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4 Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Bonny Calfy | July 15, 2024

So you wrote a stellar resume and stood out from the pack. Now you’ve got your best interview suit on, you showed up early and you even checked to make sure there’s nothing in your teeth. You step into the interviewer’s office and offer up a firm handshake. So far, so good, but what comes next can shape the direction of your career. Are you ready?

While every job and each applicant is unique, interviewers still love to ask a few standard questions. If you can answer them with confidence and clarity, you’ll be off to a great start.

Look at these tried-and-true classics and check out our interview tips for knocking them out of the park.

Tell us about yourself.

This interview standard is possibly the most important question you’ll be asked. Research shows it takes as little as a 10th of a second to cement a first impression. This question is likely to be one of the first you’ll be asked, so the quality of your answer is important.

This open-ended question is usually a transition from small talk into the meat of the interview. It allows the interviewer to see if you can communicate clearly and professionally. It’s also a clear opportunity to express yourself, so make sure you hit three main areas:

  • who you are as a professional
  • your standout experiences and successes
  • the unique abilities you bring to the position

Keep your response between 30 to 60 seconds. And if you can tailor your answer to the company and role you’re applying for, all the better.

What interests you about this role?

This provides an opportunity to show you’ve researched the role and the organization. It also gives you the chance to discuss your career development thus far and the growth you’d like to see in the future. With a dash of enthusiasm and a bit of research, you’ll show you’re a strong candidate who’s ready to hit the ground running.

Do you prefer working independently or as part of a team?

Unless this is the rare position where you’ll work in complete isolation, you will likely be part of a team. So how will you fare as a potential co-worker? Are you a loner? A joiner? A born leader? A can-do workhorse? This is what your interviewer is trying to uncover.

Most positions require some level of teamwork. Your ideal answer will present you as someone who can be a flexible, positive member of a team. Describe previous team efforts and how you contributed directly to its success.

How do you stay organized while juggling multiple tasks?

The obvious approach here is to talk about your organizational skills, but don’t miss the chance to emphasize your personal successes at the same time. A great answer would include a tangible example of how you successfully navigated multiple projects while also adding the benefit of your particular skills or experience.

This is also a good opportunity to inquire about how multitasking plays a part in the role.

Our final tip: Practice saying your answers out loud. Even if you’re fully confident of what you want to say, repeating your answer aloud will make sure you can smoothly and efficiently articulate that information.

Will you feel silly talking to yourself in the bathroom mirror? Possibly, but you’ll feel sillier if you get tongue-tied during an interview simply because you didn’t practice.

When it comes to interview success, preparation is essential. To see what the entire application process looks like at an industry-leading tech firm, just click here. To get started on the next great chapter in your career, apply to Paycom today!

About the author
Author picture, Bonny Calfy
Bonny Calfy
As Paycom’s employer brand supervisor, Bonny Calfy oversees all recruitment marketing and employer brand efforts nationwide. Her brand awareness efforts extend over 10 years and have included launching the Paycom Careers blog and social media channels and producing recruitment videos, all to help attract top talent nationwide. Outside work, Bonny enjoys reading; fishing; and spending time with her husband, children and friends.