The most common job interview questions you should prepare for

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Tell me about yourself.

  1. Job interviews usually start with this question.
  2. The interviewer is asking for details about your professional life not your personal life.
  3. Don’t talk about personal likes, dislikes and pastimes.
  4. Talk about your:
    • education
    • training
    • professional experience
    • soft skills related to the job

Example answer: “I am a salesman with more than 10 years of experience. I am a people-person. I like talking to all types of people and helping them in their needs.”


What are your greatest strengths?

  1. Talk about your skills related to the job.
  2. Be specific and give examples.
  3. Sell yourself. Show confidence.

Example answer: “I have good technical knowledge and strong customer service skills. In my five years as a computer technician, I have encountered various computer issues and learned to solve them. My strong communication skills and customer-oriented focus help me work well with clients and team members.”


What is your greatest weakness?

  1. Don’t say that you are a perfectionist!
  2. Choose a weakness not directly related to the job.
  3. What is the interviewer is looking for?
    • honesty
    • how you deal with a weakness
    • the steps you are taking to overcome the weakness

Example answer: (A writer’s answer) “My weakness is dealing with numbers. I give myself time when I have to compute or interpret numbers. I check, double check, and even triple check my answers to make sure that they are accurate. I am taking a course on “interpreting numerical data” to learn better techniques.”


How do you see yourself in five years?

  1. Share your career plans.
  2. Relate how getting the job would fit this plan.
  3. Show that you are a proactive and goal-oriented person.
  4. Your answer can be more general.

Example answer: “My goal is to find a company where I can grow and take on new challenges. In the future, I’d like to assume more management responsibilities and get involved in product strategy. Most importantly, I want to work for an organization where I can build a career.”


Tell us about a time . . .

  1. This is a behavioural question.
  2. Your answer should show how you handle difficult situations.
  3. Use the STAR technique: Specific situation, Task, Action, and Result.
  4. Give a specific story. Be brief and straight to the point.
  5. Example question: “Tell us about a time when you met a challenging situation at work and how you handled it”.

Example answer: “I led our annual report committee. We had a tight deadline (Situation). The company’s divisions had to submit their reports to me. One representative said that he cannot submit on time (Task). I spoke to him to help solve the problem. We decided that he could share the work with another employee. (Action). We completed the reports. We were able to publish the annual report on time” (Result).


Why should we hire you?

  1. Focus on soft skills that the company is looking for.
  2. Mention your unique skills and experience that fit the job.
  3. Focus on the company’s principles:
    • If the company’s motto is prompt, high quality service, focus on these.
    • Say how you can contribute to the company with your experience and training.

Example answer: “I am a punctual and dependable worker. At my present job, I am given different work orders every day. I learn quickly and finish the orders on time. I also see to it that I meet quality and safety standards. I think I can use the same skills and hard work to do well in this job too.”


Do you have any questions?

  1. Don’t ask about salary and benefits.
  2. Don’t say “no, I don’t have questions”.
  3. Ask questions based on your research about the company.
  4. Limit your questions to two or three.

Example questions:

  • “If you hire me, what should I accomplish in the first 60 days?”
  • “Can you describe how a typical work day for this job is like?”
  • “Do you have any questions about my qualifications?”
  • “What is the next step in this process?”

For more sample questions, read Questions you should ask in a job interview.
 
Article updated November 15, 2021.
 
 
Sources: 10 questions you are sure to be asked in an interview (and how to answer them), Workopolis; 35 toughest interview questions with answers, About Careers.com; biginterview.com; 10 job interview questions you should ask, by Joe Konop, Next Avenue contributor, Forbes.com.

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Community Resources

Read 5 best strategies to ace an interview for more tips.

Read Nervous about your English? Tips to help you express yourself well in an interview.

Success Skills Centre offers one-on-one job coaching and courses that include job interview preparation.

There are many employment assistant programs all over Manitoba:

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