Top interview questions (and how to answer them.)

As much as we hate to break it to some, "I need money" isn't really an acceptable answer when a potential employer asks "Why do you want to work at our company?" 

So,  what is a satisfactory answer?

Here at Youth Space, we handpicked the most common interview questions, as well as an outline and examples of each scenario. Use in your own discretion! 

Tell me about yourself

As fascinating as your double-jointed thumb may be, keep these quirky details to yourself during the interview.

The employer will be looking for quick description of yourself of past education and experiences, as well as future goals focused on your professional aspects

EG: "I am an enthusiastic individual with a passion for web design and management. In my past jobs, I’ve lead teams of all sizes and enjoy helping people . The role excites me because it will give me an opportunity to work with  a company with such a long standing reputation of great leadership"

Why do you want to work for our company? 

Maybe this job opportunity is a possible future career, or part time job. Maybe the job lines up perfectly with your passion, or maybe you were just drawn to their CEO's previous speech.

Giving answers like "It's close to my house” probably won't get you hired, Instead, try to go for answer like “ I have admired X Company's strong journalism team since the publication of Y, and I share many of the same goals and passions as X company. My past experiences as a reporter in our school newspaper have prepared me well, and brought me to X company"

Why would you be interested in this type of work?

This one is a pretty similar one to the last one, but most people give answers involving their strong motivation goals just as "this job fits with my personality" or "It allows me to explore my passion."

What are your strengths? Why do you think you are a valuable employee?

Show the employer that you are the best person for the job. 

Do a quick self assessment before the interview. Are you mature? Focused? Skills in technical trade? strong in communication? leadership?

Mention some of your skills from past experiences, and how these strengths helped you overcome obstacles or positively impacted those around you.

EG: "I’ve been told that I’ve been blessed with strong leadership qualities, and I’ve been leading a community reading group for kids ages 5-12 for 5 years now.

What is your greatest weakness?

Don’t be afraid to use humour!

Joking aside, this is a dreaded question for most, but there's nothing to be afraid of. 

Be honest and openly acknowledge your weaknesses and to make peace with them, it’s the only you can solve them!

Then explain how you noticed this and the steps you are taking to improve it.

 

And just in case, some common open ended questions:

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

(Most would suggest tying in some with your own dream job and passions, preferably one within the company you are applying for.)

What do you know about our company?

Tell me about a time you worked well under pressure. 

Describe a time where you demonstrated excellent customer service. 

 

Questions to ask the employer:

Often, the employer will end with asking "Do you have any questions regarding the job? " Be open and address any concerns you may have! This is your chance to ensure that this job is the right one for you.  but just in case, here are some simple questions for you to start off. 

Is there anything I can do to prepare myself more for this job?

Who will I work with? 

Is there a dress code?

What are the hours going to be?

Is there a probation period? (where the salary for new employers are lower than full time employers?)

 

An interview is just a two-way conversation in a professional setting. 

 

The Youth Space