Top Interview Questions and Why They are Asked (and Smart Ways to Answer Them!)

Finding job is hard and so is the process. Organizations choose the best among the job seekers whom they can invest with for the benefit of the two parties. This is why competition is tough and it is measured how well you do in the interview. Below are the top, perhaps the most common interview questions asked:

1. Introduce yourself or tell me more about yourself.
This aims to check how well you know yourself, strength, weakness as well as your spontaneity. This does not expect you to answer what your name is or anything stated in your CV, rather your inner self which is not written on any documents.

How to answer this: You may start by what your close friends call you or what you are tagged as. Briefly, explain the background of it and state how you do as an employee and also your dreams and aspirations.

Sample: My friends call me brainier instead of Raynier. It started when we were brainstorming for solutions and I was able to suggest an idea which they now consider as a great success in our work. I love being challenged and I’m hoping to sit one day with the big bosses thanking them for a promotion they’d offered me.

2. Why join our company?
This aims to check how you see the company as a whole - their reputation, and their name over their competition, how well you’ve done your research about the organization you are applying to. This measures how interested you are in the organization.

How to answer: Acknowledge the company status but don’t overdo it. Go deeper by knowing what the company’s mission and vision, and state what you share in common.

Sample: I am impressed with how the company managed to stay humble despite the fame and awards received. But what really inspired me to join is the fact that this organization is driven by principles that promote employee’s development and wellness. I believe that this company is my rightful place, and this company would find a perfect fit in me.

Sample: This is an organization known to perform well. I wanted to make myself a part of an organization that does its best to provide clients’ needs without compromising their employees’ well-being.

3. Are you willing to extend beyond office hours?
This aims to see what you can sacrifice for work, your commitment, and your dedication. Never lie. If you don’t agree to overtime, then say it with respect.

Sample: I believe over time is necessary when the task is not finished within an allotted time, which is why I manage my time very well to avoid an instance wherein we have to prioritize work over our family.

4. How much is your asking salary?
This checks whether or not their allotted salary would meet your demands. On the managerial side, this could also mean how confident you are with your skills. Be honest, at the same time be humble. After all, it is you who need them more than they would need you.

Sample: I am hoping to see a figure higher than my previous pay, which is _____ for the reason that I also have spent much for my training and seminars, but I am open to negotiations regarding the figure.

5. Why did you leave your previous company?
This checks for any issue you might be involved in, your work ethics, and how you respect your previous company. This also gives a notion that when you speak ill about your previous company, the tendency is you’ll also speak ill of them when you leave. Remember that this prospect company can also contact your previous company and check how you were as an employee.

How to answer: State the reason for joining the prospect company rather than the reason you left your previous company. Never speak ill about your previous company.

Sample: I am thankful for the skills I was able to develop in my previous position as a clerk. I believe it is about time to level up and I find this company a right venue to grow career wise -- a new environment… A new challenge and a fresh perspective.

These major ideas pointed out are the major points that HR professionals are taking into consideration. As a Recruitment Officer, I backed it up with my experience in interviewing candidates for several positions, and mind you, it really does work in selecting the best candidate possible.

A beautiful quote by Kerry Stokes probably summarizes all the major points and the reasons why employers wanted to select the best by interview.

“Ethics or simple honesty is the building blocks upon which our whole society is based, and business is a part of our society, and it’s integral to the practice of being able to conduct business, that you have a set of honest standards.”