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What These 7 Common Interview Questions Really Mean

If you’re looking for a new job, then there are lots of elements involved. Your CV and qualifications are important. However, the interview question process is quite essential as well. It will determine whether you’ll be a good fit for the company and can adapt to its culture and expectations.

Many organizations which have centralized hiring will host an initial screening interview before scheduling another one with your potential team’s management.

Therefore, you need to be well-prepared for all sorts of interview questions. It may seem like the interviewer is asking you simple and innocuous questions. However, they’re using your answers to evaluate you. So, you need to give them the answers they’re looking for.

Common Interview Questions

Do your research thoroughly about the organization and its culture before entering the interview. Also, make sure you have your own set of questions to look diligent. This will help you impress the interviewers and have some room for negotiation as well.

Here are a few examples of what interviewers mean when they ask some commonplace interview questions.

What Are Your Strengths?

When an interviewer is asking this basic interview question, they don’t just mean it in a general sense. You need to relate a strength that adds value to your candidacy. For example, if you’re applying for a data-intensive position, you should say something like ‘I have a great head for numbers and am very organized’.

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Do not relate strengths like sports skills or writing if they do not make sense with the position you’re applying for.

What Are Your Weaknesses?

Similarly, when you’re asked about your weaknesses, you need to prepare your answer quite well. Do not state a weakness that will make your application weaker for the job. Instead, state a completely unrelated weakness and relate how you’re working on overcoming it. This will not harm your application and show that you’re willing to work on yourself.

For example, if you’re applying for a purely content writing job, you can say something like ‘I’m not very good at calculating bills, but am trying to do better.

Tell Me About Your Leadership Skills

This question is trying to evaluate how you will manage your employees if you’re applying for a leadership position. Take an example from your previous jobs or other aspects of your life where you steered people in the right direction. This can be anything from organizing a marketing campaign to simply leading a sports team in college.

Relate an incident that led to success for you and your team members, and state how your skills led to this success.

Why Should We Hire You?

While this may be a straightforward interview question, you’ll get a lot of points if you answer it in a well-researched manner. Before your interview, see what projects the company is working on and what sort of skills would be needed there.

Then, state how you can add value to these projects, and are interested in the path the company is taking. This will show the interviewer that you are interested in the position and are willing to contribute your talents to the company in a diligent manner.

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Why Did You Leave Your Previous Job?

Now, this is quite a tricky interview question. Do not say anything negative about your previous organization or employees. Otherwise, it will reflect badly on you and the interviewer will have a negative impression of your personality. Instead, say things like how you feel like you’ve outgrown your role there and want to do more in a different organization.

You can also state that you have more to offer than what you were doing in your previous company, and feel that this position would let you meet your potential more efficiently.

Where Do You See Yourself in the Next Five Years?

This interview question covers both your personal and professional goals. Make sure you state goals that show you’re willing to commit to the company and help its future as well. So, say things like you see yourself in a leadership position and helping the company grow further.

Do not exaggerate these ambitions too much, and add your own goals to your answer as well. This will present you as a balanced and ambitious candidate willing to grow along with the organization.

What Are Your Hobbies Outside of Work?

This is more of a general interview question, but you can also answer it in such a way that the interviewer sees you as a valuable candidate. Do not give answers like watching TV and resting. Instead, state productive hobbies which add to your personal development.

In addition, if your desired position involves networking, then you should also talk about your social hobbies, such as golf or something similar. Your hobbies should showcase the value you’ll add to the company and make you a desirable candidate.

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In conclusion, you should be quite well-prepared for job interviews. Seemingly regular interview questions may have a lot under the surface, so you need to make sure you answer appealingly. Your answers should reflect your value as a good candidate and help you cinch your dream job.

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