Prepare to answer these questions for your next job interview

Prepare to answer these questions for your next job interview

By Joshua Nyawach

June 11th 2023

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Do you have a job interview coming up? Knowing the type of questions that will be asked and researching their answers prior to the interview can be a big lifesaver. Knowing what you will say will build up your confidence and can get you one step closer to your dream job. Let’s dive in and look at the common questions and how to answer them.


1. Tell us about yourself

In most cases, this is the first question that most interviewers will ask you. A very simple and yet cunning question that most candidates never get right. It is your first opportunity for making a good impression and getting it wrong means taking a step further back from your dream job.

To ace, this question talk about your present job then talk about why you are interviewing for the position and your next move but don’t forget to mention your most relevant experiences and accomplishment. Help the interviewer understand why you are the best for this job.

The best way to prepare for this question is by creating a 2-3 sentence elevator speech about yourself. Don’t talk about your work history but talk about your career path and how you ended up for the interview.


2. How did hear about this position?

Employers always want to know if you have been actively interested in their company. Besides, this question gives the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your passion and connection to the company. 

It is advisable to mention their name if someone recommended you for the job. This will help the employers build confidence in you and sell you to them as a good fit.

If you learnt about the job through other platforms, be sure to mention why you were actively interested in applying for it.


Example: “I learned about the position through LinkedIn as I’ve been following your company’s page for a while now. I’m passionate about the work you’re doing in the X, Y, and Z areas, so I was excited to apply. The required skills match well with the skills I have, and it seems like a great opportunity for me to contribute to your mission, as well as a great next move for my career.”- Vicky Oliver Harvard Business Review


3. Why are you interested in working for this company?

Most candidates will give a generic answer to this question and miss the opportunity to stand out amongst the crowd. Research about the company to point out its specific unique features and qualities that make you interested in it. Talk about things such as how you’ve watched the company grow, the company’s opportunity for future growth and how you want to be part of it.


4. Why should we hire you?

The best way to answer this question is to do it in three parts. Explain to the employer that you can do the work, deliver better results and that you will fit in with the team and culture of the company. Refrain from giving vague answers such as “I am hardworking and a friendly person” but use numbers to quantify your results and be specific when talking about your work history and achievements.

5. What are your salary expectations?

Employers budget for the position and in most cases will ask you about your salary expectation to see if their budget aligns. Before the interview research the salary range for the position, you are applying for. Use platforms like LinkedIn, and Glassdoor of Fishbowl. Another alternative is to ask people who are in the same field for the position you are applying for. Be open and leave room for negotiation

6. Where do you see yourself in five years?

When asked this question, the hiring manager wants to know if you are ambitious and set realistic goals and to know if the position you are applying for aligns well with your goals and career objectives. It is also okay to mention that you do not know what the future hold but the position will play a critical role in modelling it.



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7. How do you deal with stress and pressure?

When asked this question, the employers want to know how well you can handle stress and pressure in a positive manner that does affect your productivity and prevent you from accomplishing your goals. Be very specific about how you deal with stress and pressure. Mention things like taking a few minutes break to calm down, adjusting your to-do list and many more.

Example: “I realize stressful situations are always going to come up, and I have had to learn how to navigate them throughout my career. I think I get better at it with every new experience. While working on a new product launch at my last company, for example, things were not going according to plan with my team. Instead of pointing fingers, my first reaction was to take a step back and figure out some strategies around how we could solve the problem at hand. Previously, I may have defaulted to panicking in that situation, so being calm and collected was a step forward and helped me approach the situation with more clarity.” - Vicky Oliver Harvard Business Review

8. Do you prefer working independently or as a team?

Most positions will require you to work as a team. The best way to answer this question is by highlighting the pros and cons of each situation while discussing your best traits for each case. 


9. Do you have any questions?

In most cases, the hiring managers will not go without asking you if you have any questions. There are chances that you may not which will turn out to be a blow. There are always questions to ask at the end of the interview. Keep a list of at least two questions to ask at the end of the interview. Research indicates that most hiring managers like to be asked questions at the end of the interview.


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