iStock_000017017468XSmallYou never know what you’re going to get in a job interview. The hiring manager could ask you, well, almost anything, which is exactly what makes job interviews so unsettling. With that said, certain questions are clearly more common than others, and it’s always prudent to prepare for these conventional inquiries.

What are Your Strengths?

For example, you can expect the interviewer to ask you for a list of your best features. This line of questioning makes many jobseekers uncomfortable, because they feel like they are basically being asked to brag about themselves. Remember that one of the points of the interview is for you to market yourself, though; this is no time for undue modesty!

What is important is providing a list of strengths that line up with what the hiring manager is looking for. Carefully read the job description before your interview, and make sure you can list some strengths that are part of the job requirements. For example, if the job posting says communication skills are vital, make sure you spend time talking about your communication skills! (But above all, be honest; don’t just tell the interviewer what he or she wants to hear if you can’t back it up!)

What are Your Weaknesses?

If you get the question about strengths, you can bet that a question about weaknesses is right around the corner. This question can feel like a trap, but here’s what you need to know:

  1. The interviewer is NOT looking for a humblebrag. Nobody is fooled by the ol’ “I work too hard” or “I care too much” routine.
  2. The interviewer wants you to list an actual weakness or two, but it needs to be something that can be improved with coaching—not something that’s innate to your personality. If you say something like “I’d like to get more experience with graphic design software,” the employer can work with that. If you say “I’m chronically late and I verbally abuse other employees”—well, that’s a taller order.
  3. Also try to pick something you can honestly say you’re working on. Employers like job applicants who are committed to self-improvement.

What are Your Salary Expectations?

This one is always tricky—you don’t want to overvalue or undervalue yourself—and requires a more detailed approach.

Tell us about yourself.

This open-ended question is the most common of all interview starters—but it is not an opportunity for you to ramble! Make sure you have a clear, clean elevator pitch ready to go before your interview!

Make sure you’re ready to answer all these questions—and also that you have a solid resume to back you up! Get one today by calling 803-831-7444, or visiting