How to Answer These 4 Most Common Interview Questions

For people who have been through plenty of job interviews, we realise that common interview questions do exist. Let’s take a look at these most common interview questions and how to answer them.

1. Why do you want to fill this position?

People at the company you’re applying for would love to hear about what makes you want to apply for that position. Of course, they expect to hear an exceptional answer from you. In order to do that, you need to identify a few key factors that make the role a great fit for you.

Sometimes, the answer might not be enough, because it’s all about you. Honestly, this question also forces you to share the reason on why you love the company. Your admiration to the company could be the reason you’re considered as a stand-out candidate.

2. Can you tell me about yourself?

You’ve heard this question all the time, but there’s a chance you still fail to answer it at its best. The hiring managers don’t want to hear it all, like your personal history. You need to make it concise when you’re answering this question.

Just choose 2-3 relevant experiences that might interest the interviewer to know about. Make sure you can convince them that those accomplishments are the right capital for the position you’re applying for.

3. What is your expected salary?

There’s no exact way on how to answer this question. The right answer depends on your education, skills, and experience. If you’re clueless, then do some research on what you should be paid. Apart from that, be a flexible candidate. Tell the interviewer that you respect your skills, but you are still willing to negotiate. It shows that you really want the job.

4. Any questions for me?

Do you often say “no” for this question? If yes, you’re throwing a chance on becoming a noticeable candidate. Be curious enough about the company and its culture. That way, the interview can draw a conclusion that you’re one passionate candidate.

Ask the interviewer about how much they love working at the company, or the company’s future plan. They will be happy that you care about them.

 

Those are the most common interview questions with tips on how to answer them. Let’s land the job on your next interview!

Bessie is a freelance writer and has 10 years of HR experience. She is currently a Regional HR Business Partner with a US MNC. 
One of the common questions that you can expect during a job interview is the salary question. Employers will usually ask about your current salary and expected salary for the role to assess your suitability. Some of you may find it rather uncomfortable to disclose your expected salary since you are unsure of the chances of securing the role. On the other hand, some of you are perfectly comfortable declaring that you are expecting a minimum of 20% increase from your base salary.
What is the right way to give to an employer so as to ensure that you are not giving the impression that salary is the main factor for applying the job? Under such a situation, below are some suggestions on how you can handle this tough question.

[more…]

Do your research

Before you attend the interview, it will be useful to research on the average market pay of the applied position. Several big recruitment agencies publish such salary information on an annual basis and are available to public on their website. Jobiness.sg is also a good resource whereby you can review the available salary data submitted by employees in various companies. Such information will provide you with an estimated range that you can expect for similar position. However, do bear in mind that salary ranges in companies and industries differ significantly. Hence, you should only use these information as a guide in preparation for the interview.

View Salary Data of 1000s of Jobs in Singapore

Negotiable

The term “negotiable” is usually the easiest solution when handling a salary question. Most interviewers tend to probe further in order to understand your expectation. If you are really unsure of how you are expecting, decide on a range that you are looking at. For instance, you could tell the interviewer that you are looking at a 10% to 15% increase, but you are willing to negotiate based on the salary range for this position.



READ ALSO: How Companies Determine Salaries for New Employees



Declare your minimum expectation

If you have in mind the least amount that you can accept for the role, do inform the interviewer of that minimum expectation. This is especially applicable for candidates who are considering a career switch. With no relevant experience in the new role and industry, you may not receive the same or higher salary as your current role. While considering the satisfaction that you can expect in the new role, it is also realistic to consider the lowest amount that could support your current lifestyle. As an Engineer, you may be earning a basic salary of $4000 while career switch may mean a reduction at least $1000. Do consider if the reduction is an amount that you are able to accept. You should be open to the interviewer and tell him or her that you are willing to accept a pay cut but $3,500 may be the minimum that you will consider.

You are strongly discouraged to tell the interviewer that you are willing to negotiate when you are not. The interviewer will be able to determine if they should continue with your candidacy if your expectation exceeds the salary range. In that way, it will save time and effort for both the company and yourself.

