How to answer standard interview questions

Interview Questions

Octavian Panchici
January 25, 2022

Interview questions solved!

Interview questions are difficult to answer, mainly because it's hard to be unique when so many people have been asked the same questions. If you are asked any of these interview questions, do not panic! Well maybe a little bit, but don't fret over it too much - everyone gets nervous in an interview!

There are lots of different types of interview questions that may be thrown at you while doing your job search. This article will cover the most common ones, and teach you how to answer them!

What are your strengths?

When asked this question, it is important that you possess qualities that are related to the job position you're applying for. For example, if you're applying for a retail job at 'Bob's Pawn Shop', don't say things like "I'm really good at memorizing computer code" or "I have a strong sense of responsibility," because those would be entirely irrelevant to the position. Instead, focus on skills you have that are related to retail work, such as being great at up-selling products and giving great customer service.

What are your weaknesses?

This question always trips me up! I get so nervous, I end up giving some weird answer like "I'm bad with money" (which is very untrue) or "I don't like mayonnaise." These are not good answers. The best way to answer this question is by choosing something that is actually a weakness, but then turning it into a strength . For example:

"My biggest weakness is that I'm a perfectionist. Sometimes this can cause me to take longer on tasks than necessary, and sometimes I will need other people's help in order to complete the task."

This response is great because you've not only answered the question (which wasn't easy), but also turned it into an awesome thing! It shows that you work well under pressure, and that you're a team player.

Why should we hire you?

This question is really easy to answer! Prepare your answer by thinking about what it is about yourself that makes you the best candidate for the job. Maybe you have experience doing this type of work, or perhaps you are extremely hard-working. It might even be the case that you are really good at problem-solving. No matter what your answer is, make sure it's concise and shows how your experience relates to this job position.

What are you salary expectations?

This question can throw interviewees off because they don't know what an appropriate response might be. Salary negotiations for entry-level jobs are always difficult, but it is important that you do not sell yourself short. Before the interview, do some research to find out what the average salary for this type of work in your city is. A good estimate will also include what you believe would be fair wage for the amount of experience you have, and how long it might take to gain the experience needed to work in this position. At this point, you can give a figure that may be higher than average, but still within range of their budget.

Why did you leave your last job?

Even if you had a great reason for leaving your previous job, such as "I was laid off," it is always better to focus on the positive when talking about previous employers. If you were laid off because of budget cuts, that's unfortunate but it shouldn't reflect poorly on your work ethic or performance in the position. Rather than focusing on why you left, focus more on what you learned from this job and how it improved your skills for future work.

Do you have any questions for us?

This is the best time to show that you are really interested in this job position. It also shows that you were listening during the interview, and thus makes it seem like you are more likely to be a good fit for the job! Come prepared with at least two or three questions specific about the company, the work environment, and the position you're applying for.

Octavian has over 6 years of experience working within the recruitment industry. He has worked both in the UK and Romanian market and he has helped various blue chip organisations secure valuable talent from junior to executive level. His main areas of expertise are within the IT and Financial Industry.