PREPARE TO ANSWER KEY QUESTIONS
You need to develop positive answers to the most frequently asked interview questions. Perfect your answers with a mirror and tape recorder. Play back the tape and ask yourself:
Personality and Motivation
- Do I show confidence?
- Do I sound dynamic?
- Do I talk in a conversational, non-memorized style?
- Do I speak without excessive fillers - “ah,” “like,” “you know”?
- Do I seem believable? Likable?
Develop a strategy for your responses and the essence of the message you want to convey. Do not memorize responses. Be especially prepared to answer these three “killer” questions:
- Tell me about yourself. (Always focus on your work-related accomplishments, not your personal history)
- Why should we hire you? (Focus on your value/contributions)
- What are your salary expectations? (Timing is everything, and be careful what you wish for!)
The most frequently asked questions include the following:
- Why should we hire you?
- Are you a self-starter?
- What is your greatest strength? Weakness?
- What would you most like to improve about yourself?
- Describe your typical workday.
- How well do you work under deadlines?
- What will you bring to this position that others won't?
- How well do you get along with your superiors? Co-workers?
- Do you prefer working alone or with others?
- How do others view your work?
- How do you deal with criticism?
- Do you consider yourself to be someone who takes greater initiative than others? Can you give an example?
- Are you a good time manager?
- How important is job security?
- How do you define success?
- How do you spend your leisure time?
- What really motivates you to perform on the job?
Education and Training
- Why didn't you go to college?
- Why didn't you finish college?
- Why did you major in ________?
- Why weren't your grades better in school?
- What subjects did you enjoy most? Least?
- If you did it again, what would you change about your education?
- What leadership positions did you hold in school?
- What materials do you read regularly to keep up in your field?
- What is the most recent skill you have learned?
- What are your educational goals over the next few years?
Experience and Skills
- Why do you want to leave your present job or previous jobs?
- Why have you changed jobs so frequently?
- What are your qualifications for this job?
- What experiences prepared you for this job?
- What did you like most about your present/most recent job?
- What did you like least about that job?
- What did you like most about your boss? Least?
- Tell me which responsibilities you most enjoyed in your jobs.
- What duties did you find most difficult to perform?
- What do you want to leave your present job? Being forced out?
- Have you ever been fired or asked to resign?
- What's the most important contribution you made on your last job?
- What did you want to accomplish but were unable to?
- What's the most important thing you've learned from your jobs?
- Tell me about yourself
- Describe your career goals.
- How do your career goals today differ from five years ago?
- Where do you see yourself five years from now?
- Describe a major goal you set for yourself recently.
- What are you doing to achieve that goal?
- How long have you been looking for another job?
Why You Want This Job
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What do you see as your major contributions to our company?
- What would you change about this position?
- How long would you expect to stay with our company?
- How do you feel about working overtime or on weekends?
- Are you willing to relocate?
- How much are you willing to travel?
- What are your salary expectations?
- How soon could you begin work?
- Do you have any questions?
For more information, see some of these books (all can be found and ordered on www.impactpublications.com):
SOURCE: Adapted from Ron Krannich, Ph.D., The Re-Entry Employment and Life Skills Pocket Guide (Manassas Park: Impact Publications), pages 38-40. Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Copying strictly forbidden.