short and concise. Providing context with each example goes a long way to helping those in your interview understand what was happening, how you recognised the problem or issue, and what this meant for you in your professional capacity.
  • Then there’s the Action. This is where you would describe the actions you took to address the situation or task. It’s important to remember to keep the focus on you. Whether you worked as part of a team or group, focus on your individual contributions so as not to get overlooked.
  • Finally, let’s talk about Results. What did you achieve and what was the result of your actions? This will showcase to the interviewer how you can see things through to completion with hard work and persistence. Mention what you learned from the experience and any feedback you received to round out the example.
CAR framework

Need Help with Those Frequently Asked Interview Questions

Sometimes we all need that extra bit of support and guidance to help us build confidence in ourselves, as well as develop the skills we need to move forward in life. With CareerFiX, we can help you remember the important things when preparing for job interviews. With our extensive knowledge and experience, we have designed a tutorial specific to interview help, to offer you insider information and wow your potential employers.

Maybe you are ready for a new career path, but not exactly sure what this might be? To help you discover where your interests and skillset lie, why not take advantage of our free 15-minute career counseling sessions with a leading advisor in Sydney? Don’t settle for feeling trapped in your current job, get in touch with CareerFiX today and get ready to feel excited and driven to start a new professional chapter!

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