State your actual expectation
You may be one of those candidates who decide on a job solely based on the offered salary. There is nothing wrong with that but it is advisable to discuss that openly during the interview. If the interviewer is aware that you will not consider a role unless there is a 20% increase, it will help them to decide if they will like to continue with your candidacy based on your relevant experiences, job fit and internal salary structure and equity. Interviewers have met many candidates who tell them that they are willing to negotiate on the offered salary. However, when the job offer is presented, candidates turn it down immediately with the reason that the offered salary is less than the amount that they are expecting. That could set a very negative impression of you as a candidate. If you are attending interviews in the same industry, don’t be surprised when word gets around as the people within do know each other.

READ ALSO: Questions to Ask at the End of the Job Interview 

On a closing note, regardless of whether your interview is from the Human Resource or the hiring manager himself/herself, the same method applies when answering the salary question. Another mistake that candidates make when handling salary questions is asking too many questions in return. Examples of these questions include – “how much will you pay me for this role”; “what is the salary range for this position”; “what other monetary allowances can I expect”. These questions are internally sensitive and should be avoided until the advanced stage of the interview process when you are confident that you will be offered the job. Otherwise, these questions may bring down your overall interview scores.



What was your interview experience like? Share with us here.

 

Photo Credit: Wetfeet

Always keep in mind that your main objective during a job interview is to impress the employer and ‘sell’ your skills and competencies to the company. While you already probably know most of the basic tips and tricks to ace your job interview like coming on time, preparing answers to possible questions, dressing appropriately, and all of that, there may be another simple trick that just might get you ahead of other applicants – to ask good questions at the end of your interview. [more…]

 

Most employers will always end an interview with “Do you have any questions?” Now, this is your chance both to learn about the company and impress the interviewer further by showing more interest about the company’s ideals, work culture, and staff. Asking good, sincere questions will show that you are looking forward to joining their team and are serious about your application. Remember, interviewers have the eye for spotting serious applicants from those who are just trying to look around for possible income opportunities. And obviously, they would opt for someone who shows sheer interest and inquisitiveness.

 

Now, don’t just go asking silly questions just so you could ask something. You may have already impressed them during the interview but totally blow it at the end by asking questions that are uncalled for. Below are some quick, intelligent and sincere questions you can always pull out at the end of an interview, as soon as you hear he interviewer ask, “Do you have any questions?”

 

  • “What are the essential traits/skills you are looking for in the person to successful fill this position?” And then follow it up with, “How do you think I measure up to these criteria?” It is always good to hear straight from the interviewer what they are looking for to fill the position. And by asking if you fit their expectations, it would give you the chance to find out what they think you are lacking. You will then have a great opportunity to highlight on some other related strength that you know will definitely interest them.

 

  • “Could you tell me more about the work culture here?” By asking this you are implying that you are very open to working with a diverse work culture and are willing to learn their work culture and blend with the team. This also shows that you really imagine yourself working with them in the near future.

 

  • “How do you measure performance?” This automatically shows that you are very results-driven, you keep to deadlines, and value time and commitment.

 

  • “What would be this company’s biggest challenge right now?” This could open up a great conversation about the bigger picture of what the company does and how you could really be a part of the solution. This is where you can share more of your experiences and knowledge in the industry.

 

  • “Should I call back to follow up or will you just contact me for updates?” End the entire interview by showing your eagerness to land the job and that you are really hoping to get a response from them.

———————–

Click here to learn what kind of interview questions interviews will ask.

Went for an interview recently? Share with us your interview experience! 

You might like: “How to Turn the Tide During an Interview (When Things Go Bad)”

Do you love writing? Email us (contact@jobiness.com) your resume and writing samples if you want to contribute to our blogs!

