Five Common Interview Question Responses That Could Cost You the Job

Can a single answer make or break your interview? Maybe. Hiring managers and employers are looking for certain answers to common questions—especially if you’re in a competitive field. Some answers can send the wrong message to an interviewer and paint a picture that just isn’t you. So what can you say to dazzle “the judges” during your interview, and what should you avoid?

Five right and wrong answers to common interview questions.

During your interview, you will most likely encounter the following questions. Pay careful attention to the right and wrong answers (and do your best to avoid the wrong ones):

Why do you want this job?

Don’t say: “I want more money,” “It just sounds cool,” or worse—“I don’t know.”

Do say what you’re passionate about in your career and how this particular job is perfectly aligned with your career goals. Show the interviewer you’ve done your homework about both the position and the company, and know exactly what you want.

What is your dream job?

Don’t say anything specific, or note any job that is in an unrelated field. When you get too specific, you make it obvious you have plans to leave in the future.

Do say something about the type of job you’re looking for, and be sure it aligns with the current job you’re interviewing for. For example, “I would love a job where I can be creative and work in collaboration with other creative people.”

What is your greatest weakness?

Never say you don’t have any OR you’re a perfectionist. This is a canned answer that interviewers have heard before.

Do give an actual weakness, complete with steps you’ve taken to overcome this weakness. Both your honesty and self-awareness will be appreciated.

Why are you leaving your current job?

Don’t say: “I don’t get along with my boss,” “I don’t make enough money,” or anything else negative.

Do talk positively about the future. Say you’re looking for new challenges and growth opportunities, and this position is a good fit for your career goals.

Do you have any questions?

Don’t say no, or ask about the salary or vacation time.

Always have a list of 3-5 questions prepared ahead of time. Good questions include: “Why did the previous person leave this position?”, “What are the top qualities I need to excel at this position?”, “How many people are you interviewing and when will you make your decision?” or “How do you see this position developing over the next five years?”

Preparation is key

Practice your answers prior to your interview so you won’t be caught off guard. Then you can enter calm and confident, ready to do your best!

Looking for your next job?

In Corinth, MS and beyond, check out Hamilton-Ryker! We work with candidates to find light industrial and administrative positions, plus we offer training to help you develop your skills and advance in your career. To learn more and speak with an experienced recruiter, contact us today!