Business English- 12 Common Job Interview Questions & how to answer them
In our online Business English lessons series, we today will discuss on questions commonly asked in job interviews. Online English speaking classes usually help students these days with crash courses in interview prep modules. While there is no harm in enrolling for such prep modules, we however do recommend that instead of short-cuts, it will be ideal to be through in preparing for any kind of interview. As a candidate you must prepare yourself for commonly asked questions like these to optimize your chances of securing the role.
12 Common Job Interview Questions & how to answer them
1.Tell me about yourself
Tell your name, location, education and family details in brief. Then, talk about your achievements, accomplishments and what you enjoy doing the most in your free time. Always end by sharing your knowledge and interest level for the job you have applied for. It is an essential part of the dialogue as it shows your interest in the job. Do mention four to five adjectives as your quality or strength- this reflects your confidence and the clarity of your opinion about yourself.
Some examples are- Meticulous, Practical, Thoughtful, Adept, Skilful, Dedicated, Passionate, Energetic, Detail-oriented, Punctual, Diligent, Amiable, Cooperative, Adaptable, Flexible. etc
For example, you can say-
I am Sita; I live at mall road in Delhi. I have completed my Master’s in education. I have been appreciated by my teachers for punctuality, I am goal-oriented and passionate.
2.How would you describe yourself?
Along with adjectives like hard-working, passionate, team player, or others, always provide examples. The interviewer needs to know why you think about yourself this way and where you have demonstrated the mentioned quality.
For example, you can say-
I am adaptable or flexible. (You need to mention the relevant situation or incident that confirms your point.)
3.What makes you unique?
Talk about your capabilities and qualities that make you different from others and describe an incidence where this quality was useful for you in a job assignment. Be truthful and do not overpromise.
4.Why are you leaving your current job?
There are two sections to this answer. First, briefly introduce your journey with the current job and mention how you have evolved professionally in the role and what all you have accomplished so far.
Secondly, mention what you liked about the new role and, if given a choice, why you would prefer working for the new company. Emphasize as how the new role will benefit you at this stage of your career. Remember, never dwell or divulge on the negativities and always try to mention that the new role is the real motivation. Always discuss how your current company has helped you in terms of learning experiences.
5.What are your greatest strengths?
Always elaborate this question with one example of how this particular strong feature of your personality has helped you in a job assignment. Be modest, humble and realistic. For example, if you say you are hard-working, explain with example what you have accomplished in your role to believe this quality has helped you.
6.What are your greatest weaknesses?
This is a tricky question. But it is also an incomplete question. Don’t get confused and talk about weaknesses, for example –
- Tea is my weakness; I simply cannot function without it!
- My family is my weakness; they will always come first.
- Punctuality is my weakness. I cannot tolerate being late. I always manage to reach on time.
Do not mention your personal shortcomings as your weaknesses in an interview. By mentioning these you are implying that these personality flaws are still a part of your behaviour and you do not really work or improve yourself.
For instance, I was short tempered but realized that this is not a good sign and can put me in lots of difficulties, so I decided to control my temper by either drinking water whenever I feel upset or angry as water has cooling effects, or I just go away from the place for some time and once I feel better than I join back. I have been successful in my efforts so far.
Stick to your role, job assignments. Instead of your personality nuances, discuss about any failed project or a time when you could not meet the target? You must be prepared to share one such challenging incident but make sure you also talk about your learning and teaching and what you would make sure to not to face such situation in future.
7.Did you ever have any clashes or differences of opinion with your boss or senior management?
Accept this as usual scenario and mention your style of handling and how you make sure the issue is resolved, and assure that you can easily align your work style with the management style. The key here is to show that you are adaptable to different perspectives but also stay your ground if you really believe in something.
8.What are your goals for the future?
A well-prepared answer shows that you are goal oriented, that you have given it a thought and are ambitious. It also shows that you are keen to work hard on yourself, in your role etc in order to achieve these goals.
A simple yet effective way to answer this question is as follows:
My current goal or short-term goal is to earn this role with your company. I plan to do this through ideas such as ABC. And in the long term, if things go as per plan, I aspire to be in this XYZ position in the present organization.
9.Where do you see yourself in five years?
Answer this by saying that you see yourself working in the same company with a better position. By demonstrating your confidence that you are already see yourself working with them will simply strengthen the possibility to secure the opportunity in question.
10.What is your salary range expectation?
This particular question requires a certain amount of investigation. Before going for an interview, always check the current prevailing salary structure, the salary raises % pay-outs etc. through the internet sources like Linkedin, Glasdoor or by enquiring discreetly with an acquaintance working in the particular company or role.
When questioned about your salary expectation, be confident and realistic. You need not right away share this information with the interviewer but if nudged, you can mention your expectation basis your research.
11.Why should we hire you?
There are three stages for answering this question: First, talk about your qualities and capabilities, along with the instances where you have displayed the same. Second, mention how your personality traits match with the job prerequisites or description. Share your suitability and related experience. And in the end, emphasize your interest and keenness to join and work.
12.Do you have any questions?
You need to reflect your detailing, interest and knowledge about the new company by asking questions to the interviewer. Always prepare and do ask questions related to the new role, location or responsibilities. Or you can even ask for any clarification of the details or expansion of the company.
Though these may seem like a lot, its best you prepare for any 2 questions at a given time. Practice saying them aloud, in front of a mirror as well be prepared for interviews conducted on zoom. The answers provided above are plain examples, formulate them as per the role and company you are interviewing for. There are no right or wrong answers, it’s all about your confidence and eagerness to work. All the best!