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How To Answer Common Interview Questions

In modern times, you don’t have to search far online to find the most common interview questions; however, most of these articles don’t provide any real insight or ideas on how to answer them. While many interviewers will be evaluating candidates on how well they will fit into the existing company culture, the answer provided during an interview can potentially make or break your chances of receiving an offer. While answering interview questions may seem like a tricky task, here are tips to help you weather the storm and make a great impression.

How Would Former Co-Workers Describe You?

Instead of being unprepared and focusing on a generic answer to this interview question, take the time to ask a friend or family member how they would describe you. More often than not, these people will know you far better than a co-worker will and can provide insight that you may not even realize is there. Make sure you are presenting yourself in a positive light and, if possible, relate it to the work environment you are interviewing for.

Explain a Particular Achievement at Work or School

With this question, the interviewer is trying to determine what might be a defining feature that separates you from other candidates that have applied for the job. Before going into the interview prepare by considering various achievements you have made throughout your personal or professional life that you are proud of.  Don’t be afraid to share multiple achievements as long as they are relevant to the position you are applying for.

What Motivates You as an Individual?

This question is often very personality-driven, meaning you don’t necessarily have to relate it directly to the position, but you certainly don’t want to deviate from it too far. Remember who your audience is when you are asked this question and be honest.  When possible, relate your motivating factors to features of the job that will highlight skills or abilities that make you the right candidate for the position.

Do You Work Better Alone or in a Team?

Since you think it’s what they want to hear, your gut reaction would probably be to say that you enjoy working in a team. The reality is that both have their strong points and being flexible will likely make you appear as a more viable candidate than others that respond with a canned answer. Highlight that you do well with both but you open to change whenever it may be necessary to complete a task or project.

What Happens if You Don’t Get This Job?

While this may seem like a test to determine if you have other offers currently on the table or won’t want to stay with the company long-term, this is often a way to see how well you will deal with snags or obstacles that may come up during work. The easiest way to answer this question is to stress that you will use the experience to improve for future interviews. While there is no wrong answer, this ends the conversation positively.

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