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How to Answer the 4 Most Common Interview Questions

November 12, 2014

We’ve all been there: your résumé is perfect; your interview outfit is pressed and ready to go; you’ve researched the employer you’ll be meeting and you’ve prepared some thoughtful questions to ask. The only thing left is preparing for the unknown—interview questions.

Though you cannot know for sure what a hiring manager will ask, some questions you can bet on, like the core four. We’ve compiled the four most common interview questions and how you should answer them:

1. Why should we hire you?

Companies will use this question to find out two things: your applicable experience and also how much you know about the position and the company. Tying these two things together is critical for landing this question. Talk about what you like about the position being offered at the company, and explain why you are a good fit for that position. Be direct and honest when answering this question—it’s your opportunity to really sell an employer on your skills.

2. What are your weaknesses?

No one likes to answer this question for obvious reasons. You do not want to scare a potential employer off, but you also have to say something. The key is to be self-aware without sabotaging yourself. Acknowledge your weakness but always have a plan in mind for how to overcome it. Prepare examples for how you’ve overcome your weaknesses in the past and how you will use resources at your disposal to continue to overcome your weaknesses. Employers know that nobody is perfect and appreciate people who take initiative to broadening their skill set.

3. Where do you see yourself in five years?

This question helps an employer gauge your ambition. It also serves a more straightforward purpose: finding out how committed you might be to the company for the long-term. You do not need a highly detailed plan, just an indication that you have staying power.

4. What is your greatest professional achievement?

The best and most broad interview tip we can offer for this is: Do not be nebulous in your response to this question, or any question posed to you. Hiring managers want specific, measurable results. Tell them how your hard work achieved a demonstrable result. For instance, you streamlined inventory and cut costs by 30%.

At Pacific Office Automation, we are always looking for quality employees for our growing team. Apply today to join our team in Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; Albuquerque, NM; Salt Lake City, UT and many other states in the west!

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