Job interview questions

The best way to prepare for a job interview is to practice answering questions. It will make you more feel confident and help you to do well in your interview. There are job interview questions that many employers ask. Read the questions and find out how to give good answers.

dos hombres con libretas en una entrevista
Photo: iStock/kate_sept2004

When you apply for a job, you will get asked several job interview questions. You will be asked about your skills and experience. Every interview is different, but there are some questions that many employers ask. Practice answering the most common job interview questions. Practice will help you do well!

Here are 5 questions that many employers will ask you:

Tell me about yourself

This is the first question you will get asked at every interview. Briefly describe the jobs you have had and talk about what your best skills are. If you went to school, talk about what you studied. Don’t talk for too long, and finish up with something that you are feeling or doing now. For example, you can say you are excited to be applying for this job.

What do you know about this organization (or business)?

When you are asked this question, talk about the positive things you know. Say what you like about the company. Prepare for this question by looking at the employer’s website. Read about the company’s goals and what projects they are working on. If the company does not have a website, use Glassdoor or Yelp. They may tell you what other people think about the company.

Why should we hire you?

Before your interview, read the job description. Choose 3 to 5 skills you have that are the most important for the job. Talk about those skills. Say how they would help the organization. For example, someone applying to be a teacher’s assistant might say, “I have more than 8 years working with children at daycares and in community centers. I have experience creating curriculum and working with people from many cultures. I noticed that many of the families that come to your school speak Spanish. Spanish is my first language, so I could help translate.”

What is your weakness?

Do not say you don’t have a weakness. Choose something that can be fixed. Talk about what you have done to work on your weakness. Explain how it has gotten better – if it has. An example of a common weakness is public speaking. You could say you have taken classes in public speaking and have practiced a lot at your last job. End by saying that you now feel much more confident when speaking in public, or that you are still working on it.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Say that the most important thing to you is to get the job and do well. If you know what the job above your position is, mention it. If you don’t, say that you would like to be in a higher level job where you could help the company even more. Mention what skills you would want to use.

When answering all job interview questions, try to answer in 2 minutes or less. If the interviewer wants to hear more information, they will ask follow-up questions.

Behavioral job interview questions

Sometimes, an employer may ask you to tell them a story about how you behaved in a difficult situation. They want to learn about what kind of person you are and how you deal with things.

When answering behavioral questions, use the Problem Action Result (PAR) format.

1. Problem
Start your answer by describing the situation and problem in detail. Describe the job situation and the people. For example, you might say “When I was a manager at Cocina Michoacana, I managed five waiters and waitresses. One of the waiters would often not show up to work on time.”

2. Action
Describe what you did to fix the problem. You might say, “I talked to the waiter privately about coming to work on time. He told me that his mother was very sick. He was not able to find a caregiver who could start early in the morning. Sometimes, he had to stay home if she was not feeling well.”

3. Result
Talk about the successful result and what you learned. A good ending would be, “I decided to change the waiter’s shifts to later in the day. I asked if it was okay to tell some co-workers so they could help. He said yes. They agreed to cover his shift if there was an emergency.”

Do not tell a story in which the problem was not solved.

Here are some other common behavioral questions:

  • Tell us about a time you disagreed with your boss.
  • Describe a time you did not get along with a coworker.
  • What is your proudest accomplishment?
  • Tell us about a time you made a mistake at work.
  • Describe a time when you were under a lot of pressure at work.

Your interviewer is not allowed to ask you personal questions. This includes your marital status, how many children you have, and your age. If someone asks you a personal question you don’t want to answer, you can say politely say, “I prefer to not answer that question.”

Job interview questions make everyone nervous. The best thing is to remember and practice your answers! If you can, practice with a friend or family member.