Job Interview Questions and Answers: Your Pre, Actual and Post Interview Tips

Are you a fresh graduate looking for the most common job interview questions and answers to land a job on your first try? Or you’re an applicant constantly being rejected by the company because you didn’t pass the interview? Don’t worry, we got you!

We need to prepare as an applicant so we will look prepared and answer interview questions with confidence. Remember, it’s better to be proactive than reactive. To help you, we’ve listed some tips, and samples of job interview questions and answers.

Pre-job interview tips: Quick preparations for your upcoming interview

Research the company

Do a little bit of research about the company. It will lead you to great lengths. Interviewers can tell if you’ve done your homework, and they are expecting it from you as an applicant. If you haven’t, it’s a missed point for you. Quickly check their website and social media accounts. It will only take a few minutes.

Sample questions:

  1. “What do you know about us?”
  2. “Have you heard about our company and what do we do?”

Think of at least two good reasons why you’re interested working in the company

We are choosing the company we are applying for and we make sure that it’s reputable and stable. As an applicant, we need to be ready to answer questions about why we choose to work with them. Think of some business or job-related reasons. It could be about company sustainability, a new professional experience, or dynamic work culture.

Sample questions:

  1. “What is the reason you choose to apply to our company?”
  2. “Why do you want to work here?”

Practice how to introduce yourself

One good reason why they called you for an interview is that they were interested in what you put on your resume. So, better be prepared to defend and explain what is in there. Some interviewers also ask things that are not in your resume.

Sample questions:

  1. “Tell me about yourself those things, not in your resume.”
  2. “Introduce yourself.”

You’re now mentally prepared with the possible scenarios. It’s time to practice and anticipate some common job interview questions and answers.

Actual interview tips: Common job interview questions and answers

Tell me about yourself

Respond to the interviewer that it is a pleasure to meet them, smile, and be sure to make eye-to-eye contact. It’s better to keep your introduction short and simple, stating your name and a little background about your previous work experience or education. Focus on stating your qualifications and why you’re interested in the position you’re applying for. Remember what you’ve practiced and be prepared for follow-up questions.

Sample answer: ‘Hi, I am John Cruz. I have been working as an executive assistant for the past 3 years. Started as an admin assistant and was promoted after 6 months. I’m eager to learn new skills and widen my knowledge. Over the years I have developed expertise in time and data management, attention to detail, strong verbal and written communication skills, ability to multitask and prioritize tasks, professional discretion, and more. I want to make full use of these skills in a larger working environment such as your company.’

Read more: How to Write an Effective Resume

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Answer your professional goals and align them with the job you’re applying for. Focus on the skills you want to learn and improve at. Avoid saying, “I see myself having a family, traveling the world, etc.” This is your opportunity to showcase your career goals and highlight your ambitions.

Sample answer: ‘In 5 years, I would like to have proven that I have the drive and determination to help the company grow.  My goal is to develop leadership skills and someday handle people in this company.’

Do you have any pending applications?

The interviewer wants to know whether you’re actively looking for a job and at what stage you are in those companies. The best way to answer this is to say your real status in your other applications. This will give a hint to the interviewer that they have a competition in you, and they need to fasten their recruitment hiring process.

Sample answer: ‘I did have a couple of interviews with other companies for the same position. Two out of three have already extended me a job offer, but based on what I’ve learned, this organization offers exactly the type of challenges I’m seeking in my future role.’

Read more: The Post-College Life: Job Hunting Tips for Fresh Graduates

How do you handle pressure or stressful situations?

They also want to know whether you can hold the fort or crumble under pressure. A perfect answer is to briefly tell a story where you remained calm under pressure. If you don’t have work experience yet, share your experience on how you handle school events gracefully despite the pressure.

Sample answer: ‘Working under pressure has taught me how to prioritize and balance my workload, which I believe is a good thing. I once had four very important tasks due in the same week, but I was able to complete all assignments on time because I meticulously organized and planned how would I approach each project. I was able to avoid stress entirely due to my planning and prioritization skills.’

Do you prefer working independently or with a team?

Expect that collaborations are always present in a corporate working environment. It’s better to tell them that you enjoy blending the two situations. Also, point out that you can work independently with minimal supervision when needed.

Sample answer: ‘I both worked in groups and independently, but I feel more motivated when I work with a group. It’s great to have other people to bounce ideas off. In my experience, multiple brains working on the same project were quite beneficial. In addition, I’ve always been a team player. I can also work independently or with minimal supervision when needed.’

What are your salary expectations?

Research the salary range depending on the position you’re applying for. Don’t ever give a specific salary unless you’re an experienced worker applying for an officer/executive position. Giving a realistic salary is better than giving nothing at all. They will also ask if it is negotiable or not, the safe answer is always negotiable.

Sample answer: ‘Let me begin by expressing my gratitude for the benefits this job offers such as paid time off and health insurance. As I am sure that my expertise can be an asset to this company, I am expecting my salary to fall between 30,000 to 40,000 Pesos. I am also willing to negotiate this range.’

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Highlight your skills as your strengths. Be honest about your weaknesses and say that you’re doing your best to overcome those. It can be hard or soft skills you’re not an expert with and constantly trying to work on those through cautious practice.

Sample answer: ‘I can say that time and data management as well as the ability to multitask and prioritize are my strengths. I am confident that I can do the job well with these skills. On the other hand, doing technical work is my weakness. I’m hoping that I can develop this skill within this company.’

Why should we hire you?

Explain politely that your qualifications and skills are aligned with the job description. Tell them that you’re the best fit because of your values and passion for excellence. Act like you want to be accepted, but don’t over-promise and don’t be overconfident.

Sample answer: ‘I believe that my extensive experience in administrative work, especially in time and data management, makes me the best fit for this position. My passion for excellence and respect for the job will always be my core values. I am also looking forward to working with a dynamic group and a challenging environment, where I can display my skills and grow.’

Post-job interview tips: What to do when the interview comes to an end

  1.  Ask your questions if there’s anything unclear.
  2. Don’t ask for feedback on the spot yet instead ask when you can expect the result.
  3. Patiently wait for any further instruction.
  4. Say Thank you and close on a positive note.
  5. Politely ask your next steps if ever you passed the interview.

Remember that these are only some of the common job interview questions and answers. Here are other examples if you’re looking for more.

Expect that there might be more questions depending on the position you are applying for. Keep your hopes up and keep applying until you get your dream job. Good luck with your job search!



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