Interviews: Typical Questions and Answers

Most people are nervous or uneasy before and during an interview. One way to ensure you do well is to prepare and rehearse your answers ahead of time. Interviewers will ask you some knowledge-based questions related to your industry to verify that you are qualified for the position and that you have demonstrated certain skills. Some of these questions will most likely be centred on the job posting listed skills and qualifications.

Then there are the standard questions that you can expect to be asked and you can prepare answers for ahead of time. Here is a list of typical questions interviewers ask:

1. Tell me about yourself.

The answer should involve your passion for the industry and something about yourself that they can relate to such as a hobby or a local sports team you follow. It is meant to put you at ease and helps them decide if you would be a good fit in their organization. It should not be long, but a time to show your personality and that you would be a valuable addition to their workforce.

2. Why should I hire you?

This is a time to promote yourself; mention your education, your past related work experience, your passion for the industry, and give concrete examples that demonstrate you have the skills for the job. Describe how you will be a valuable employee right from the first day on the job.

3. Tell me about your greatest strength.

It should be related to the job and give an example or story of a time you demonstrated your strength.

4. Tell me about your biggest weakness or a time you failed.

No one is perfect, but they want to know that you are self-aware and are working towards fixing your “weakness”. Do not give a completely negative answer that can be damaging to your odds of being chosen. Say something that can also be seen as a positive thing such as being intense (focused on your work). Don’t say that you failed, but were disappointed by a certain outcome. Turn every “negative” type of question into a positive by ending on a good note.

5. What were your responsibilities?

Tell them about tasks that are related to the job you are interviewed for and share concrete examples.

6. Tell me about a time you had to multi-task and how you managed your workload.

They want to hear that you are organized, analyze your workload, and prioritize. Also, they want to see that you can handle potential stress and avoid work backlog.

7. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Say something a bit vague and aligned with the industry or job you are interviewing for. You can mention wanting to work in an organization that fosters their employees’ growth and to continue increasing your skills as well as knowledge of your industry.

Even though you can’t predict all of the questions that you will be asked, you will feel more confident during your interview because of your preparation. For those questions you haven’t anticipated, you must allow yourself to be creative and flexible in your answer. If you are stuck, you can take a moment to decide on an answer or come back to it later in the interview.

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