So, you’re interviewing for that one company you thought would never reach out to you. You’ve scheduled the interview, cleared your calendar and decided what to wear when, suddenly, the euphoria is fading as you realize what comes next. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous or even a little unsure before an interview. The best remedy is to be prepared. Here are a few tips on how to answer interview questions.

Tell me about yourself.

This one isn’t technically a question, but it is perhaps the most frustrating thing an interviewer can say. What do they want to hear exactly? You don’t know and that’s the point. They want to know what you think they should know about you. It’s a good idea to start out with the basics—your education and experience and, of course, how that background makes you an ideal candidate for the position. Then, delve into some personal details—just nothing too personal. They do want to hear a little bit about your interests, hobbies and volunteer work, but not about the bad date you had last week.

Why are you interested in this job?

Spoiler alert: the correct answer is not “to pay my bills” or anything along those lines. But it is a good idea to be honest. Are you looking to try something new? Are you looking for meaningful work? Are you interested in their easygoing start-up environment? Just remember to frame your answer in the most positive and professional way possible. For example, if the pay really is the biggest draw for you, try “I’m looking for a better opportunity; something that will help me to achieve not only my professional goals, but my personal ones as well.”

Why should we hire you?

It can be hard to strike a balance between seeming not confident enough and seeming arrogant, especially when asked a question like this. A good answer is one that proves that you’re familiar with the company and what they’re looking for.  Make sure to refer back to the job posting and state how your skills relate to those listed. Don’t forget to let them know what you like about the company, too. It’s important to let them know what this will be a good fit for both parties.

What is your greatest weakness?

This is another annoying question. It’s trite at this point but still gets asked quite often. The best way to go about this is to focus on how you’ve overcome weaknesses. Bonus points if you can work in some reinforcement of your good qualities. Are you shy? Maybe you overcame it—and helped to improve your community—by volunteering with a local nonprofit. Are you a little too competitive? Maybe you get that out of your system by playing on the company softball team. Admit your weakness, convey how you’ve improved on it and bring it right back around to what really matters—your qualifications.

These are just a few of the questions you could be asked at your next interview, but these are some of the most common. Have more concerns about the interview process? Reach out to the career experts at TalentBridge today!