Always keep in mind that your main objective during a job interview is to impress the employer and ‘sell’ your skills and competencies to the company. While you already probably know most of the basic tips and tricks to ace your job interview like coming on time, preparing answers to possible questions, dressing appropriately, and all of that, there may be another simple trick that just might get you ahead of other applicants – to ask good questions at the end of your interview. [more…]

 

Most employers will always end an interview with “Do you have any questions?” Now, this is your chance both to learn about the company and impress the interviewer further by showing more interest about the company’s ideals, work culture, and staff. Asking good, sincere questions will show that you are looking forward to joining their team and are serious about your application. Remember, interviewers have the eye for spotting serious applicants from those who are just trying to look around for possible income opportunities. And obviously, they would opt for someone who shows sheer interest and inquisitiveness.

 

Now, don’t just go asking silly questions just so you could ask something. You may have already impressed them during the interview but totally blow it at the end by asking questions that are uncalled for. Below are some quick, intelligent and sincere questions you can always pull out at the end of an interview, as soon as you hear he interviewer ask, “Do you have any questions?”

 

  • “What are the essential traits/skills you are looking for in the person to successful fill this position?” And then follow it up with, “How do you think I measure up to these criteria?” It is always good to hear straight from the interviewer what they are looking for to fill the position. And by asking if you fit their expectations, it would give you the chance to find out what they think you are lacking. You will then have a great opportunity to highlight on some other related strength that you know will definitely interest them.

 

  • “Could you tell me more about the work culture here?” By asking this you are implying that you are very open to working with a diverse work culture and are willing to learn their work culture and blend with the team. This also shows that you really imagine yourself working with them in the near future.

 

  • “How do you measure performance?” This automatically shows that you are very results-driven, you keep to deadlines, and value time and commitment.

 

  • “What would be this company’s biggest challenge right now?” This could open up a great conversation about the bigger picture of what the company does and how you could really be a part of the solution. This is where you can share more of your experiences and knowledge in the industry.

 

  • “Should I call back to follow up or will you just contact me for updates?” End the interview by showing your eagerness to land the job and that you are really hoping to get a response from them.

 

———————–

Click here to learn what kind of interview questions interviews will ask.

Went for an interview recently? Share with us your interview experience! 

You might like: “How to Turn the Tide During an Interview (When Things Go Bad)”

Do you love writing? Email us (contact@jobiness.com) your resume and writing samples if you want to contribute to our blogs!

 

Always keep in mind that your main objective during a job interview is to impress the employer and ‘sell’ your skills and competencies to the company. While you already probably know most of the basic tips and tricks to ace your job interview like coming on time, preparing answers to possible questions, dressing appropriately, and all of that, there may be another simple trick that just might get you ahead of other applicants – to ask good questions at the end of your interview. [more…]

 

Most employers will always end an interview with “Do you have any questions?” Now, this is your chance both to learn about the company and impress the interviewer further by showing more interest about the company’s ideals, work culture, and staff. Asking good, sincere questions will show that you are looking forward to joining their team and are serious about your application. Remember, interviewers have the eye for spotting serious applicants from those who are just trying to look around for possible income opportunities. And obviously, they would opt for someone who shows sheer interest and inquisitiveness.

 

Now, don’t just go asking silly questions just so you could ask something. You may have already impressed them during the interview but totally blow it at the end by asking questions that are uncalled for. Below are some quick, intelligent and sincere questions you can always pull out at the end of an interview, as soon as you hear he interviewer ask, “Do you have any questions?”

 

  • “What are the essential traits/skills you are looking for in the person to successful fill this position?” And then follow it up with, “How do you think I measure up to these criteria?” It is always good to hear straight from the interviewer what they are looking for to fill the position. And by asking if you fit their expectations, it would give you the chance to find out what they think you are lacking. You will then have a great opportunity to highlight on some other related strength that you know will definitely interest them.

 

  • “Could you tell me more about the work culture here?” By asking this you are implying that you are very open to working with a diverse work culture and are willing to learn their work culture and blend with the team. This also shows that you really imagine yourself working with them in the near future.

 

  • “How do you measure performance?” This automatically shows that you are very results-driven, you keep to deadlines, and value time and commitment.

 

  • “What would be this company’s biggest challenge right now?” This could open up a great conversation about the bigger picture of what the company does and how you could really be a part of the solution. This is where you can share more of your experiences and knowledge in the industry.

