Ace Your Interview: Essential Tips for Answering the Most Common Questions

During a job interview, it’s normal to encounter a few interview questions that seem difficult to answer. Some may ask you to address a hypothetical, and they may not have clear “right” or “wrong” answers. Others touch on challenging topics, such as your shortcomings, which are classically difficult to respond to during an interview.

Fortunately, by using the correct strategies, it’s far easier to succeed in your interview. Here is a list of the most common questions you might encounter, as well as tips for answering them.

What Is Your Biggest Weakness?

When it comes to interview questions, this one is often the most daunting. It’s asking you to discuss a shortcoming, which can feel like a trap.

If you want to answer this question well, don’t try to turn a positive into a weakness. For example, claiming that perfectionist tendencies are a weakness usually comes across as disingenuous. Instead, pick a legitimate weak area that isn’t relevant to the role. For instance, many jobs don’t involve public speaking-related duties, so admitting that is a weakness won’t usually hurt your chances.

However, you also want to follow up on the shortcoming you mention by talking about how you’re working to improve. That shows you’re diligent about your own development, which can make a strong positive impression.

Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake

This is another question that seemingly puts you on the spot. However, it can also be an opportunity to demonstrate self-awareness and growth.

When you begin your answer, outline the scenario, the steps you took, and where things went awry. Then, pivot to talk about the steps you took to correct the issue (if it was fixable) or what you learned from the experience. Further, mention what you do now to prevent the same thing from happening again. By using those approaches, you can show that you grew due to the error and aren’t likely to repeat your misstep, which helps turn a difficult situation into a positive one.

Can You Tell Me About a Time Where You Experienced Stress on the Job? What Did You Do to Manage It?

All jobs come with some degree of stress, and hiring managers want to know that you can navigate it effectively. When you answer this two-part question, you want to provide a legitimate example of a stressful time in a past role. Again, discuss the scenario and why it was stressful. Then, outline any steps you took to ensure you could complete the task or handle the responsibility appropriately.

When you respond, it’s wise to tap on specific soft skills. For example, you can explain how you used time management to remain on target. Mentioning any stress-relieving techniques you’re able to employ at work can also work in your favor, as it shows you have a strategy for navigating difficulties.

Ultimately, using the approaches outlined when you’re answering the common interview questions above makes a difference. If you’d like to learn more about how you can ace your interview or are seeking out new opportunities, TekCom wants to hear from you. Contact us today.

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