How to Answer Background and Experience Job Interview Questions

How to Answer Background and Experience Job Interview Questions

When crafting your resume, you carefully curate your job experience and education. Do well enough, and you reach the interview stage. Here, businesses expect a more comprehensive, humanized story to show how you've grown professionally.

Employers are looking for the human behind the list of experiences. They want to see if you're a good fit for the business. According to a survey by Small Business Trends, 93% of applicants feel anxiety during the interview process.

To help you relieve any anxiety, this guide lists common background questions. Use the recommended answers to learn what to say when asked these interview questions.

Why You Need to Prepare

You can potentially compete with thousands of other candidates when you apply. Your resume might list your job experience and educational attainment, but so does everyone else's.

The interview portion is where you can show your individuality. You can outshine the competition if you know how to answer interview questions.

Answers to Commonly Asked Background Interview Questions

Keep in mind that the interview process is for employers to learn more about you. They want to know if you can add value to their business. Prepare for the following questions and rehearse your answers thoroughly.

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself

    This question is your chance to tell your story. Make sure you're concise and follow a logical flow from point to point. Be honest with the details and frame them to highlight your growth.

  2. What are your biggest weaknesses?

    It might be tempting to try to mask a strength as a weakness. A common mistake is saying, "I'm too much of a perfectionist." You think you're telling the business that you're detail-oriented and work hard. Instead, you're saying you lack self-awareness or aren't willing to admit faults.

    When businesses ask this question, you should answer by giving an error you made instead. Ideally, the mistake has something to do with your prior job experience. You can use this to show what you learned from the mistake. The interviewer will also find out how you might handle future errors.

  3. What are your biggest strengths?

    This question is an opportunity to sell yourself. When answering, you need to be clear and precise. If you oversell yourself or go on for too long, you might sound like you're bragging. You need to provide examples. This way, it doesn't sound like you're making empty claims.

    Try to find personal attributes that align with the job description and use those. Businesses also often value teamwork-oriented applicants. Mention if you're good with working in a group and provide examples from your resume.

  4. What business would you like to start?

    Employers ask this question to gauge how you handle aspirations in general. This answer shows interviewers that you aren't complacent and that you set realistic goals for yourself. Your response to this question should be practical and achievable within 5-10 years.

  5. Out of all the candidates, why should we hire you?

    This question is the interviewer directly asking how you would bring value to the company. Use your former job experience and connect it to the job description. Mention how your unique experiences and attributes can help you in the position.

  6. What do I need to know that we haven't discussed?

    While less common, this question is an excellent opportunity to make your case. Try to bring this question up yourself if they don't ask it. Say, "There are things about my background that we haven't covered."

    Show the interviewer that you understand what they're looking for and tell them that you have it. Show them that you know how to sell yourself.

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

Now that you know what to expect make sure you rehearse your answers. Also, prepare a thorough list of examples and experiences you can rely on. With preparation and planning, you can confidently go into your next interview. is an excellent ally in your job-search efforts. Find your next job by contacting us today!

Written by Career Specialist Jun 13, 2023
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