This article originally appeared on Quora: What are top 10 interview questions that every interviewee should prepare for?
I used to be terrible at interviewing. I once had four managers in a row rate me second to last out of five candidates.
It was humbling.
It was also incredibly motivating.
I spent the next few years studying how to deliver the best possible interview. During this time, I interviewed at great companies and organizations like UCLA, Universal, MTV, GE, Harrah’s, Cisco, Google, VMware, Optimizely, Box and many more. I also wrote a #1 Resume book on Amazon called “The Resume is Dead” and have done tons of interviewing as well. I’ve also coached people in their careers and some of them are now the Heads of their departments too.
Through it all, I learned that one of the best ways to find interviewing success is through preparation. Simple as that.
There are usually a set of 5 questions you’ll commonly hear in interviews. You may not always hear all 5, but you usually will get some of these questions.
If you have a really strong answer to these, it can dramatically boost your chances of doing well in the interview and landing the job.
Here are the top 5:
1. Why do you want this job?
Are you motivated by their mission?
Are you excited about their vision?
Do you feel like you could help them exponentially grow?
Don’t give a fluff answer here. Show depth, thoughtfulness and passion.
Most importantly, be authentic.
Here are some possibilities you can explore:
1. You believe in the mission
2. You believe you can make a huge impact
3. You believe you’ll be able to grow and learn in the role
You get the idea. Understand your why.
2. What motivates you?
I ask this question to try to find out what people really care about.
Are your motivations driven by:
1. Financial goals
2. Career growth
3. Personal development
4. Work environment and culture
And the list goes on.
3. How would you make an impact at the company?
If you’ve done your research on the company, its product / services and the role, you should be able to articulate how you’ll make an impact on the company.
1. Sales – “Here’s my 90 day plan on how I’d help grow sales by 50%.”
2. Engineering – “Here’s a presentation on how I’d help deploy innovative new features. In one example, I came up with a new feature that we can implement in the app that could increase user acquisition by 25%.
3. Marketing – “I’ve created a content marketing strategy that could help increase inbound leads by 33%.”
4. How do you handle adversity?
What often differentiates a great hire from a good hire: A positive attitude and perseverance.
Practice sharing a great story on how you overcame adversity.
Think of a challenging situation you had at work and learn to tell the story of how you rose to the occasion.
5. What are your questions?
This part is critical.
Remember, an interview is also a chance for you to interview the company.
Make sure you have a list of questions prepared for them to show you’re genuinely interested in the role and have done the research in advance as well.
Here are some examples:
1. What is leadership like at the company? This will give you a sense for the values and culture of the company, since it often proliferates from the top.
2. How well is the company doing (ask about revenue, profitability and year over year growth)?
The exception to this is if the a public company. If it is, look up the financial statements in advance.
3. What career growth opportunities do you see for this role?
This shows you’re ambitious and want to grow with the company.
If you want to go above and beyond in your preparation, here’s a blog post I wrote with an HR expert from a Fortune 100 company that features 500 interview questions:
Hope this helps!