Are you prepared for your upcoming job interview? If you want to get the job, you must get prepared. This includes being clear on the basics and how you will answer common job interview questions.

The type of questions asked and interview style will vary depending on the hiring manager, the company, and the job you applied for. The basics typically remain the same in interview preparation. Here is a list of things you should always pay attention to before a job interview.

Homme assis sur un canapé travaillant sur son ordinateur portable.
Homme assis sur un canapé travaillant sur son ordinateur portable.

what you need to know

1. are you actually interested in this job?

Do you actually want this job, or are you taking the interview because it’s the first call you’ve received? Be clear on your intentions before accepting an interview. Even if the job isn’t your dream job, be prepared. You must answer why it’s a good fit for you and what aspects of the role interest you.

If you can’t think of how to respond, it's a red flag that the job isn’t the right fit for you.

2. do you understand the job and requirements?

Be clear on what’s expected of you should you accept the role. Read the job description and research the company before the interview so it’s fresh in your mind. Do you meet all the job requirements? If not, how will you address any of your shortcomings in the interview?

3. what do you know about the company?

The more you learn about the company, the better—do your research. Read the company website, check them out on social media, read reviews about the company, and see if they’ve been in the news recently.

Try understanding the company culture, direction, and how you would fit in. If you can speak about the company with authority, you’ll seem more invested in the opportunity. Most employers value enthusiasm in potential hires.

4. what salary will you ask for?

Know what you are worth. Research the average salary for the role you are applying for. Consider your location and factors such as your years of experience, special skills, and everything else you bring to the table. Try to be somewhat flexible in your salary requirements.

Have a range prepared for around $5-10k plus the actual salary you're looking for. The lowest number in your range should be around what you hope your final salary will be. Check out our salary calculator if you need help pinpointing the salary you should ask for.

5. what are your deal breakers?

What do you absolutely need to feel good about accepting a job offer? For example, maybe flexibility is important to you. You could ask for the ability to set your own hours or opportunities to work from home. Or perhaps you expect to have health and dental coverage or a certain number of vacation days.

Whatever it is you expect to see in the job offer, be clear on the things that matter to you. Be ready to communicate with them.

need more help with your interview preparation? we're here for you!

get more tips

6. what questions will you ask the interviewer?

Always ask the interviewer at least one question. Most interviewers will ask you if you have any questions at the end of the interview. Having no questions can come off as disinterested. To avoid looking disinterested, prepare some questions about the role, company, and culture.

Have a few options in case your question is answered during the interview. Make sure your questions are thoughtful and for the specific role.  

7. answers to common interview questions

During the interview process, there is information all potential employers want to know about you as a candidate. This is why you can expect to hear some common questions in most job interviews. Be prepared to answer these or similar questions. Here are some interview questions and how you can answer them.

8. tell me about yourself

Who are you personally and professionally? You should be able to answer this question in a focused and succinct. You need to be able to answer this in a way that summarizes who you are and your previous employment.

Check out our article on answering this question in more detail.

9. why are you the right candidate?

This is your opportunity to separate yourself from other candidates. Explain how your skills/experience can help the organization. This question is your time to show off who you are and why you would benefit them hiring you.

10. your strengths and weaknesses

We all have our strengths and our weaknesses. Know your core strengths and areas you could stand to improve.

Think about them within the context of the job you’re interviewing for. Need help discussing your weaknesses in a productive way?

Check out our guide to speaking about weaknesses in an interview setting.

11. your career goals or 5-year plan

It's important for you to know what the future holds for you. Do you want to move into management? Are there certain professional accomplishments you want to achieve? Do you want to add additional skills, training, and certifications?

Know where your career is headed and how this potential role fits into your plan.

12. why are you leaving your current job?

Avoid speaking poorly of your current employer when answering this question. Even if you don’t like your boss or have issues with the company, focus on the positive. Focus on answers of wanting to take a new career step and broaden your experience.

13. discuss a conflict you had at work

We all experience stressful times at work. What’s most important is how we handle these situations. Behavioural interview questions where interviewers ask you to discuss specific experiences.

These behavioural questions are very common now. Discussing conflict is one of the most common behavioural interview questions. These questions are also one of the most difficult to answer.

Preparing an example of a situation when you dealt with conflict. Being able to speak on how you handled it well ensures you aren’t caught off guard and unable to answer.

You can never be too prepared for a job interview. The tips above will help you master the basics. If you put the time and effort into preparation, you’ll perform your best come interview time.

are you looking for a new job that fits your skills and strengths well?

search jobs

receive our latest career advice


meet our recruiters

submit your profile