Entretien : Top 10 des questions les plus courantes et comment y répondre ?


“Tell me about yourself”, "What do you expect from your manager?” or "How would your family and friends describe you?”. Questions during a job interview can sometimes be daunting, especially if you arrive unprepared! To help you avoid being caught off guard and to make sure you put your best foot forward, we have listed the most frequently asked interview questions and their answers.

1. Tell me about yourself 

“Tell me about yourself” is often the first question asked, in a remote or face-to-face interview. The recruiter expects you to give a concise and chronological answer about your professional background. They will assess your ability to structure your career path, while checking the data on your CV. This question also reveals aspects of your personality (are you talkative, nervous, shy, extroverted, etc.?).

To avoid an interminable monologue, or worse not knowing how to answer, be sure to prepare yourself at home and practice your presentation several times before your appointment. You should be careful to respect the chronology of events. Give a clear and succinct account of your professional career, starting with your education, including any internships you might have done, before ending with your significant professional experience.

2. Why are you the best candidate for this position?

Or its equivalent: "Why should we choose you over other candidates?”. This is an opportunity to promote yourself while revealing your ability to argue well and to adapt. By asking this question, the recruiter is also trying to check that you have understood the job's objectives. To convince them that you are the ideal candidate and that you have the skills required for the position, prepare an answer for each task, quality and skill listed in the advert. You should also aim to support your statements with concrete examples from your employment history, for instance, projects that you have undertaken.  

3. Why are you interested in this job?

Or "Why did you apply for this position?”. In answering this question, you should aim to demonstrate your motivation for the job and your desire to work for this particular company. At home, consider the tasks listed in the job advertisement one by one and try to link them to your skills and experience. The goal is to show that your capabilities and ambitions correspond well to the tasks associated with the job.

4. What's your most significant achievement and why?

The aim of this question is to get to know you better and to find out more about your background. This is an opportunity to showcase yourself, but be careful not to come across as arrogant. Choose the project that best illustrates your personality, your strengths (e.g. your ability to work in a team or independently) and your skills. 

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

The goal here is not to boast about yourself or self-criticise, even less so to appear false by saying that your worst fault is being too much of a perfectionist. In order not to be caught off guard by this question, it is important to make a list of three qualities and three faults beforehand, and to be sincere about your answers. Moreover, it is not enough to simply provide a list of strengths or weaknesses to the recruiter. You have to be ready to argue and support your points with evidence and examples.

Are you often stressed and nervous? When possible, try to turn your faults like these into qualities (careful not to exaggerate though - your recruiter won't be fooled that easily!) and present strategies to improve yourself. Are you curious or autonomous? Explain why using concrete examples.

6. What do you know about our company? 

For this question, it is up to you to find out more about the company you are applying to. To do this, take a look at social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), the company's website, online news articles or even pages such as Wikipedia. Look for information concerning the origin of the company, its development, managers, turnover, recent news, etc. 

7. What do you expect from your manager or supervisor?

This question may seem complicated at first, especially when it is your potential future manager who poses it. Your interviewer is in fact trying to assess your compatibility with the company's management methods and also to find out how to optimise your integration if you are recruited. The recruiter will analyse your degree of autonomy, your ability to follow directives, your need for feedback or reassurance, etc.  

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

This may seem like a trick question, and if you are not prepared, you may not answer it to the best of your abilities. The recruiter is testing you and observing your ability to analyse your situation and consider the long term. They also want to discover more about your personality and ambitions. Your answer should make you seem ambitious, proactive, thoughtful and humble at the same time. Be consistent: you need to reassure the recruiter that you are not planning to leave the company after six months. 
For example, you could start by saying that you want to learn new things in the next few months. 

9. What are your salary expectations?

To avoid feeling overwhelmed by this question, which is often feared by candidates, think about a salary range beforehand. Define it by doing some research beforehand, starting by consulting our 2021 salary guide and job offers for similar positions. 

The range you give the recruiter should neither undervalue you nor be above market values. To negotiate your salary properly, the bottom of the range should be slightly above the minimum salary you can accept for the job, and the top should be the maximum salary you can expect. 

10. Do you have any questions?

Usually placed last before the interview concludes, "Do you have any questions?" is another classic. It is imperative that you have a few questions in reserve, but if you have more, it is not a problem. After all, you should think of the job interview as an exchange between two (or more) people. You also have things to learn about the company, the job and even your recruiter! Asking questions shows your interest and curiosity about the job and underlines the fact that you are a proactive person.

What to say? Again, before the interview, prepare a few questions in advance and write them down in a notebook or on your smartphone. You can read them again a few minutes before you meet your recruiter. Among the questions to ask, you can ask about the recruitment process, the working environment, the size of the team or the company culture. Your questions should be relevant and personal, so avoid generic questions such as "what is your typical day like?”.