Be Ready to Respond to the Top Job Interview Questions of 2017

I always tell job seekers to prepare themselves for all types of questions during an interview. Employers are renowned for throwing curveball questions at potential employees to see how they respond when caught off guard. How would you react if you were asked, “if you were an animal, what kind would you be, and why?”

Odds are, you wouldn’t have an instantaneous answer ready.

Lucky for you, employers generally stick with the fundamentals when conducting an interview. Here are some of the most typical interview questions asked and how you can respond to them swiftly and accurately.

“Tell me about yourself.”

Just about every interview you’ll ever be in will involve this question. I encourage all job seekers to prepare an elevator pitch no longer than 3 minutes that:

  1. Introduces themselves
  2. Addresses their skills, and
  3. Concludes with an objective statement that articulates the industry and position they’re striving for.

An elevator pitch will prepare you for professional interaction and network events. It is the perfect approach to tackling this question.

“Why are you leaving your existing job?”

Address this question directly, quickly, and honestly without talking negatively about your existing employer (or any employer). Keep your answer short. The objective is to explain what you’ve learned, what was lacking, and why you’re anticipating in your next role. If you state that you’re pursuing a new challenge or making a modification in your career objective, explain what those adjustments are specifically and how the position you’re applying for can provide it.

“What is the salary you’re aiming for?”

Refrain from coming to an interview without a plan to address compensation. Prior to the interview, study the salaries of industry professionals in your line of work. Establish a salary range that you’re striving for, but don’t be the first to say the figure. The person who gives the number first loses the upper hand. If you’re pressured for an answer, state how flexible you are and how you’re more inclined to find the proper fit. If they still haven’t given you a figure first, explain to them that you are negotiable and give them a range to work with.

“Why does this company/business interest you?”

Be ready to provide specific answers as to why the job interests you and why you’re a good fit for it. Study the company in advance and bring up something about the business that a Google search won’t provide. Try to share ways you can contribute to the position, if applicable. Concentrate on the specific work you’ll be producing rather than work schedules or benefits you’ll be getting.

“What is your greatest strength?”

This question allows you to brag a little. Select a skill that is relevant to the position you’re trying to land. Stress how you’ve successfully utilized that skill in a prior job you’ve held. If a former boss praised your skills, mention it, and explain how those skills can be used for the position you’re trying to obtain.

“What is your biggest weakness?”

If you’re caught off guard, this can be a hard question to answer. If you’re prepared for the question, answering it will be a cinch. Select a weakness that you’re trying to perfect. Explain to the interviewer how it used to challenge you, and what you’ve done to correct this weakness. Give them an example where you resolved an issue that involved the weakness you’ve worked on.

“Do you have any questions for us?”

The worst thing you can say is “no”. The interviewer is asking this question for a reason. They want to see someone who comes across as engaged and interested, so approach the interview with insightful questions. The interviewer will probably ask some of the questions you’ve prepared for ahead of time, and the ones they haven’t asked are ones you can bring up yourself. A fun question to ask is, “what does success look like for this position?”

The most important aspect of the job search is the interview itself since a lot is on the line during the interaction. The smallest mistake can inhibit your chances of getting the position. However, by preparing and planning for every scenario, you’ll be ready for anything they throw at you.