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Job Interview: The 12 Most Common Questions

When looking for a new job (or your first job) you will find that one of the most common procedures is to go through a job interview. The purpose of these interviews is to help the employer get to know the candidates for a certain position, thus allowing the company's Human Resources team to find out who the person applying for the job position is.

In order to be able to learn more about the candidate, particularly with respect to his or her personality, adaptability and how their presence can help achieve good results in the company, these interviews consist of many questions. While some of the questions may be unique and distinct, the truth is that there are also others that almost always stand out in this selection process.

So by knowing the most common job interview questions, as well as the reasons they are asked so often, is a good way to make sure you're prepared to give the best response.

Some of the most common questions in job interviews are:

1. What can you tell me about yourself? How do you best describe yourself?
This question is often asked at the start of the interview in order to evaluate the candidate's self-description capability. Since our opinion about ourselves is not always positive, this question can generate nervousness, which demonstrates lack of confidence. Ideally, you should give a direct and brief answer that values ​​your professional profile without over-exaggerating your personal virtues. Avoid giving out vague information about yourself.

2. Why did you choose this qualification?
This question aims to understand the vocation of the candidate. An assertive response that reinforces the importance of the chosen qualification is imperative, and it is also indicated that the choice of this course is related to the intention of moving towards a suitable professional career.

3. What are your greatest qualities?

This is one of the issues that most generates nervousness in the candidate. When you're about to mention your qualities, highlight the best ones (such as punctuality or taking initiative). Also reveal some quality that corresponds specifically to the job for which you are applying.

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4. What are your biggest weaknesses?
As far as weaknesses are concerned, it is important to mention less positive traits that do not affect the job application. Thus, the response can not be too negative, and should ideally make a positive reinforcement (such as "being a perfectionist").

5. What are your career goals?

This question aims to find out what the candidate's ambitions are and how they will affect the business dynamics. It is important that the candidate demonstrates their intention to take every professional step towards progressive learning by revealing their ambitious side.

6. Do you value teamwork?

The interviewer will ask this question to try to understand how the candidate reacts to the idea of ​​working with third parties. Since all organisations require interaction with colleagues, it is important to mention your ability to work as a team, not just work on your own. Examples of both situations can be helpful in this case.

7. What are the professional achievements you are most proud of?
Success stories can be told in response to this interviewer's question. At this stage, you will want to find traits that show your passion for your job and your aim for success.

8. Why did you leave your previous job?

This type of question assesses the candidate at various levels. It is very important not to mention the negative aspects of the company, the employers or the colleagues in your previous job; but the search for new goals and professional growth should be emphasised.

9. Why do you want to work with us?
This question is essential for the interviewer to find out whether you are familiar with the company and the position you are applying for, so it is a good idea to do a little research about the company, its policies, its layout and principles. The interest you show through this research will be a plus point. Emphasise that working for the company will help you achieve your career goals and objectives.

10. What are your salary expectations?
When answering this question, you can mention a reasonable salary figure. Still, this is the time to highlight the flexibility and the reasons that make you apply for the job beyond its salary.

11. Why should we hire you?
This question gives you the chance to promote yourself and reflect on what the company can gain from hiring you. Highlight your worth without ever discrediting or disrespecting the remaining candidates.

12. Do you have any questions?
In view of this question, it is most advisable to respond, since asking questions show interest in the company and the vacancy for which you are applying.

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Engel & Völkers
Licence Partner Portugal

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