COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

 

 

 

1.  TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.

 

Many times this is the first question asked.  It’s an ice-breaker for both the interviewer and interviewee.   Here you talk about your most recent job or what you took in school that has helped prepare you for the job you are seeking.

 

Avoid rambling on about your past.  Don’t get too personal.  If the interviewer is quiet when you are done speaking, you do not need to fill in the silence.

 

 

2.  WHY DID YOU LEAVE YOUR LAST JOB?

 

This is a normal question and should be answered honestly.

 

Don’t become defensive.  Don’t criticize any of your former companies or bosses.  If you were fired from your last position admit it and explain what you learned from that experience and what you would do differently so that it is not repeated in the future.  Never blame others for this type of experience.

 

 

3.  HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT OUR COMPANY?

 

This is where your research of the company comes in. Don’t worry about the companies’ statistical data. But, understanding the company’s philosophy will be a help to you.

 

Avoid knowing little or nothing about the company.

 

 

4.  TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LAST JOB.

 

Be prepared, most interviewers want to know two things.  First, what is the link between your last job and the one you are applying for.  Second, how motivated you are toward improving yourself or your work output.  Employers want candidates who get involved with their work.

 

Focus on the following:

·         major responsibilities of the job

·         the title of the person you reported to

·         the number of people who reported to you

·         how what you did related to the company’s goals

·         specific contributions you made to the company, if you saved the company money or increased sales, give the numbers

 

Avoid being too general in your answers or just stating the superficial aspects of the job, such as how much you liked it.


5.  WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS?

 

By knowing what the company needs or the job requires you can use one of your strengths as it relates to that position.  For example, if you know that the job requires a tremendous amount of time working in teams, you can talk about how you are able to put yourself in another person’s shoes and work as a team member.  Do this even if you feel that you have another strength that is just as high.  Give the company what they need first; you can mention your other strengths later during different parts of the interview.

 

Avoid underselling the strengths you clearly possess.  You will not be bragging as long as you truly have the strengths you discuss.

 

 

6.  WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?

 

Be honest and be brief.  Don’t run yourself down.  Stick to only one weakness.   You may also mention a way you are working to improve in this area.

 

Avoid not being able to talk about any weaknesses or brining up a wide variety of weaknesses. Try not to turn this into a joke.

 

 

7.  WHERE DO YOU HOPE TO BE FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?

 

The company may want to know if you have realistic expectations and if their investment in you will pay off in the future. The safest answer is one that represents a logical future step in the career path you’ll be heading down if you’re hired for this position.

 

Avoid a canned answer that lacks believability.

 

 

8.  WHAT IS IT ABOUT OUR COMPANY THAT APPEALS TO YOU?

 

Here again you should have done your homework on the company.  Focus your answer on your research about the company.  You can start your answer with “From what I’ve heard (or seen)...”

 

Avoid using answers like “it will be fun”.

 

 

9.  WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU CAN BRING TO THIS COMPANY?

 

This is another version of “Why should we hire you?”  You answer will depend on how much information you have about the company and the position you are applying for.  You may also highlight any strength that was not previously mentioned.

 

Avoid talking too much or giving an answer you have not thought through.

 

 

10.  DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR US?

 

Make sure you have one or two questions ready for this.  You can write questions down before hand and say, “ I had several questions before I came today, let me see if there are any that were not answered.”  Then open up your folder and see what has not already been discussed.

 

Avoid asking a question that was already answered during the interview.