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Best ways to answer the most frequently asked questions in a job interview

Likely, you will soon receive that phone call you have been waiting for, and you will have to face a situation that can change your life: a job interview. It is normal to feel stressed about this situation, as it is a decisive step towards your future. However, if you prepare yourself properly, your confidence will increase and your chances of success with it.

5 frequently asked questions in a job interview

No two interviews indeed are the same, but certain questions tend to be repeated, and you may find them the most difficult to answer. Here are the typical “trick” questions asked in job interviews with helpful ways to answer them correctly. Keep reading, and don’t miss these tips!

1. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

To answer this question correctly, you must first research the company and the characteristics of the position. Knowing this, you will find out what kind of professional they are looking for, and you will be able to contextualize your answer.

To begin with, bear in mind these 3 key aspects:

  • Be sincere and speak naturally. An interview is a conversation between professionals, not a test, so exaggerating or lying can be noticed or leave you embarrassed once you start working.
  • Your strengths can set you apart from the rest. Look at your CV, and you will probably find something specific that you can highlight concerning the position offered. What you can bring to the organization will be the real deciding factor: professional essay writers can tell about their way with words, and an HR researcher will highlight their ability to find approach to different peoplle. Your level of English may not be very high, but you have a perfect command of a computer program – focus on that!
  • As for weaknesses, the key lies in knowing how to transform a speech that could be negative into a much more positive one. You can talk about shortcomings that you had in your past and have been able to overcome thanks to your efforts.

In this question, never talk about flaws such as “I’m too much of a perfectionist,” as this is such a trite answer that recruiters are sick of hearing it. Attitude is critical, don’t be vain about your positive points, nor should you mistake talking about your weaknesses in a self-pitying way, giving a sense of inferiority. Speak sincerely and without playing the role of someone you are not.

2.- Why do you want to change jobs?

In general, this question is asked to find out your level of commitment to the company where you work, as well as your motivation for the job you are offered. Keep in mind that one of the main objectives of organizations is to retain talent and reduce turnover, so your reasons for wanting to change jobs must be strong.

How to answer this question in the right way?

The key to this question is approaching it positively and making it about your personal and professional growth. Don’t mention negative aspects of the job you are in, but what you want to get out of changing jobs. Some good answers are:

  • “I have known your company for a long time, and I would like to be part of your team.” With this, you make it clear that you desire to join the company because of its reputation, opportunities, or situation in the market.
  • “I want to take on new functions and tasks. I also want to acquire new knowledge and handle tools that I have not been able to work with before.” An answer like this reflects your desire to develop professionally and seek self-improvement.
  • “I am comfortable in my current position. However, I would like to evolve and face new challenges to grow professionally, as it is not possible in my company, because of the type of organization.” This is a way of showing ambition and, at the same time, of valuing your current company for something positive.

3. Why are you interested in this position? (If it is in a different sector to your background)

Nowadays, it is common for many professionals to work in fields unrelated to their training, but the recruiter will need solid reasons for making this decision.

Reasons to avoid

  • “Out of necessity,” as it seems that it is the first thing you have found and you are not really interested in the job.
  • “For the salary” shows a lack of commitment. However, you can indicate that you are looking for a job that offers security and stability.
  • “To meet my expenses while I get a job in my own field” with an answer like this, you would show a lack of professionalism, and it would seem that you are just looking to pass the time.

How to answer this question?

To answer properly, you should have some prior knowledge of the company in question and the position, think about which of your skills might be a good fit, and what you can offer.

4. What are your salary expectations?

It is never pleasant to talk about money if there is no trust between the two people in the conversation. However, it is quite common for the recruiter to be interested in your previous salary or the amount of money you expect to receive for your work. They do this for two reasons: to check how you value your work and whether you fit the company’s budget allocated to your profile.

What to answer to the “salary expectations” question

The best answer you can give is a range rather than an exact figure. You will make the interviewer understand that you have flexibility in this area. You will score more points by emphasizing how much you value other conditions apart from salary (working hours, work-life balance, training, etc.).

Once you mention an amount or rank, you should justify why you think you deserve it, with solid reasons such as your experience, knowledge, skills, and previous professional achievements.

If you don’t know exactly what salary corresponds to your profile, do a quick labor market research and find the corresponding range according to your experience, location, and desired position. Being familiar with this range will demonstrate:

  • That you have a real knowledge of the labor market and the situation in your sector.
  • That you are self-confident and value your work as it deserves, without being overly modest or arrogant.
  • That you are clear about your objectives and expectations.

5. How do you deal with a stressful situation?

In the vast majority of jobs, there are certain moments of tension or pressure. In response to these stimuli, your behavior affects how you perform your job, as well as the atmosphere around you. Knowing how you handle them is one of the questions that most companies are most concerned about when hiring someone.

How to answer the question on stressful situations

The ideal solution to answer correctly is to explain how you have successfully managed a stressful situation in your former job and what you did to overcome it.

Answers to avoid

It is advisable to avoid certain pitfalls such as:

  • Recreating yourself with personal or specific situations that cause you stress. You should show a side of self-improvement, not fragility.
  • Making the interviewer believe that you never feel under pressure.
  • Talking about a specific situation where there was no real pressure element, yet you felt stressed.

Final words of advice

Preparing properly for the most difficult questions in a job interview will increase your chances of getting the job you aim for. It is not a matter of learning the answers by heart, but rather of doing a prior self-analysis exercise and having the resources that will allow you to perform adequately. Experience will help you, and you will soon discover which formulas work best to reflect your professional side.

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