Nobody will remember the words that you use to answer interview questions. They will only remember liking you or not liking you, finding you capable or incapable, seeing you as cool or awkward. That’s it. Of course, the way that you create those particular feelings and rapport is with the words and body language that you use to answer. In this job interview questions and answers sample, you’ll get a chance to see the way that you might respond to common interview questions.
Hunting down a job can be tough. Staffing agencies can help by expanding the number of interviews you get, and therefore the good opportunities to land jobs that you get. We’ve got a great job search tool and you can even submit an application to us so that we can connect you with potential employers directly.
Let’s take a look at some basic interview questions and answers, and then some tough interview questions and answers. We’ll look at the dreaded interview questions and answers “tell me about yourself” question. Remember that these are samples of interview questions. Make sure to understand the concepts behind the samples that way you can field questions that are different but similar.
Basic Interview Questions And Answers
If you have answers that you want to give in an interview, there is usually a way to bend certain questions to get there. So don’t remain tied to the job interview questions and answers sample: take the sample and use it as a springboard for the real questions that you receive.
Why did you apply for this job?
Here, you’re going to want to communicate that the work being offered is something that you have a certain talent and passion for. The best way to answer this question is to tell a story about how you came to find the job. Maybe even tell them the search terms that you used or the direction that you took when starting your job search.
Future aspirations and career goals?
This question is usually meant to pick apart how stable you’ll be in the job. If the job is a dead-end, they want to know that you’ll be there for a while. If the job has some professional development paths, then they want to know that you’re interested in remaining with the company and developing into further work opportunities. Be genuine, but give the idea that you’re in it for the long haul.
What are your main qualifications for this job?
Reference the resume but tell a bigger story here. When the question is qualifications, that will leave you listing the things that you’ve done and are good at. Instead of listing what you’ve done in the past, tell them how you’ll succeed in the future. Paint a picture of future success using what you’ve done in the past.
Tough Interview Questions And Answers
Not all questions are lobs to make you feel like a great candidate. And in fact, because everyone usually does fine on the basic questions, the tough questions are where you really get a chance to separate yourself from the field. Here are some samples:
Tell me about X on your resume.
Here, X could be a gap in it or a time where you left a company early or an unfinished degree. Or it could be the fact that your major or previous work experience doesn’t quite have a lot to do with what you’re currently applying for. The tell me about X question can be tough, especially if there’s a weakness on your resume and you know it. The best way to handle this is to spin it towards a learning experience.
What is your greatest weakness?
This question has become such a cliche that it isn’t really used anymore, so you probably won’t bump up against it in a job interview situation. But if you do, the “greatest weakness” question has some cliche angles that you want to avoid. Definitely don’t monologue about how you neglect life outside work for the sake of work. This isn’t a popular sentiment in workplaces anymore. Employers want adults who can take care of themselves, not ego-driven workaholics! The best way to answer this question is to target something that is common in the culture. For instance, you might talk about materialism, failure to achieve minimalism, or choice overload. Go in these directions because anyone in the interview has also experienced these things, so it will build solidarity. Giving a weakness that is a product of culture will be something that everyone identifies with, and so the answer will endear you instead of alienating you.
Are you overqualified?
This might also be asked in the form of “why are you interested in this job?” The problem with overqualified people is that they represent a high turnover risk and that they may not be motivated to take the job seriously in the ways that matter. However, this question comes up less and less because the modern workforce has less linear titles and trajectories. Because people hop jobs and careers consistently, there is less direction in what qualifies as a better or worse job. If this question comes up, talk about identity and thriving by learning new things. You can also talk about the new identity of the workforce!
Interview Questions And Answers: Tell Me About Yourself
In any job interview questions and answers sample, the “tell me about yourself” question should come up. For good reason, this can be one of the toughest questions that we receive in interview settings. Without a good stock answer for this question–which you can guarantee will come up in an interview–you’ll be left rambling about yourself and will probably only stop when you end up in a place you don’t want to be talking about. You’ll start with your education, for instance, and end up talking about why you aren’t close to your parents (yikes).
The truth is, there’s no right way to answer this question. It’s a bit of an ice breaker and a red herring. It’s built to give the interviewer time to listen to you and for you to show if you are interesting or boring, exciting or kind of ho-hum, and a good storyteller.
So that’s what you do–tell a story. One CEO said that the best answer that they ever received to this question was a person who told them that she had climbed the tallest mountain on every continent. Don’t wax philosophical or be disingenuous. Have a single go to story that simultaneously shows your accomplishments and personality. Mountain climbing is, of course, a great go to if you love it. But it could also be running, reading, podcasting, a love of music, writing, or a roadtrip with friends. Don’t be afraid to give a sample of something your really love.
This question is another example of a place in interviews where non-verbals and body language will be just as important as the words that you use. Communicate passion, humility, and joy. That’s the best way to tell someone about yourself.
Great job opportunities come from connections, and staffing agencies are a great way to generate more connections. Agencies win when they give great talent to great companies, making both the company and the job searcher happy. It’s a win-win. Use our find a job process today to quickly expand your career options.