Standard Interview Questions that Will Make or Break You
It may seem that the hardest part of the job search is actually landing an interview in the first place, but the truth is once you're face-to-face with a hiring manager, it can take just one simple interview question to make or break you. Here are the four standard interview questions that could give job applicants the chance to shine -- or ruin their chances of scoring that corner office.
1. Do you have any questions?
Every hiring manager asks this question at one point during the interview. It seems like an easy interview question, but in actuality this is a great opportunity to turn around the interview. The best way to answer this standard question is to stir up a conversation by asking the interviewer more about how they started at the company, and even what they love most about their job. Turning the interview into a conversation is the easiest way to keep your name on the hiring manager's mind.
2. What is your biggest weakness?
The standard "weakness" question is always answered with a strength by the majority of job applicants. Hiring managers are tired of hearing every single candidate that walks through the door stating that being a perfectionist is their biggest weakness. When facing this tough interview question, just be honest. Name a weakness of yours that won't hurt your chances at the job, such as being a poor speller or getting nervous when speaking in front of groups. Then wrap up your answer by saying that you recognize this as a weakness and you're always working on it in order to improve yourself.
3. Tell me about yourself
A hiring manager will often open up the meeting with this informal interview question, and it can throw a lot of candidates off their game. Your answer to this interview question can be similar to an "elevator pitch," or how to sell yourself in 30 seconds. Instead of rattling off what the hiring manager can already read on your resume, focus on the skills you've attained that would make you best suited for the position you're interviewing for.
4. What do you know about our company?
Even if you spend weeks on researching a company, being asked straight out exactly how much you know about your potential employer can really trip up an applicant. The best strategy you can have in tackling this question is to research the most recent news about the employer and turn this interview question around by starting a conversation about the direction the business is moving in. On the other hand, the biggest mistake an applicant can make in answering this common interview question is to not know anything about the company at all.