These are the 5 most asked interview questions, according to 1000 people

A good job interview candidate advertises preparedness and flexibility in equal measure. That’s why insider reports on recruiter habits are so important to the search. 

The latest comes from researchers over at Zety. They interviewed more than 500 HR professionals and over 1,000 American workers in order to determine the most frequently asked job interview questions.

“Job interviews. A necessary evil. Most candidates break out in a cold sweat at the mere thought. How do I prepare? What are they going to ask me? What should I ask them? Those are just a few of the questions that run through the mind of the average interviewee,” the authors wrote. “As popular wisdom has it if you fail to prepare you to prepare to fail. But choosing what to prepare for a job interview can be tough. So we gave our respondents a list of popular interview questions and asked if they typically used them. Here’s what they told us.”

According to the survey results, the most frequently asked interview questions are as follows:

  • Tell me about yourself—94%
  • Tell me about a challenge or conflict you faced at work and how did you deal with it?—82%
  • What are your greatest strengths?—91%
  • How did you hear about this position?—84%
  • What are your greatest weaknesses?—80%

For the most part, recruiters and job seekers agreed about the ranking of these inquiries. 

Other commonly cited interview questions pertained to leadership skills, previous employment (including why you left said place of employment and what your colleagues would say about you there), and work culture preferences.

In addition to providing recruiter responses, the researchers explained why most of them routinely chose to ask certain questions specifically. 

According to the researchers, vague prompts like “tell me about yourself” and “list your greatest strengths” are meant to give the candidate room to express their worldview, goals, and tendencies in a non-confrontational open-ended forum.

“These questions have been proven by multiple studies to provide a highly accurate way of measuring a candidate’s abilities. Asking a candidate what they have done versus what they would do is a highly effective interviewing technique. And thankfully, there’s also a highly effective approach to answering these questions too,” Zety continues. “Our advice is to use the problem-solution-benefit approach. Structure your answers like so:

  1. Explain the problem you faced
  2. Tell the interviewer your solution
  3. Show how your solution benefited your employer

Early last year, Ladders published a deep drive of the best way to answer many of the questions featured on Zety’s new list. Be sure to check it out. The biggest takeaway encourages an outline for most of the questions you’re anticipating with some wiggle room to show that you’re not a Laurie Gilmore try hard.

Even if you pull off a perfect performance. Your recruiter will likely hit you with a “do you have any questions for us?”

Zety’s got you covered there too. Below are the most effective responses to this subtle-test:

  • Can you show me examples of projects I’d be working on?—55%
  • What are the skills and experience you’re looking for in an ideal candidate?—69%
  • What are the most immediate projects that would need to be addressed?—49%
  • What does a typical day look like?—67%
  • Do you expect the main responsibilities for this position to change in the next six months to a year?—39%