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Answering the Most Common Interview Questions

Become familiar with how to answer the most common interview questions.

Interviewing can be a big part of the process to land the internship or job. To best prepare for an interview, it’s good to figure out how to answer the most common interview questions. Take time to familiarize yourself with the questions, your proposed answers, and be sure to practice in the mirror or with a friend. This can help you get comfortable and ensure your interview goes smoothly.

Below are a few questions to expect in an upcoming interview and tips to help you answer.

“Tell me about yourself.”

Take this opportunity to speak highly about yourself, your past experiences, and share why you’re a good fit for the job and the employer. This question is very open ended and allows you to take it in any direction you’d like; it also allows you to share what you couldn’t in your resume or cover letter. Remember not to focus too much on what is on your resume. The employer has likely reviewed your resume prior to your interview.

You may start by talking about your background and why you’ve chosen your career path. Share something you’re passionate about and tie it to why you’re interested in the role. A few things to share could include an extracurricular activity, hobby, or an organization you’re connected to. This is also a good time to wrap up by mentioning some of your career goals.

“How did you hear about this job?”

Show you’re interested in the company and excited about the job. Take time to share what specifically caught your eye about the role and why you wanted to apply. Additionally, share if you found the job at a career fair, career center, online, or through a connection. This is also a good time to mention any recent news you’ve read about the organization.

“Why do you want to work here?”

Before your interview, take some time to research the company by reading through their website, recent articles, press releases, and their social channels. This will allow you to think about what appeals you the most about the employer. Mentioning something that may not be common knowledge will show you have a genuine interest in them and did your research.

“Why are you interested in this role?”

This question is best answered using specific reasons. Be enthusiastic with your answer. This will show the employer how excited you are for the role, the company, and the team you’d be joining. Consider sharing the impact you’ll be able to make in this role.

“How do you deal with challenges?”

Employers may be interested in how you handle problems and solve them. Take this time to share your process for taking on challenges and breaking down a big project to manageable steps. You may also be asked to describe a time that something didn’t go as planned; this allows you to share how you dealt with the situation and your success. Additionally, don’t forget to share what you learned about this experience and how it helped you grow.

“Why should we hire you?”

Prior to your interview, take some time to review the job description and how you fit the candidate description. Think about how your experiences set you apart from other candidates. Additionally, take this opportunity to discuss anything you haven’t been able to point out yet, highlight and reiterate your qualifications.

“Do you have any questions for me?”

Always be prepared to say yes to this question. Preparing a few questions in advance shows your interest in the role and the employer. It’s a great opportunity for you to learn more about the role and company to determine if it’s a good fit for you.

  • Check out “Questions to Ask During Your Interview” article here.

Knowing how to answer the questions above takes time! Practice in front of a mirror or with a friend to become comfortable with each question. Preparing ahead of time will allow you to destress before the interview.

Visit Ascend’s Job Seeker Resources page to learn more about these strategies and other helpful tips.

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