7 Most Common Face to Face Interview Questions and How to Prepare in 2020

The above picture shows 2 women sitting at a table face to face. One of the women is interviewing the other.

7 Most Common Face to Face Interview Questions and How to Prepare

Securing a job isn’t easy.

Indeed, every new job opening gets an average of 118 applications. According to the same source, only 20% of them are offered an interview.

As you can see, making it to the interview stage is already a big achievement! However, the real cause for celebration comes when you secure the position itself. The key to success here lies in the preparation.

After all, interviews are nerve-wracking encounters. It’s high-stakes, with a job and livelihood on the line! Thankfully, certain face to face interview questions arise over and over again.

Knowing about them in advance enables you to plan your answers and present yourself well to prospective employers. Sound good?

Keep reading to learn 7 common interview questions and how to prepare for them!

1. Why Do You Want This Job?

Okay, the trick to this question is demonstrating your knowledge of the role.

Do your research before the interview to find out exactly what the position would require. Then, in your answer to this question, talk about the specific aspects that appeal to you.

Be honest and authentic. Of course, it’s best not to mention the high salary or the fact you dislike your current boss! However, address the elements of the position that excite you.

Maybe you’re looking for a new challenge, or to work with a particular clientele. Perhaps you’d like to be part of a company with particular values, where you can learn and do stimulating work.

These kinds of answers are sure to go down well.

2. What Do You Know About Our Organization?

It’s hard to overstate the importance of prior research.

You’ve only got 7 seconds to make a good first impression! Doing your homework is a sure-fire way to endear yourself to the interviewers. It’ll come across as soon as the interview begins.

It shows commitment, diligence, and a genuine interest in their company, brand and values. Thankfully, you don’t need to know everything; don’t worry about memorizing endless facts and figures.

However, do make sure that you go into every interview with a solid grasp of their history, work, and ethos. At a minimum, know about the products they sell, the industry they’re in, and the state of the market.

3. What Are Three of Your Personal Strengths?

This interview question gives you a chance to highlight two things:

  1. Your knowledge of the job description, and
  2. How your experience and qualifications meet it.

Demonstrate that you’ve done your due diligence and understand the demands of the role. Then, highlight your personal attributes and prior experience that qualify you for it.

Overall, see this question as your chance to describe your positive qualities. Don’t be afraid to talk highly of yourself- especially when your attributes pertain to the job.

You might be a strong communicator, a great team-player, hard-worker, or results-driven personality. This isn’t bragging! You’re just letting them know why they should hire you over other candidates!

Make sure you have at least three of your strengths lined up and ready to go. Need help? Ask your friends and family what they’d say on your behalf.

4. Weaknesses Do You Have?

This question balances out the last.

Again, genuineness and authenticity are important. Don’t make up random weaknesses. Show that you’re self-aware, and have the insight and humility to recognize you have room for growth.

Detail a professional weakness or two (or three, depending on how many they ask) and add how you overcome them.

Maybe you struggled to work efficiently in the past, but now use numerous tools to help. Perhaps you’re a perfectionist that finds criticism hard, but now actively seek feedback to improve.

Let’s face it, this is an awkward question.

And it’s meant to be! The interviewer might be less interested in the answer itself, and more on how you handle it. Be confident, stay calm, and deliver your response in an unflappable nature.

5. If You Were an Animal, What Would You Be, And Why?

This question can seem totally random.

Again, though, the content of your answer doesn’t matter as much as how you deliver it. As it happens, that same rule usually applies to any question that seems irrelevant or bizarre!

It’s hard to prepare for these ones.

However, like any question on this list, don’t be afraid to stop and consider your answer before rushing into a spiel. Buy yourself a few seconds by recognizing out loud how ‘interesting’ the question is! Then, having had a moment to gather yourself, get started.

In this instance, talk about an animal with strengths/personality that align with your own.

6. What Salary Are You Hoping For?

As a rule of thumb, avoid talking about salary in an interview unless they ask you about it.

If/when they do, make sure you offer a realistic figure. Presenting an accurate salary reflects your knowledge and experience of similar roles; going too high or low does the opposite.

In essence, you want to demonstrate that you’re on the same page as the interviewer. Research salaries for similar roles in the same industry so you have a fair answer to this question.

7. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

This is usually the last question you’ll be asked in an interview.

Don’t just say ‘no’!

Taking this tack constitutes a wasted opportunity to show off. It’s another great chance to demonstrate your knowledge of the industry (or organization) by asking an insightful question.

Prepare your own questions ahead of time so you can open up a discussion. Alternatively, ask relevant questions about the role, the support they have for disability in the workplace, the team, or challenges you can expect.

Common Face to Face Interview Questions

Landing an interview is a big deal that’s sure to get the nerves racing.

Thankfully, knowing and preparing for common face to face interview questions can help settle them down! Even better, you can put together answers ahead of time.

In committing these to memory, it’s far easier to come across well in the interview itself. Rather than fumbling around for answers, you can deliver a response without hesitation, and in line with their expectations.

Hopefully, this post will help you do exactly that.

Looking for a new job? Click here to see what’s available.