 

  • “Should I call back to follow up or will you just contact me for updates?” End the interview by showing your eagerness to land the job and that you are really hoping to get a response from them.

 

Always keep in mind that your main objective during a job interview is to impress the employer and ‘sell’ your skills and competencies to the company. While you already probably know most of the basic tips and tricks to ace your job interview like coming on time, preparing answers to possible questions, dressing appropriately, and all of that, there may be another simple trick that just might get you ahead of other applicants – to ask good questions at the end of your interview. [more…]

 

Most employers will always end an interview with “Do you have any questions?” Now, this is your chance both to learn about the company and impress the interviewer further by showing more interest about the company’s ideals, work culture, and staff. Asking good, sincere questions will show that you are looking forward to joining their team and are serious about your application. Remember, interviewers have the eye for spotting serious applicants from those who are just trying to look around for possible income opportunities. And obviously, they would opt for someone who shows sheer interest and inquisitiveness.

 

Now, don’t just go asking silly questions just so you could ask something. You may have already impressed them during the interview but totally blow it at the end by asking questions that are uncalled for. Below are some quick, intelligent and sincere questions you can always pull out at the end of an interview, as soon as you hear he interviewer ask, “Do you have any questions?”

 

  • “What are the essential traits/skills you are looking for in the person to successful fill this position?” And then follow it up with, “How do you think I measure up to these criteria?” It is always good to hear straight from the interviewer what they are looking for to fill the position. And by asking if you fit their expectations, it would give you the chance to find out what they think you are lacking. You will then have a great opportunity to highlight on some other related strength that you know will definitely interest them.

 

  • “Could you tell me more about the work culture here?” By asking this you are implying that you are very open to working with a diverse work culture and are willing to learn their work culture and blend with the team. This also shows that you really imagine yourself working with them in the near future.

 

  • “How do you measure performance?” This automatically shows that you are very results-driven, you keep to deadlines, and value time and commitment.

 

  • “What would be this company’s biggest challenge right now?” This could open up a great conversation about the bigger picture of what the company does and how you could really be a part of the solution. This is where you can share more of your experiences and knowledge in the industry.

 

  • “Should I call back to follow up or will you just contact me for updates?” End the entire interview by showing your eagerness to land the job and that you are really hoping to get a response from them.

———————–

Click here to learn what kind of interview questions interviews will ask.

Went for an interview recently? Share with us your interview experience! 

You might like: “How to Turn the Tide During an Interview (When Things Go Bad)”

You’re sitting back in your chair, feeling utterly and completely defeated. Your interviewer sits across from you, his arms akimbo and giving you a gaze that clearly communicates that he is not impressed with your performance so far. The last ten minutes that have passed since the start of the interview felt like an hour long instead. Murphy’s Law has seemed to be the most applicable law of the day thus far.

Have you ever found yourself in such a situation during your job interview? [more…]It is entirely understandable that you would begin to get nervous or agitated, especially in this time of dwindling job vacancies and career opportunities. Fret not – here are a few interview tips that will help you to recover quickly and get the attention of your interviewer back:

 

“Keep Calm, Take a Deep Breath and Re-engage”

 

At a certain point in the job interview, maybe the interviewer lost you and began to zone out in the midst of your rambling. Some tell-tale signs include:

 

Fiddling with his/her iPhone or Blackberry;

Examining his/her fingernails or the surroundings;

Giving you a disapproving and uninterested stare;

Nodding vaguely but not giving you eye contact;

Not responding in appropriate fashion to your stories, or

Simply staring into space and not responding

 

This is certainly bad news – it means that he or she has ascertained that whatever you have delivered so far, in response to the interview questions, are not a good fit to what he or she is looking for. Stop yourself and take a breather. Smile, and re-engage your interviewer again, so you can get back on track.

 

Ask relevant questions: One good way to re-engage your interviewer is to ask him a relevant question about himself/herself or the company. Ask your interviewer how the company culture is like, or how it feels like to work there. By doing so, you will re-emphasize your interest in the company, and also prompt your interviewer to give you more information to use in demonstrating your suitability for the company.

