How to Prepare for Common Interview Questions

Are you getting ready for an interview and wondering what could the recruiter possibly ask? In this article, we are going to go over commonly asked questions. These questions can be often asked to those with more junior profiles, especially graduates.

Very often what the recruiter seeks to find out with these questions is the level of self-awareness of the candidate. Keep this in mind! It’s not so much about what is the answer, it is about how you answer it.


“Tell me a little about yourself.”

Your interview might get started with this question. Take it as an opportunity and run with it. This is the moment where you can take the recruiter on a journey and connect the dots the recruiter might be missing from only reading your CV. Share the information that is relevant to the position, or the company but you didn’t put on the CV.

How has your personal history led you to apply for this job? Remember to keep it light and short. Some recruiters might ask this question because they truly are interested, others might just use it as an icebreaker or to see your presentation skills.


“What are your biggest weaknesses?”

The next two questions are very similar, just on the opposite sides from one another. Are these trap questions? Not necessarily. Here is a way how you go about them.

When a recruiter asks you a question like that, they usually want to see your self-awareness. When answering this question, be honest, but smart. If you are applying for a position, where you need to be at the office every day at 6 AM, it’s not very strategic to answer that your weakness is that you can’t wake up early, is it? Whichever weakness of yours you choose, follow that with what you are doing to overcome it and get better at it.

Formula: This is my weakness > and this is how I’m working on it.

Example: I used to struggle with staying organized, it seems to not be my natural skill. So therefore always at the end of my day, I plan everything I want to do the following day, which makes everything run smoothly.


“What are your biggest strengths?”

Similar to the previous question, this question is testing your self-awareness. This time, pick the strength that will be useful in the position you are applying to.

Formula: This is my strength > this is how I can use it in this job

Example: I am very outgoing and easy to speak to which I believe is very useful for this sales position as it will make my clients feel more comfortable placing an order with me.


“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Yes, this might be a tricky question. There is no right or wrong answer, but there for sure is an answer the recruiter will prefer to hear.

For this article, I will assume, that you want this position and you see yourself staying in the company for the long run. Then it all comes down to the job description or the type of company. Usually, the company wants to see your commitment, although some want to hear that you see yourself doing this position for a long time. Others want to hear that you want to grow. Where is the difference?

Re-read the job description over and over and go into details. Usually, the company tells you what they want. As a rule of thumb, in admin positions or positions with repetitive tasks, the companies prefer for the employees to be stable in their positions for years.

Generally when answering this question, talk more about how you see yourself improving in terms of your skills and growing in terms of responsibilities, rather than a specific position. For example if you are applying for the position of Junior Project Manager, you can say that in five years you see yourself managing your projects. You might want to elaborate on the type or size of the project.



Photo: Zivica Kerkez/Shutterstock


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