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Top Five Job Interview Questions

Last updated August 17, 2023

Top Five Job Interview Questions

So you have a job interview - congratulations! Now you need to make sure you’re prepared - both with the  right outfit and the right answers to the questions you’ll be asked. Here are five likely questions with typical answers (that will ensure you do not get the job) and more interesting answers that will set you up on the path to employment. These are just suggestions, so make sure you tailor your answers to who you are and the specific job you’re applying for.

Question 1: Tell me about yourself.

Average answer: Well, I was born in Seattle, but we moved to Portland when I was three. I have a dog and like to swim. 

Better Answer: Last year in school, I played on the basketball and soccer team. It kept me busy, but I learned to manage my time. I'm also involved in volunteering with my sister's Girl Scout troop. That's been a great experience in learning how to work as a team with other leaders plus plan activities.

Question 2: How would your teachers or boss describe you? 

Average answer: Oh, I guess they'd say I was an OK student and do alright at my job. 

Better answer: My teachers and my boss would tell you I work hard to get my work completed on time and that I am a team player. If I finish a task ahead of schedule, I get a jump start on my next assignment or help my classmates or coworkers with their assignments. 

Question 3: Tell me about a time you had a problem and how you solved it.

Average answer: My siblings and I don't always get along. I usually yell and then go to my room for a few hours.

Better answer: One problem I had recently was during a group project in my English class. Each group member had to prepare a section of a presentation. I noticed one of our group members had not completed their section and the deadline was quickly approaching. I held a group meeting to discuss the project and offered to help with other sections of the project so we could finish on time. In the end, we completed our project on time, the presentation went well, and everyone received a good grade.

Question 4: Why should I hire you over the other 8 applicants waiting to be interviewed?

Average answer: I really need the money to buy these new shoes I want and my parents said I have to do something constructive this summer. 

Better answer: I'm a reliable person. I'll arrive to work on time and do the best I can on the job. I've done volunteer work, but now I'd like to gain actual work experience. If you hire me, you'll get someone who isn't afraid to learn.

Question 5: What do you like most about school or your current job?

Average answer: Hanging out with my friends.

Better answer: I especially like working on projects together with my friends. I just got done being in charge of decorating for our school dance. I organized my friends and we worked together to set up the gym with a Hawaiian theme. I also like participating in school events like sports teams and student government.

Bonus Question: Do you have any questions for me?

Average answer: No. I think I'm good.  

Better answer: Yes. Can you share more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this role? 

There you have it - five questions employers might ask you! Try to answer every question with a positive answer and  be prepared to ask the hiring manager interview questions as well.

Good luck on that interview and don't forget to send a thank you note afterwards!  Click here to check out more job interview tips or text #Jobs to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our job coaches. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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