Some interview questions narrow down whether an applicant has the competence and qualifications needed for the job, other questions can be inappropriate. Competent interviewers ask the job-seeker about their experience and accomplishments and next steps in their career path. So, what do you do when an interviewer asks you an irrelevant or question? Here are some of the most common questions hiring managers ask that do not actually address the candidates’ ability to perform the job, along with tips on how to answer those questions competently.

Why should I hire you this for this position?

While this question provides an opportunity for you to discuss your qualifications for the job position, it is indirect. To answer this question, you should provide concrete examples that demonstrate competencies in your current position. You can also discuss how your skill set aligns with the job requirements.

What is your biggest weakness?

Every employer seems to ask this question, even though it rarely leads to a genuine response. Most job seekers choose a strength they can disguise as a weakness. An example would be to say, “I’m a perfectionist,” or “I work too much.” The responses show an inability to self-reflect. Instead, you should answer the question candidly. Talk about a flaw that you have, while demonstrating a willingness to work on the issue. Everyone has weaknesses. What is important is that you have the ability to identify those weaknesses and have the motivation for personal growth.

What’s your greatest strength?

Although this is a common question, it is far too vague to use in an interview. Most people have a checklist of what constitutes a strength, such as being a team player or having a positive attitude. Chances are high that the interviewer has heard the same answers repeatedly. The challenge is to answer the question so that you stand out. To do this, you have to be as specific as you can in your examples. So, if your strength is that you work well with others, you should provide detailed examples of times you had to cooperate with coworkers. Tell them about the strategies you used and the positive outcomes that were produced.

Tell me about yourself.

This prompt is very open-ended. It can cause the candidate to go into too much personal detail or to talk about work experience that has no bearing on the job position. The key is to stay as focused as possible. Outline your relevant work experience and discuss the skills that you have that will be useful in the role. This will show the interviewer that you understand the job requirements.


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