5 Most Dreaded Job Interview Questions And How To Answer Them

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Dear HR,

I am an avid reader of your series; “DEAR HR”. I must say, you are hitting the pain points of job seekers like myself.

Thank you for your advice and the job hunting tips.

Recently I read one of your articles in response to one of the most dreaded interview questions; “Why Should We Hire You?”. 

That was insightful. Thank you once again.

Aside from that, I think there are other 4 major questions interviewees dread during job interviews. I will be glad if you could guide job seekers on how to answer these questions.

 

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What’s your salary expectation?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • Do you have any questions?

Your avid reader,

Knii Lantey

 

HR’s Response

Hello Knii Lantey,

It’s an honour to know that we are making an impact in the lives of jobseekers like you. We appreciate the time you took to express that. Thank you.

Now to your request on interview questions. As a recruitment company, we can testify to the fact that these are the very questions recruiters ask job applicants each day to make informed hiring decisions.

According to recruiters and hiring managers, interviews have proven to be one major way to determine whether a job applicant is the right fit for the job. To most recruiters, this is a conversational moment between the interviewer and applicant to assess their personality and how well their skill set match the role at hand.

Although job interviews are supposed to be conversational, this is one of the most crucial moments in the life of every job applicant. Recruiters acknowledge the fact that job interviews can be nerve-racking, yet they expect jobseekers to prepare enough for job interviews.

In a recent poll conducted by Jobberman Gh on Linkedin, it was ascertained that these are the major dreaded questions by job seekers. If you find yourself in that circle, here are smart ways to answer these questions in your next job interview.

1. Tell Me About Yourself?

This simply means walk the interviewer through your CV. Introduce yourself in a manner that will make the interviewer more interested in who you are, your experiences, your accomplishments and your career objective in relation to the job you are applying for. Ideally, this is supposed to be your professional summary. This question is always asked at the beginning of the interview. Most often the information you give here births the follow-up questions.

So your first impression counts. Be mindful of the words you use, your tone of voice, and your posture. If you have no idea of what to say, it is simply about where you are currently, your past work experiences, and what you intend to do with your skills and experiences and qualifications.

For Experienced Proffesionals

My name is Pomaa Amponsah, an experienced communication professional and a certified digital marketer, with a proven track record of improving website performance through content marketing. 

I have excellent copywriting skills, I am a creative thinker, a problem-solver and I am commercially aware. With my current employer, I have been able to use my set skills to develop content that addresses the pain points of customers which have led to an increase in conversion rate from 56% to 83% within one year. 

I believe with my skills and experience, I will be of great value to your company and I am ready to make a significant impact when hired.  

If you are fresh from school you can say:

“My name is Pomaa Amponsah and I hold a Bachelors degree in Communications Studies. I am dedicated, self-motivated, creative, a fast learner and able to adapt to new environments.

In my final year, I worked on a project which relates to the role I am interviewing for and I believe when given the opportunity, my knowledge and skills will help your business grow.”

2. Why are You Leaving Your Current Job?

At this point, your interviewer expects an honest answer but do not be pushed to spill out your dissatisfaction with your current employer. Avoid being negative. Just remain positive about the future and your next opportunities.

This question is usually used to test how well you can handle sensitive situations. Remember you are selling your personality and skills. So be careful not to land yourself in trouble in the quest of presenting yourself as the best candidate.

3. What is Your Salary Expectation?

Every job comes with a certain compensation or monetary benefits. As a job applicant, it is your responsibility to research your industry for information on the average salary and experience level for the role you are interviewing for.

Most often, recruiters would ask you this question during the phone screening process. When this happens it indicates that the employer has a specific budget for the role. They, therefore, inquire from shortlisted candidates their expectations. If a higher number of the applicants mentions a higher salary then it informs the employer whether to adjust the budget for the role or not.

At this point of the interview, you need to exhibit your negotiation skills. Your answer will determine how much you are worth your skills and experience. Make sure to do your research in order not to sell yourself short.

Consider your skills, years of experience, and qualifications before you state a specific amount. Also be ready to enquire from the employer if there are any non-monetary benefits/ allowances like health care, educational support, career development among others. Remember, money is good, yet sometimes, non-monetary benefits offered by companies pay off.

You can download a report on salaries conducted by jobberman for more insight on salaries here.

4. What are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?

Your strengths are specifically what makes you the ideal fit for the job. And your weaknesses are the traits that hinder your progress on the job.

This question is for the recruiter to check how self-conscious you are and how relevant these strengths contribute to your success on the job.

If you are interviewing for a sales role, you can, for instance, indicate that you have excellent negotiation skills, you have a pleasant personality, and are very persuasive. Always tailor your answer to suit the role you are interviewing for.

With regards to your weakness, be honest. This does not guarantee you not being considered. This is to let the hiring manager or recruiter be aware of the challenges you may encounter as a result of your weakness.

So you need to study yourself or better still ask close friends or colleagues to give you an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses.

This will go a long way to help build on your strengths while you improve on your weaknesses.

5. Do You Have Any Question For Us?

Most often this is the final question interviewers ask job applicants. Surprisingly, whether out of fear or nervousness, most applicants say “NO”.

This should never be the case. At least prepare a question to ask the interviewer. This shows that you are excited about the role and much interested in the business.

You should ask questions that relate to the job, organizational culture, and employee well-being (eg: in the period of the pandemic).

Remember, to pay attention to your body language, choice of words, and tone of voice. We hope these tips will be of great help. Now, go smash your next job interview like a pro.

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Genevieve Amponsah
Genevieve is a Community Marketer at Jobberman Ghana, who focuses on developing content that answers your questions, whether you are a job seeker or an employer. Her experiences span from news & radio production, to content marketing, digital marketing, SEO copy writing and voice over. She is a great storyteller.