9 Examples of Application Questions During Interviews
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated August 27, 2022
Published September 29, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
As a professional, you may encounter specific questions when applying for jobs. Employers ask these questions to confirm your competency in the role. Understanding how to answer application questions can help you pass this essential aspect of the job application process. In this article, we discuss what questions during applications are and identify some common examples, along with example answers to help you.
What are job application questions?
Application questions are questions that potential employers ask candidates during the hiring process. These questions commonly complement resumes and cover letters. Because of their more direct approach, employers use these questions to screen candidates on several criteria. Employers can ask these questions while interviewing the candidate or ask them in a written test.
Effectively answering questions for applications is just as important as having a good cover letter or resume. This is because employers create the questions themselves, asking about what they consider most important to the role and company. Many of these questions are fairly common, so you can anticipate them and prepare their answers. Most questions for applications are also direct, making them convenient to answer.
Examples of questions during job applications
Here are some important examples of application questions and how to answer them:
1. Tell me about yourself.
You can use this question to discuss details that aren't on your resumes, like your motivations, goals, and inspirations. Ensure you relate it to the role and your qualifications. This can also be an opportunity to discuss gaps in your resume or other relevant issues. Including some personal details can help you connect with the hiring manager.
Example: "Thank you for the question. I am a marketing associate at an HDS marketing agency where I handle the marketing portfolio of two large multinational companies. I chose a career in marketing because of my love for commercials. As a child, nothing on TV impressed me as much as a good advertisement. I worked with two other marketing agencies before my present role. Right now, I'm more interested in digital marketing and the power of social media, which is why I'm applying to this company."
2. Why do you want to work for us?
Employers ask this question because it's important to hire employees who have a genuine interest and motivation for the role . To answer this question, explain why you applied to the company. It helps to connect your reasons to short- and long-term career goals to make your answer seem more genuine and convincing. Connecting your answer to career goals also shows that the specific role is important to you. Ensure you explain what aspects of the job appeals to you and how the role can help you attain your goals.
Example: "I have been working in marketing for over seven years, building my competence in market research, corporate branding, and public relations. An international marketing agency like yours is a great environment for me to apply those skills to diverse projects. I know I can bring diverse perspectives that can improve the attainment of corporate goals. I have also really enjoyed this city and the warm corporate culture at your organization."
3. How did you learn about this job opportunity?
This is a relatively straightforward question that hiring managers may use to test the effectiveness of their marketing strategies. Common answers are from a friend, job site, or professional platform. You can try to incorporate your passion for the role into your answer for better results.
Example: "My course advisors sent me a link to your job posting after I had discussed my graduation plans with them. They believed that your company offers me a good chance at rapid professional growth and development. I did research and also believe that it is a good place to start my career."
4. What are your most impressive achievements?
To answer this question effectively, describe an achievement that's related to the role. You can use the STAR approach, meaning describing the situation, task, approach, and result. Talk about the issue or problem, what you had to do, how you approached your task, and the results of your efforts. Ensure you're specific about your achievements and your role in attaining them while also recognizing team efforts.
Example: "Five years into my career as a marketing associate, my manager called me into the boardroom and informed me the company was about to give me the most challenging case it had ever received. Our client, with a new and unpopular beverage, wanted to enter a market where another beverage was already widely preferred. My team and I thoroughly researched the market to understand people's habits, preferences, and norms. Then, I used that knowledge to create a marketing campaign that made our client the top seller within two years of entering the market."
5. What are your greatest strengths?
Here, the hiring manager wants to know what makes you a great candidate. A job application is a competitive process, so ensure you tell the hiring manager the full extent of your abilities. Ensure you demonstrate confidence and highlight what makes you unique.
Example: "I am a seasoned marketing expert with experience working across various industries. In addition to my extensive experience, I specialize in various marketing areas. I am adept at SEO and SEM, email marketing, market research, and consumer profiling. I am also a diligent employee who prioritizes timely and quality work. In addition, I have effective communication and decision-making skills, meaning I can thrive in a team or alone."
6. What are your greatest weaknesses?
While honesty is essential for answering this question, it's also important you're careful. Name a genuine weakness, but ensure it's not something that significantly affects your ability to fulfill the role. Also, remember to include how you're working on the weakness or limiting its effects on your work.
Example: "I often thrive better alone than in teams. Working at the pace of others can be frustrating for me because I have a unique working pattern, which sometimes hinders my collaboration efforts. At my previous workplace, I was able to learn how to work with others and maintain my autonomy by ensuring clear allocation of responsibilities and effective communication."
7. Why do you believe you're the right candidate for us?
This question allows you to explain yourself as the right candidate to the hiring manager. Start your answer by reiterating your best qualifications. Next, show how you can use these qualifications to help the company attain its goals. Researching the company beforehand can aid you in answering this question.
Example: "I believe you can hire me because, as my resume shows, I have the skills and experience to adapt to your fast-paced environment. As a seasoned marketer, I can contribute new insights into business processes at your agency. More importantly, I'm a teachable and enthusiastic asset, willing to take on all work requirements for attaining corporate goals."
8. Why did you or do you want to leave your present position?
The appropriate approach to this question depends on why you left your previous role. If you had a dispute with your previous employer, be honest about it. Tell the hiring manager the details of the dispute and ensure you include how you learned from the event. Avoid providing negative comments about your previous employer and keep your answer professional. If your exit did not involve a dispute, talk about your reason for leaving and why this new company is appropriate for you.
Example: "My previous role was a great one and an irreplaceable part of my professional development. After a while, I realized I needed a larger firm like yours to gain more exposure and knowledge of the marketing field. I had a conversation with my manager, who understood why the move was important to me. Saying goodbye to my colleagues who had become family was a painful experience, but we said our goodbyes on the best terms."
9. What do you do outside of work?
Hiring managers ask this question to know more about your personality and determine if you're a good fit for the company's culture. When answering this question, it's important you present yourself as a well-rounded individual. Talk about your interests, hobbies, and issues that revolve around your passion.
Example: "If I'm not working on my laptop, conducting market research, or writing copy, I'm likely spending time with my beautiful spouse, our two daughters, and our dog. My favourite pastimes are picnics with my spouse, taking my children to the park, and fishing with some of my best friends. I also enjoy taking my family to see my parents and spending time with them."
The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.
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