So, you’ve just heard back from the recruiter and you’re invited to a job interview? Well done! Passing the initial screening is hard enough, but the interview is where the real work begins. Even if a mere idea of job interviews makes you feel anxious, preparing yourself for the occasion is enough to help you feel ready to face any questions asked by recruiters. Here are 15 most common job interview questions with the best responses to help you make a good impression on recruiters and land the job of your dreams.
- Tell me about yourself.
This is a tricky classic which is still in use by many recruiters. Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself, but always stick to the point. This question gives you an opportunity to tell the recruiters something you couldn’t feature in your resume. Now is the best time to give a short pitch of yourself and show what makes you a desired employee.
- Tell me more about your education.
Another important point, which is a must for recent graduates. Since at this point in your career you’ve got relatively little experience as a professional, rehearse the answer to this question. It’s important to tell the recruiters about what you’ve learned in college, what kind of projects you worked on, what skills you developed – all should be relevant to the position you’re applying for.
- How did you learn about the position?
If you’ve been referred to this company by someone who is already working there, be sure to mention it. You’ll immediately become less of a stranger. If you saw the job posting on a website or in a newspaper, tell recruiters why it caught your eye and what you found interesting about it.
- What are you looking for in this position?
This is another question you should rehearse before the actual interview. Be specific and mention all your professional goals. Make sure that the position actually allows you to reach them – otherwise the recruiter will simply decide that the job is not a good fit for your career plan.
- What type of work environment do you prefer?
This is a tough question for a recent college grad, but it can be approached successfully with a little research. First, you should be aware about the existence of different work environments and theorize which ones might suit you best. If the company offers such environments, tell it to the recruiters – you’ll be making their life easier.
- What is your desired salary?
Recent graduates who are inexperienced tend to choose the lowest possible amount, but this is a mistake. Instead of guessing, simply check the answer online. See what entry level jobs in your sector and location pay and answer the question with an average. You should be neither too modest nor overly confident here.
- What do you know about this company?
This is the time to shine ad show off what you’ve learned about the company during the research you performed before coming to the interview (and if you haven’t, you better get to it right away!). Make sure to mention the company’s mission, values and priorities. Knowing what the company is doing right now and what are its future plans, you’ll nail this question.
- What are your strengths?
This is not the time for false modesty. Be specific when talking about your skills and qualifications. Always stay relevant to the job in question. Every skill should be followed by an illustrative example to show that those aren’t mere words, but reality.
- What is your greatest accomplishment?
This question is the best moment to share your excellent track record of previous achievements – just make sure that all are relevant to the position. As a recent graduate you probably don’t have too many delivered projects under your belt, so instead talk about college projects that were noteworthy and mention specifically what they taught you.
- What are your weaknesses?
Be honest and tell the truth. Don’t try to seem too perfect to be real – recruiters won’t be impressed. Instead, try to talk about something you’re struggling with and mention how you’re dealing with it or planning to improve it.
- How do you work under stress?
This is an important issue. As a recent graduate, you probably remember what it means to be under a lot of stress. By now you must have developed a few tricks to help yourself survive those times – be honest and tell recruiters what works for you. Do you have killer prioritizing skills or you sweat it out in the gym?
- Why should we hire you?
Another moment where all you’ve got to is sell yourself to recruiters. Emphasize your qualifications and passion for the job, refer back to your experiences and always use relevant examples from your past to show how your skills contributed to the development of other projects.
- What are your goals for the future?
This is another question recruiters ask to check whether the position in question is in line with your career goals. If you applied to the company, it probably is – so be honest, talk about your objectives and show your enthusiasm for the job.
- Have you got any questions for us?
This is the moment when many recent college grads fall silent. It doesn’t matter whether you’re shy or a know-it-all – you need to ask questions. Otherwise the recruiter will simply assume that you’re not that interested in the job. Ask about specific details like your responsibilities, the number of teammates or the management style.
- Why do you want this job?
This questions should prompt your enthusiasm – express your interest in the company, show why you’re the perfect match for the job and just be yourself.
After your interview finishes, make sure to follow up by sending a short thank you note to the recruiters – this is a detail not many of your competitors will know about. Rehearsing your answers beforehand and preparing for the interview, you’re simply bound to make a great impression on recruiters.