1. Tell us about yourself
Many job interviews start with this question. It would be a mistake to tell your life story. You should discuss your career briefly.
For example, one can describe his experience this way – “I finished University of Something in 19**. I worked for XYZ Company as a web designer for 3 years. Then I was IT manager with ZYX Consultants between 20**and 20**. Now I am a managing director with Superduper Inc.”.
2. Why do you want to leave your present employer? (Why did you leave your last employer?)
You must concentrate on aspects such as career growth, professional challenges and so on. Location is a legitimate reason if you are working far from home and potential employer is located closer.
You should avoid criticizing your current or previous employer. Interviewer can interpret your criticism along “Is he going to cause problems for us?” lines.
3. Why do you want to work for this company?
This job interview question is a test of how much you know about the company. Usually it is enough to visit business web site to find information about your prospective employer and come up with a reasonable response.
Answers like “I learned that you have been in business for 50 years. I always wanted to work for an established company” or “QQQ Corporation creates exciting information products and I like the challenge of contributing to such a great cause” demonstrate that a candidate did his homework.
4. Describe your average day at work
This is a chance to impress with your time management skills. How many assignments do you complete? How many sales do you make? This is the information your potential employer wants to know.
5. Describe your major strengths
Your strengths must correspond with position that you apply for. For example if you are interviewing for security guard’s job, then you are probably careful, disciplined and reliable.
6. What are your weaknesses?
The trick is to describe weaknesses that also happen to be your strengths. Suppose you tend to double check things to make sure that everything is right. On one hand it shows that you are not the most confident person in the world. However it also displays your commitment to complete tasks successfully.
Note: “Strengths and weaknesses” questions vary. For instance you can encounter job interview question like, “Name your three major strengths and weaknesses.”
7. Why are you the best person for this position?
It’s not a time to be modest. You must discuss personal and professional qualities that make you the right person for the job. Let’s say you are applying to manage a convenience store. You probably have some management or supervisory experience. Also you are assertive, detail oriented and possibly have some ideas on how to improve a business.
8. What was your most challenging project and why?
The issue is not so much the project itself. Potential employer wants to hear about your ability to overcome challenges.
You can discuss projects that you had to complete on a short notice or assignments where you had to learn new skills. If you had very demanding customers, you should describe how you were able to satisfy their needs.
9. What are your salary requirements?
Stating your salary target right away can either disqualify you because other candidates ask for less or result in a smaller offer than originally planned by employer. You don’t want to put yourself in such a disadvantage.
Instead you should try your best to postpone the issue by saying something like, “I am confident that we’ll reach a reasonable agreement if you’re going to offer the job to me.” However some employers are very persistent when asking candidates about salary requirements. In this case you can give them a range like mid $50s for instance, but avoid naming a definite figure. This way you still have some room to negotiate at the right time.
10. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
This is a classic job interview question. Hopefully you’ll win a few millions in a lottery so that you can do whatever you want five years from now. Well, your interviewer is not interested in any of this. He wants to hear about how your plans relate to his company.
So you must describe how you intend to become a better professional in 5 year time. Financial advisor probably wants to increase his client base and make a lot of money for himself, employer and hopefully his customers. IT specialist’s ambitions might include learning or even inventing new technologies so that his company stays at the forefront of hi-tech innovation.
You get it. It’s about you becoming more productive employee over the years.
11. Do you have any questions for us?
Yes, you do! The question is usually asked at the end of the interview. Responding with “No” can be interpreted as a lack of interest in the job.
Therefore you have to come up with a question based on what you learned about a company before or during the interview.
The key to an interview success is a thorough preparation. Job interview tips discussed in this article will help you to come up with thoughtful answers to most challenging questions.