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  • Writer's pictureFernanda Latorre

Mastering the Art of Interviewing: Top 10 Common Interview Questions and How to Excel

The ability to conduct insightful interviews is a skill that can make or break the hiring process. Interviews help assess a candidate's qualifications, cultural fit, and potential contributions to the organization.

There are lots of questions like:

- "Think of a scenario when you had an intercultural problem. How did you solve it?".

- "Describe a time when you had to work with a team with different strengths and weaknesses to solve a complex problem".

The problem with those questions is when you can't think of a good situation, and your brain freezes!! So, you should write down 3 or 4 situations from your professional life and remember them. Because, in fact, all scenarios can be used for ANY example. If your 'scenario' is "I worked with Peter to resolve a supply problem in China", this can be used for "teamwork", "inter-cultural", "tight deadlines", "delivering across complex financial networks", etc. etc. etc.

To help both interviewers and candidates excel, here are the top 10 common interview questions, along with advice on preparing for and answering them effectively.

1. Tell me about yourself.

This seemingly simple question serves as an icebreaker, but it's an opportunity to provide a concise overview of your professional journey. Focus on highlighting relevant experiences, skills, and achievements that align with your interviewing role. Keep it professional and avoid oversharing personal details.

Keep it simple and sharp. Read our article on how to answer questions in a way that you get the attention of the interviewer and give the impression you want to give:

2. What is your greatest strength?

Prepare for this question by identifying a strength that aligns with the job description. Provide specific examples of how you've used this strength to achieve success in your previous roles. Back up your claims with quantifiable results whenever possible.

Read our article on how to make your Personal SWOT. The Exercise helps in life and work! It will give you the structure and answers you need top of mind for any related questions about your persona:

3. What is your greatest weakness?

Choose a genuine weakness not critical to the role and discuss the steps you've taken to overcome or manage it. This demonstrates self-awareness and a commitment to personal growth and development.

4. Why do you want to work here?

Research the company's mission, values, culture, and recent accomplishments. Tie these factors to your career goals and explain how your skills and aspirations align with the organization's objectives.

5. Can you describe and how you handled a challenging situation you've faced at work?

Structure your answer using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method. Describe a specific situation, explain the tasks, detail your actions, and share the positive outcome or lessons learned.

6. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Focus on your professional growth and alignment with the company. Express your desire to learn and contribute, highlighting your interest in increasing organisational responsibilities.

7. Tell me about a time when you worked in a team.

Share a story demonstrating your collaboration skills and ability to work effectively with others. Emphasize your role within the team, your challenges, and how you contributed to the team's success.

8. Why did you leave your previous job? / Why are you looking to leave your current job?

Frame your response positively, focusing on what you learned from your previous role and how it has prepared you for new opportunities. Avoid speaking negatively about your current or former employer.

9. How do you handle stress and pressure?

Provide examples of situations where you successfully managed stress. Discuss your strategies, such as prioritising, managing time, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

10. Do you have any questions for us?

Prepare thoughtful questions demonstrating your genuine interest in the role and the company. Ask about the team dynamics, the company's goals, or the challenges the team faces.

Here are a few examples:

  • From my profile and after this discussion, are there any specific areas about my background or experience that you would like to discuss further?

  • How is this role evaluated?

  • Why is the hiring happening now?

  • What are the professional development opportunities for this role?

  • What are the resources available for this role?

  • What does success look like in this role?

In conclusion, mastering these common interview questions requires preparation, self-awareness, and effective communication. Practice your answers, but remember to be genuine and adaptable during the actual interview. Combining your skills and experience with a solid understanding of the company's needs will help you stand out as the perfect candidate.

Cool articles you can check for more:

The Balance Careers. (2021). "Common Job Interview Questions and Answers."

Indeed Career Guide. (2021). "Top 10 Interview Questions and Answers."

Glassdoor. (2021). "50 Most Common Interview Questions."

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