 

Change the topic: Another way to re-engage your interviewer would be to stop what you’re currently talking about, change to another subject, and keep your new story short. If it is evident that what you are currently talking about is boring your interviewer, switching to something else might work in capturing your interviewer back. Bear in mind not to get lost in another long narrative, though – try to be as concise as possible, and ask for your interviewer’s input as much as you can.

 

Take a short break to recover: The worst thing you could possibly do, of course, is to completely freak out and start rambling and going off on wild tangents. If you’re getting a huge case of the jitters, you might even want to request for a brief toilet break – politely. This might or might not work, depending on the interviewer’s patience. If it does, head straight to the toilet and splash your face with cold water. Take long, slow breaths, and gather your thoughts again. Run through what you want to tell the interviewer in your head, and make sure you return looking and feeling more confident. It is far better to take a break and re-group than to push forward in a losing battle.

 

Demonstrate your interest in the job strongly – even if you are under or over qualified: If you chose to interview for a job that you are either under or over qualified for, you must have a very good reason for taking that chance. Make sure you prove it to your interviewer. Demonstrate your interest in the job strongly by displaying your knowledge in the related areas, or by matching the skills that you know you have to the skills that are required of the job for the benefit of the interviewer. Do not expect the interviewer to connect the dots for you – show that you mean business by taking the initiative.

 

In sum, never throw in the towel, even when all seems lost. By taking the above steps, you will be able to take the reins and steer the interview back to a more positive direction that would definitely increase your chances of getting hired.

You have just received the much anticipated phone call from an interested employer for an interview, so what’s next? The thought of attending a job interview can be so nerve-wracking that you may actually lose sleep over it. While thinking positively is certainly one way to psyche yourself up for the interview, it will important to put in some effort and be well-prepared for it.

You may think of it as a dialogue session, where your interviewer is interested to find out more about your education background and past work experiences to see if you are fit for the job. Though this is basically what it is, do not assume a passive role and attend the interview without any preparation. As an interviewee, you need to take responsibility of the outcome of the interview and do your due diligence in your preparation. This interview is an opportunity for you to show your strengths and how they can value add to your potential employer.

Here are five essential tasks that you are encouraged to check off for your preparation: [more…]

1.Anticipate questions

Anticipate the questions (that the interviewer may be asking you. Make a list of questions and practice your responses. Standard interview questions include “Tell me more about yourself”, “Why do you want to work for us?”, “What is your biggest weakness?” and “Why should we hire you over another person?” Get a friend to do a mock interview with you and to rehearse all the possible scenarios and questions. Take a video of the interview, and replay the video to watch yourself. Observe your body language – were you being too fidgety? Or showing a lack of eye contact? Polish your presentation accordingly and work on a smooth delivery.

 

 

2.Revise your résumé and cover letter

The interviewer is very likely to ask you to elaborate on what you have mentioned in your résumé and cover letter. Revising your résumé and cover letter is necessary, especially so when you have sent out different versions for various jobs applications.

 

3.Research on the company

It is important to have some good knowledge of the company that has invited you for the interview. Do some research on the company, find out the company’s culture and understand the challenges that are currently facing the company and industry. Knowing this can help you tune your replies better and where you can contribute your strengths to.

 

 

4.Prepare questions to ask the interviewer

“Do you have any questions for me?” Most, if not all interviewers will ask this question towards the end of the interview. Your questions will communicate how much interest you have in the job. This is also an opportunity for you to find out more information about the job and company. Ask questions to learn more about the industry, company or job related challenges, as well as to clarify the job’s responsibilities. The answers to these questions will help you to be more informed if this is a good place to work before the offer comes in.

 

5.Get your right clothes ready

You do not want to wake up on the day of your interview and find out that you do not have the right attire for the interview. Prepare the right clothes for the interview before the actual day. The first impression is made in than 30 seconds and is decided upon your dressing. Leave a positive impression by looking neat and smart, wearing attire that fits well and is well pressed.

Make the next interview count.

Have you been interviewed recently? We hope you can share with us about it!

