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Are You Prepared For These Interview Questions?

interview questions
Katelyn Hare
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Published on November 17, 2015

When preparing for interviews, we know the basic questions we need to think about beforehand. We need to know facts about the company, our strengths and weaknesses and be prepared to showcase our prior experiences. While these questions may seem basic, it is important to come up with engaging and unique answers. You can give your interviewer a basic answer, but this makes you a less memorable candidate in the long run.

Here are very popular and basic interview questions that you should be prepared for. Even though these seem like basic questions, there is both an adequate and fantastic way to answer these questions. Here’s what not to do:

Tell Me About Yourself.

“Well, I’m Katelyn. I come from a sporadic family where I have 5 younger brothers and sisters. I love to read, and I most likely will read at one point on the job. When I was younger, I hated playing dress-up and preferred to play outside, read and play video games instead.”

Can you see how the above answer may result in the interviewer falling asleep and deciding not to hire you? When an interviewer asks you this question, they do not want to know your life story. They do not care about your life story. They want to know how you fit into the job.

This is something you can prepare in advance, like your pitch, and should be no longer than two minutes long. You should briefly state your education, work history, why you like the field and your skills that you have learned.

What Are Your Weaknesses?

“Chocolate. Seriously, offer me any type of chocolate and I will devour it as if I am breathing in air. It doesn’t matter if I am on a diet and trying to be healthy, I lack any sense of self control when it comes to chocolate.”

Everyone has a weakness for sweets and other bad habits, but your interviewer is looking for a real weakness you have that relates to skills, motivation or time management and how you are trying to solve it. They want to know that you can spot your flaws and that you are trying to overcome them.

Do not answer this question with, “I don’t have any weaknesses” or “I work too much.” Answer it with a skill that relates to working that you know you need to improve upon. For example, “I am slacking a little in CSS, and I am currently taking a course on Codecademy to strengthen it.

Why Do You Want To Work Here?

“I need a job. More specifically, I just need the cash. You guys were the only place hiring within 5 miles of me, and I think the view of the lake is nice from the office.”

You have already done research on the company and know a little about its values and culture. This is the time to show what you like about the company and how you would be a great fit. Here’s a better example:

“I want to work here because I think it will be a great place to put my skills to the test and gain experience working at a non-profit. I love volunteering and supporting organizations dedicated to social change. Since your client base is mainly non-profits, I feel that it’s a win-win all around.”

Where Do Your See Yourself in 5 Years?

“I honestly am not sure where I would like to be in 5 years; that is a lot of pressure. I haven’t thought about what I will be doing in 2 weeks let alone 5 years. I don’t have an answer.”

This is a hard question for many, and we’ve been getting this question since high school. The interviewer wants to know where you see yourself in five years in relation to the company. “In five years, I would like to be a senior developer managing several projects as the lead developer,” would be a good example. Just don’t say that you would want to be running the company in five years time.

What Factors Did You Consider In Choosing To Work in This Field?

“I didn’t really consider it. I just knew that I liked code, and I went for it.”

The above answer could actually be a good answer if you add what being the field has taught you and why you want to keep moving forward. Why do you like your field? Is it the work? The communities? Know that there is a problem and you have the skills to solve it? Work these into your answer.

These are the more basic questions in an interview. The questions that are really going to throw you off shouldn’t be these questions; they would most likely be unique interview questions that ask you about your favorite princess or how you would get yourself out of an odd situation. The questions that focus on your strengths, weaknesses and interests are the ones you should know backwards and forwards, so prepare for them ahead of time.

Katelyn Hare

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