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10 Common Job Interview Questions You Should Know Answers To

'Do you have any questions for us?'
PHOTO: Nick Onken

1. "How did you hear about the position?"

This is the perfect opportunity to let a potential employer know that you've done your research. If you found out about the vacancy from a friend, feel free to name drop before you talk about what excited you about the job description. If you found it through a job site, let them know how. What types of jobs were you looking for? What kind of company do you want to work for? If you specifically went to the company's website to check out its career section, you shouldn't have a problem with letting them know why you want to work there. ;)

2. "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

A hiring manager's goal is to find someone who not only fits the job description, but also has the potential to grow with the company. This question is meant to gauge if you've thought about where your career is headed, and if you have enough ambition to get to where you want to be in five years. You don't have to lay out your plan in detail. In fact, it's actually okay to not be completely sure, but do think about how this position can be the perfect experience to help you make that decision. 

3. "What's your dream job?"

Depending on the vibe of your interview, you could keep it light and tell them how you've always wanted to be an artista, but don't miss this opportunity to talk about your ambitions. Companies want people who have goals and who are driven. 

 4. "Are you interviewing with other companies?"

Some people think the perfect response to this question is to start proclaiming your eternal loyalty to the company you're interviewing for, but it isn't necessary. Companies ask this to see what the competition's like—especially if they really want you. You don't actually have to list all the companies you have appointments with, but letting an interviewer know that you have options isn't bad! Let them know your worth—it might convince them to make an offer sooner. 

5. "What's your ideal work environment?"

Do not suck up. Ideally, your perfect work environment matches the company's culture, but if you lie about this just to make them want you, you might end up regretting it. Why would you want to work for a hypercompetitive company if you work better in a collaborative environment? 

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6. "Explain the gap in your employment."

If you didn't work for a year, you can expect a hiring manager to ask about that during your interview. Be direct about that gap. Hopefully, you didn't just sit at home during that time. Talk about the events or conferences you attended, hobbies you might have taken up, or volunteer activities you focused on. Then, elaborate on how those opportunities prepared you for the role you're interviewing for. That employment gap can work to your advantage. 

7. "How do you deal with stressful situations?"

If you freak out over stressful situations, this might be the time to sugarcoat your answer. Let them know that while you expect the role to bring high-stress situations, you're more than capable of addressing them in a productive and positive manner. Talk about daily techniques you use to deal with your tasks (making lists, taking a ten-minute break, listening to music). 

8. "What are your salary requirements?"

Before you even go in for your interview, you should have a number in mind of what you should be paid, based on what people in similar roles make in your industry. Align that salary expectation with your education, experience, and skills. Come up with a range you're comfortable with, and don't just agree to any number they throw out because you're desperate for a job. But let the interviewer know that you're flexible. 

9. "What are your hobbies?"

This isn't a trick question. They actually want to know what you do for fun and if you have a life. While still keeping it professional, talk about your hobbies. This lets them know if you actually have a personality and will fit in. 

10. "Do you have any questions for us?"

ALWAYS. HAVE. QUESTIONS. Even if you don't, come up with some: Why was this position vacated? What's your favorite part about working here? What does a typical day look like? What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face? How will I be trained?

Source: The Muse

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