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5 Most Common Interview Questions (and How to Ace Them!)

We understand that the interview process can be nerve-wracking, especially when faced with those common questions that seem to trip everyone up.

The key to interview success lies in preparation. By anticipating the kinds of questions, you might be asked and crafting strong, well-structured answers, you can walk into the room feeling confident and ready to impress.

So, let’s get into the 5 most common interview questions you’re most likely to encounter, along with tips on how to answer them like a pro!


1. Tell me about yourself?


Why They Ask: This is a broad opener to get a sense of your background, personality, and career aspirations.


How to Answer:


Focus: Briefly introduce yourself, then connect your skills and experiences to the specific role you’re going for.

STAR Method (see our previous blog for a deeper dive): Briefly mention a relevant past experience (Situation). Describe the specific task (Task) you were responsible for. Explain the actions you took (Action) and highlight the positive results you achieved (Result).


Example Answer: “I’ve spent the past 5 years working in the financial services industry, most recently as a Loan Officer at [Previous Company]. There, I excelled at building rapport with clients, guiding them through the mortgage process, and exceeding loan origination targets by 15% each quarter.”


2. Why do you want to work for our company?


Why They Ask: Interviewers want to see your genuine interest in the company and the role.


How to Answer:


Focus: Research the company beforehand! Highlight specific aspects of their mission, values, and achievements that resonate with you and your career goals.

Example Answer: “I’m particularly impressed by [Company Name]’s commitment to financial inclusion and community development. My own passion lies in helping first-time homebuyers achieve their dreams, and I believe my skills and experience would perfectly align with your team’s goals.”


3. Why are you interested in this position?


Why They Ask: This assesses your understanding of the role and your motivations for applying.


How to Answer:


Focus: Show that you’ve taken the time to learn about the specific responsibilities and what excites you about them. Mention aspects that align with your skills and career path.

Example Answer: “This Mortgage Specialist role particularly appeals to me because it offers the opportunity to combine my strong analytical skills with client interaction. I’m eager to leverage my knowledge of the mortgage market to assist clients in securing the best possible loan options.”


4. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a challenging client or colleague


Why They Ask: This question assesses your interpersonal skills, problem-solving abilities, and ability to handle difficult situations professionally.


How to Answer:


Focus: Highlight your ability to navigate challenging interactions while maintaining professionalism and achieving a positive outcome.

STAR Method (applicable here too!): Briefly describe the situation and the nature of the challenge with the client or colleague (Situation). Explain what your specific goal was in resolving the issue (Task). Instead of just describing the actions you took, focus on how you communicated to address the situation (Action), and briefly explain the outcome of the situation. Did you reach a solution? Did the working relationship improve? (Result).

How to Answer: ” As a Loan Processor, a client grew frustrated with the closing timeline. Feeling a lack of communication, I actively listened to their concerns and apologized. I then explained the loan process, clarified any delays, and offered regular updates. Through open communication, I calmed their anxieties and built trust, leading to a smooth on-time closing and their appreciation.”


5. Do you have any questions for us?


Why They Ask: This shows your initiative and interest in the company and role, the question might seem like a formality, but it’s actually a two-way street. By asking thoughtful questions, you demonstrate several key qualities to the interviewer.


How to Answer: “Thank you for asking. I do have a few questions. You mentioned a focus on [detail bits that have been said during the interview]. Could you elaborate on some recent projects that exemplify this approach? Additionally, I’m interested in the team dynamic here. How would you describe the collaboration style, and what are some opportunities for professional development?”


By preparing thoughtful answers to these common interview questions and researching the company beforehand, you can approach your interview with confidence. Remember to showcase your skills and experiences using the STAR method, and don’t forget to prepare your own questions to demonstrate your genuine interest in the opportunity. With a little preparation and these tips on your side, you’ll be well on your way to acing your next interview!

See what roles we have available and we’ll guide you throughout the whole process.

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