Attending an interview is a lot like walking on a minefield. There are several things that can go wrong and you most likely won’t be able to point out the exact moment the hiring manager decided that you would not be hearing from them again.

More often than not, interviewers don’t say exactly what they mean. There are underlying messages in the questions they throw at you; the difficult
part is answering what they’re indirectly asking to impress them.

To help you out, here’s a list of common job interview questions and what they mean:

“Tell me about yourself.”

Meaning: “Don’t start from when you were born. I don’t want you to tell me personal information; I need you to tell me why you’re qualified for this job.”

When answering this, start from your most recent achievement and highlight your skills that relate directly to the job post you’re applying for.

“What’s your greatest weakness?”

Meaning: “Can you be honest with yourself and admit you’re not perfect or will you pretend to be a know-it-all?”

The best way to answer this is to admit that you have certain weaknesses but you don’t stress over them and instead focus on being better at what you’re good at.

“What are your strengths?”

Meaning: “What are the things you’re good at and how do you know you’re good at them? Tell me more about it.”

You don’t answer this question by enumerating your strengths; you answer it by sharing stories wherein your skills were used for a project’s success and/or betterment.

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

Meaning: “Do you think you’ll still be with us then or do you have any plans of leaving the company in a couple of years?”

You must make the hiring manager feel you plan on seeing your career through in their company. It’s also important to show them you have visions of yourself climbing the corporate ladder.

“What do you know about our company?”

Meaning: “Did you do your homework and conducted your research about the company?”

You must ALWAYS be prepared when you’re called for an interview; know the company’s [brief] background, what they aim to accomplish, and who the people behind the name are.

“Do you have any questions for me?”

Meaning: “Did you bother to prepare questions regarding job responsibilities and/or the company culture?”

Asking means you’re curious, being curious means you’re interested, and being interested means you’ll do what it takes to get the job and eventually be an asset to the company. Again, come prepared!

Attending an interview is like going to war; you must be prepared for anything and everything the hiring managers throw at you. With our tips, a perfect resume and cover letter, chances are you’ll land your dream job and start your career’s fruitful journey.

Sources: Careerialism, Pongo, Career Nook, Allen Fitzhugh from LinkedIn, U.S. News Money
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