It is impossible to predict with absolute certainty which questions a hiring manager will ask in an interview. Some questions are asked so often, however, you would be remiss in not preparing answers for them ahead of time. Here are four common interview questions that you’ll most likely be asked.

One: “Tell Me About Yourself”

This is usually the first question the interviewer will ask once you settle in for your meeting. It is an entirely open-ended question that seems simple to answer, but throws many candidates for a loop. The interviewer is not asking for your entire life history, they want to know why you are interested in their position and what makes you right for the job. Be brief. State important facts from your past, present and where you want to go in the future keep your answer limited to your career, rather than your personal life.

Two: “What Is Your Greatest Weakness?”

Contrary to popular belief, this is not a trick question. The interviewer wants to know if you have the self-awareness to understand the areas you can improve upon and the desire to improve. Resist the urge to pull the old, “I’m a perfectionist” answer. It’s cliché and no one believes it. Knock the interviewer’s socks off by addressing real weakness from your past. The key to a great answer is to discuss the progress you have made in overcoming that weakness today.

Three: “Tell Me About A Time You Failed” 

Here again, you want to be honest with the interviewer. Everyone fails, and pretending like you don’t is disingenuous. Here, the hiring manager is looking to see how you learn from and correct your mistakes. Talk about an actual failure from your work history, like a miscommunication, a missed deadline or something else. It doesn’t have to be a titanic failure, just a mistake that you recognized, corrected, and moved on from quickly.

Four: “Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?”

This question is an attempt to determine whether or not you are going to stick around for the long haul. This can be a difficult question to answer. Try not to get too specific, but state that you are excited about contributing to the organization and making an impact. Talk about the ways you ‘d like to grow your career. It might be to earn a new certification or take on more leadership responsibilities, etc. Be honest, about your goals, but don’t paint yourself as having one foot out the door before you even get started.

Practice, Practice, Practice

When it comes to crafting effective interview answers, practice makes perfect. Work with a friend, a trusted colleague from another company, or partner with a professional recruiter. The team at Queen Consulting Group of Glastonbury can help you polish your resume and hone your interviewing skills so you can make a great impression when your ideal opportunity arises. Contact us today to learn more.

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