 

Reference

http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewsnetworking/ss/job-interview.htm
Arlene Bastion, The Book of Jobs: Seeking, Getting, Keeping and… Loving Our Jobs. Published by: Armour Publishing. Year of publication: 2009.

You might also like: “3 Ways an Interview is Like a First Date”

1. You’re Dressed To Impress

Do: Put more effort into planning your outfit

Don’t: Whip out those false eyelashes or the tie with skull-and-crossbones on it

 

Why: It’s great that you are putting in the effort to help your interviewer remember you better. But you want it to be for the right reasons. It’s not a fashion parade. Interviewers like personality but they don’t want your individuality shoved in their faces. Like a first date, it’s important to understand what the other party is like. If your company is a respected bank, going for the interview in a plunging, cleavage-bearing LBD may not be the best option. [more…]

 

2. You Celebrate Your Victory Too Early

Do: Decompress from the stress of the interview

Don’t: Make that call to your best friend while you’re still on the premises

 

Why: You don’t just make an impression when you walk into the interview room. You could be leaving one right until you exit the building. Just as how you’d wait until you’re out of earshot to gush about your date to your friend, the last thing you want is for someone from management overhearing you brag about “how you just nailed it” as you make the call in the office toilet. This will come across as extremely cocky and off-putting — and it’s a sure way of ensuring you won’t get called back.

 

3. You Go On and On … and On

Do: Mention about some of the more notable projects you worked on in your previous company

Don’t: Talk about how you led your rowing team to victory when you were 17

 

Why: You’ve done some wonderful things with your life. Great! But just as you don’t tell your date your entire life story during your first meeting with him or her, the same rule applies for a job interview. When you have just 15 minutes with your interviewer, the keyword here is “edit”. Talk about your role in the successful management of key projects with your previous companies and, more importantly, ask pertinent questions about the one you’re interviewing for throughout the interview (and not just at the end). That way, you’ll come across as plugged-in, engaged and sincere.

With a little bit of preparation and practice, job interviews and first dates don’t have to be nail-biting experiences. Just remember that, in either case, it’ll do you well not to celebrate any victories until you know for certain the other party is willing to make that crucial commitment to you.

 

Share with us your interview experience or you can refer to our Interviews Section for more tips.

 

 

Skype interviews are increasingly becoming part of the digital recruitment revolution, and have proven to be a cost-effective tool which simulates many elements of a face-to-face interview. However, such online interviews pose new challenges for candidates looking to leave a positive impression and progress to the next stage. Here are some tips and tricks that we hope will enable candidates to tackle a Skype interview head-on.

Doing the prep work:

1. Setup: Download Skype and configure the volume and camera settings, making sure that your entire head as well as the top half of your shirt are visible in the camera. If possible, get a trusted friend or family member to conduct a trial run with you.

2. Background Clutter: When positioning the camera, be mindful of any clutter in the background which may distract the interviewer. While the interviewers realize that you will be at home, distracting pictures or a messy background may divert their attention away from you. [more…]

3. Lighting: Another variable that you should control is lighting, as a poorly positioned light source can either cast shadows on your face or result in unnecessary glare. Try to place lamps such that they illuminate and flatter your face.

4. Attire: Choose clothes in dark colors as they present a sleek, professional image, unlike white clothes or those with distracting patterns which may detract from your appearance. Despite the interview taking place while you are at home, make sure to be professionally attired from the waist up.

5. Watch where you are looking: Practice talking to the camera instead of looking at the interviewer’s image on the screen, as this will make you appear as though you are looking downwards. If possible, tape a photo next to the web-cam, as it this may help you to focus on and talk directly to the camera.

6. Ambient Noise: Finally, try to eliminate all sources of noise so that your interview will not be disrupted by the ringing of the telephone or barking dogs.

Finding the right job and candidate can be a painful and time-consuming process for all involved, however employers and job-seekers alike are given access to many more opportunities through free video-conferencing services like Skype. We hope that through these simple steps, interviewees can be thoroughly prepared to impress during the interview and leave a positive impression.

Just went for an interview recently? Share with us your interview experience!

Check out what others are saying about their interview experiences and questions to expect here.