Jobseekers: 7 common interview questions

The Jobseekers Series is a series of articles The Daily Vox team has put together to help prospective jobseekers. Job Seeking is a costly and difficult process. This series seeks to make it a little easier with tips and advice. This piece will focus on preparing for the interview. 

The best way to get ready for an interview is to take the time to practise common interview questions. Every interview process is different. However, many employers use similar questions to get to know interviewees better. Preparation is key to reduce interview stress and anxiety and master the process. Here are seven common interview questions and tips on how to best answer them.


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Tell me about yourself

A seemingly simple question can be the toughest to answer especially for a nervous interviewee. “Tell me about yourself” or questions like it, are often the opening question to get the conversation started. 

Start by discussing your current situation. Explain your current role and highlight major, relevant achievements and responsibilities. Since the interview question is about getting to know you, it’s a good idea to share your personality with your interviewer. You don’t necessarily have to share personal information as that will in your CV.  

Briefly share hobbies or interests you have which could make you stand out. If you have any hobbies related to the role, that’s even better.


Help for jobseekers: Here’s how to write a CV

What are your strengths and weaknesses?


Look for three key qualities in the job description the employer is looking for. Ideally, include a mixture of tangible skills and intangible skills. 


Here’s a little secret. It’s about how you answer, not what you answer. The interviewer is looking for three qualities: self awareness, honesty and self improvement. Remember, the best answer to the “what are your weaknesses” question should have two parts: The weakness and what you’re doing to correct it. 


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Why should we hire you?

The job description should be your first reference point when identifying what the interviewer is looking for. Make to address the specific qualities relating to the job. Provide examples of what you have done so far in your career that demonstrate why you are particularly suited for the role. 

Why do you want to work for us?

One of the reasons recruiters and hiring managers ask this question is to determine how much you’ve researched the company. The best answers to this question will reference the company’s work culture, values, mission and vision. However, make sure to share how these things align with your personal skills and career goals. 

What are your salary expectations? 

First things first, research the salary for the position. To give an accurate salary request that aligns with the market average in your industry, you must first know what the market average is. Factor in any expenses and be open to other compensation options.


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Do you prefer teamwork or working independently?

Different types of jobs may require you to work independently, in a group or a combination of both working environments. This interview question really doesn’t have a correct or incorrect answer. Employers genuinely like to know the personality types of their candidates. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Just be honest and clear about your thoughts.

Tell me about a challenging workplace situation that you had to deal with.

The interviewer is trying to assess your true potential through this question. While seeking an answer to this question from you, the interviewer wants to know your ability to handle stress and your problem-solving skills.

The Job Seekers Series:

Help for jobseekers: Here’s how to write a CV – The Daily Vox 

Jobseekers: How to apply for a job in-person – The Daily Vox

Jobseekers: How to write a cover letter – The Daily Vox

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