You have just graduated from a university and are applying for your first job. Does the thought of attending the interview frighten you? It’s time to sit back and relax as we have got you covered. We have compiled a list of top 10 most popular questions which you will be asked during your first job interview and also have some expert advice on how to make the most out of it.
While we cannot be much sure about the exact questions that might be asked in an interview, there are a few queries which every hiring manager seeks answers to pick the ideal candidate for a job. So, go through our list and prepare yourself in advance to make a great impression in your next job interview.
1. Tell me about yourself?
This is the first and most important question asked in most of the interviews. Although this question appears to be simple, a lot of people fail to answer it in a correct manner. As this question will make a first impression on your interviewer, make sure you introduce yourself in a professional manner. It might be tempting to give your complete personal history, but a smart move will be to keep your answer short and persuasive. You can start by talking about your previous work experience and academic qualifications while gradually highlighting the qualities which make you fit for the job.
2. What are your goals?
Most of the interviewers ask this question to see how ambitious and committed a candidate is. It also allows the recruiters to understand, how well a candidate has studied the job description and how a candidate can make a link between the job responsibilities and personal goals. Try to describe your intermediate and short-term goals along with your plans to achieve these, whereas mentioning your aim to grow with the company as a long-term goal. By doing this, you will appear as a self-driven and focused candidate.
3. Why do you want to work here?
This question helps recruiters to determine whether you have taken time to study the company and also helps them understand why you will be a good fit for the job. The easiest way to prepare for this question is to visit the company’s website and study its mission, vision, history, work culture, products, services, etc. Then align these aspects of the company with your career goals by mentioning what qualities you are looking for in an employer and how this company can be an ideal place for you to work.
4. What do you find interesting about this role?
Hiring managers usually ask this question to understand whether a candidate has properly understood the role. Consider it as an opportunity to highlight your best skills. Read the job description thoroughly and mention how with the help of your experience and qualifications you can excel in this role while making it pleasant and enjoyable.
5. What is your greatest professional achievement?
Answer this question deliberately to highlight your accomplishments in your previous job. Don’t feel shy and confidently speak about your achievement by giving little details about your job role, the loopholes in the task and how you managed to streamline the work. You can even add how your streamlining process proved to be advantageous to the company and your teammates. In case you received any appreciation for your work, you can take this opportunity to mention it.
6. What are your weaknesses?
Now that you have told the hiring manager about your strengths and skills, the interviewer might be keen to know about your weaknesses. Try to be honest and positive. Recruiters ask this question to find out if there will be any potential downsides after your selection process. Answer this question tactfully by striking a right balance in between your imperfections and how you can work to improve it.
7. How do you deal with stress or pressure?
When recruiters know that a job role involves a stressful situation, they try to validate a candidate’s reaction in that case. Here recruiters are in search of candidates who can deal with a stressful situation in a positive and constructive manner. Answer this question thoughtfully and tell the recruiter about the strategies you have been using to deal with stress. You can also give an example of a previously stressful situation which you were able to handle positively.
8. Have you dealt with any challenge or conflict at your previous work?
Recruiters mostly use this question to understand a candidate’s past behaviour and based on the answers, they determine the candidate’s future work performance. It is a great opportunity to show your team building and leadership skills. If you have faced any real-life situation, then mention how you successfully took initiative to solve the conflict and what was the end result. Ensure that you do not criticise your past colleagues or employers and instead mention what you learned from the situation.
9. Why did you leave your job?
This is another question a recruiter might ask to test your positivity and honesty. If you are unemployed or planning to leave your current job, give an honest answer on a positive note. We all work to succeed in our career and have an equal right to switch jobs for a better opportunity. So, answer this question without any hesitation. You can also add the qualities which you are looking for in your next job role and which were missing in your previous job.
10. What are your salary requirements?
Prepare well in advance to answer this question by doing a thorough research on the salary which should be paid for the job you are being interviewed for. Not being prepared to answer this question or leaving it up to the recruiter can lead to a disaster. Clearly mention your salary expectations and make sure it is in-line with the market trends. Take a chance to mention how your expected salary is applicable to your skills, years of experience and education. However, let the hiring manager know that you are open for negotiation.
Anna Clarke is the owner of an online writing company 15 Writers. She is a successful entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in both freelancing and academic writing industries, specialising in Business, Economics, Finance, Marketing and Management.