Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Ten Most Common Interview Questions

The Ten Most Common Interview Questions

Are you prepared to answer these?

Tell me about yourself
Hint:  30 – 60 second prepared elevator speech.  The interviewer does not want to know that you like dogs and hate cats.  This answer should be concise and give a brief overview of your career and accomplishments.  Your answer should focus on the last 5 years.

Why do you want to work for our company
Hint:  Research the company prior to the interview.  Know what they do, the company culture, etc.

Why should we hire you
Hint:  Make sure you have read the job description and can tell the interviewer specific experience that you have had that relates to the job.

Why do you want to leave your current job
Hint:  The answer should never be “I can’t stand my current boss”.  …even if that is the “real” reason!  One more hint:  the answer should not be that you are looking to increase your salary or income potential.   Avoid making negative statements and keep your answer short.

What is your greatest strength
Hint:  Read the job description to see what the employer is really looking for in a new hire.  Your answer should be a quality that will complement the requirements of the position.

What is your greatest weakness
Hint:  Your goal is to discuss a “real” weakness, but this weakness must not hinder you from doing the job. 

Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years
Hint:  This question should be answered with regards to your career not your personal life.  The interviewer does not want to know if you plan to have children or get married in the next (x) years.  Your answer should focus on what you can do for the company.  A good approach might be to simply say, “My title may change, but it is my hope that I will join a company long-term, where I can continue to grow and contribute.”

Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult person
Hint:  Rather than discuss the difficult person, answer this question in general terms.  For instance, “One of my co-workers preferred to work independently, and the project entailed us working as a team.  I approached the situation from her perspective and we came up with a way to work together and complete the project on time.”

What are your salary expectations
Hint:  Try not to answer in a dollar amount.  A good answer might be “I would like to discuss the job requirements first, so I can get a sense of the expectations.”  Or  “I am more interested in the opportunity at this point.”  If you are pressed, you may say “I am open to discussing salary, but first what is the salary range for this position?”

Tell me more about (anything else on your resume)
Hint:  If it is on your resume, it is fair game to discuss!  Be prepared.

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