Question #1 – Why Should I Hire You?
The most overlooked question is also the one most candidates are unprepared to answer. This is often because job applicants don’t do their homework on the position. Your job is to illustrate why you are the most qualified candidate. Review the job description and qualifications very closely to identify the skills and knowledge that are critical to the position, then identify experiences from your past that demonstrate those skills and knowledge.
Question #2 – Why Is There A Gap In Your Work History?
Employers understand that people lose their jobs and it’s not always easy to find a new one fast. When answering this question, list activities you’??ve been doing during any period of unemployment. Freelance projects, volunteer work or taking care of family members all let the interviewer know that time off was spent productively.
Question #3 – Tell Me One Thing You Would Change About Your Last Job.
Beware over sharing or making disparaging comments about former coworkers or supervisors, as you might be burning bridges. But an additional trouble point in answering this query is showing yourself to be someone who can’??t vocalize their problems as they arise. Why didn’??t you correct the issue at the time? Be prepared with an answer that doesn’t criticize a colleague or paint you in an unflattering light. A safe scapegoat? Outdated technology.
Question #3 – Tell Me About Yourself.
People tend to meander through their whole resumes and mention personal or irrelevant information in answering–a serious no-no. Keep your answer to a minute or two at most. Cover four topics: early years, education, work history, and recent career experience. Emphasize this last subject. Remember that this is likely to be a warm-up question. Don’t waste your best points on it. And keep it clean–??no weekend activities should be mentioned.
Question #5 – Explain A Complex Database To Your Eight-Year-Old Nephew.
Explaining public relations, explaining mortgages, explaining just about anything in terms an eight-year-old can understand shows the interviewer you have solid and adaptable understanding of what it is they do. Do your homework, know the industry and be well-versed.
Question #6 – What Would The Person Who Likes You Least In The World Say About You?
Highlight an aspect of your personality that could initially seem negative, but is ultimately a positive. An example? Impatience. Used incorrectly this can be bad in a workplace. But stressing timeliness and always driving home deadlines can build your esteem as a leader. And that’??s a great thing to show off in an interview.
Question #7 – Tell Me About A Time When Old Solutions Didn’t Work.
The interviewer is trying to identify how knowledgeable you are in today’??s work place and what new creative ideas you have to solving problems. You may want to explore new technology or methods within your industry to be prepared for. Twitter-phobes, get tweeting. Stat.
Question #8 – What’s The Biggest Risk You’ve Ever Taken?
Some roles require a high degree of tenacity and the ability to pick oneself up after getting knocked down. Providing examples of your willingness to take risks shows both your ability to fail and rebound, but also your ability to make risky or controversial moves that succeed.
Question #9 – Have You Ever Had A Supervisor Challenge A Decision?
Interviewers are looking for an answer that shows humility–??and the ability to take direction. The anecdote should be telling, but it’??s the lesson learned, not the situation, that could land you the job.
Question #10 – Describe A Time When Your Team Did Not Agree.
Questions pertaining to difficulties in the past are a way for employers to anticipate your future behavior by understanding how you behaved in the past and what you learned. Clarify the situation succinctly and explain what specific action you took to come to a consensus with the group. Then describe the result of that action.
Question #11 – What are your strengths and weaknesses?
It’s easy to talk about your strengths; you’re detail oriented, hard working, a team player, etc.–but it’s also easy to get tripped up when discussing your weaknesses, Teach says. Never talk about a real weakness unless it’s something you’ve defeated. “Many hiring managers are hip to the overused responses, such as, ‘Well, my biggest weakness is that I work too hard so I need try to take it easy once in a while.’ The best answer is to discuss a weakness that you’ve turned around, such as, you used to come in late to work a lot but after your supervisor explained why it was necessary for you to come in on time, you were never late again.”
Question #12 – What are your salary requirements?
“What employers are really asking is, ‘Do you have realistic expectations when it comes to salary? Are we on the same page or are you going to want way more than we can give? Are you flexible on this point or is your expectation set in stone?’” Sutton Fell says.
Try to avoid answering this question in the first interview because you may shortchange yourself by doing so, Teach says. Tell the hiring manager that if you are seriously being considered, you could give them a salary range–but if possible, let them make the first offer. Study websites like Salary.com and Glassdoor.com to get an idea of what the position should pay. “Don’t necessarily accept their first offer,” he adds. “There may be room to negotiate.”
When it is time to give a number, be sure to take your experience and education levels into consideration, Sutton Fell says. “Also, your geographic region, since salary varies by location.” Speak in ranges when giving figures, and mention that you are flexible in this area and that you’re open to benefits, as well. “Be brief and to the point, and be comfortable with the silence that may come after.”
Question #13 – Why are you leaving your current job?
Hiring managers want to know your motivation for wanting to leave your current job. Are you an opportunist just looking for more money or are you looking for a job that you hope will turn into a career? If you’re leaving because you don’t like your boss, don’t talk negatively about your boss–just say you have different work philosophies, Teach says. If the work was boring to you, just mention that you’re looking for a more challenging position. “Discuss the positives that came out of your most recent job and focus on why you think this new position is ideal for you and why you’ll be a great fit for their company.”
If you’ve already left your previous job (or you were fired), Sutton Fell suggests the following:
If you got fired: Do not trash your last boss or company. Tell them that you were unfortunately let go, that you understand their reasoning and you’ve recognized areas that you need to improve in, and then tell them how you will be a better employee because of it.
If you got laid off: Again, do not trash your last boss or company. Tell them that you were let go, and that you understand the circumstances behind their decision; that you are committed to your future and not dwelling on the past; and that you are ready to apply everything that you learned in your last role to a new company.
If you quit: Do not go into details about your unhappiness or dissatisfaction. Instead, tell them that while you valued the experience and education that you received, you felt that the time had come to seek out a new opportunity, to expand your skills and knowledge, and to find a company with which you could grow.
Question #14 – Where do you want to be five years from now?
“What employers are really asking is, ‘Is this job even close to your presumed career path? Are you just applying to this job because you need something? Are your long-term career plans similar to what we see for this role? How realistic are your expectations for your career? Have you even thought about your career long-term? Are you going to quit after a year or two?’”
Question #15 – Where do you want to be five years from now?
“What employers are really asking is, ‘Is this job even close to your presumed career path? Are you just applying to this job because you need something? Are your long-term career plans similar to what we see for this role? How realistic are your expectations for your career? Have you even thought about your career long-term? Are you going to quit after a year or two?’”.
Question #16 – Please give me an example of a time when you had a problem with a supervisor/co-worker and how you approached the problem.
“I think that the hardest thing about work isn’t the work, it’s the people at work,” Teach says. Most employees have a problem with a supervisor or co-worker at some point in their career. How they handle that problem says a lot about their people skills. If you can explain to the interviewer that you were able to overcome a people problem at work, this will definitely help your chances of getting the job, he says.