ANSWERING THE MOST COMMONLY ASKED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

1. Why should I hire you?

  A. Give a short, generalized summary. Do not go into lengthy recitation of your resumé. Give positive reasons indicating your qualifications, abilities and motivation.

2. Why do you want to work here?

  A. This should be your easiest question, provided you've done your research.
Organize your reasons into several short, hard-hitting sentences. Be factual, don't blow smoke.

3. What interests you most about this position?

  A. Give him/her a truthful one- or two-word answer, i.e., "the challenge...", this will force the employer to ask you to explain, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of their company.

4. What training or qualifications do you have for a job like this?

  A. Your interviewer probably can answer this question from your resumé. Be prepared to explain your qualifications, concentrating on two or three of your most important qualifications.

5. What are your best qualities?

  A. Be general. Offer a short list of positive character traits, etc., i.e., "I'm a hard worker...I listen well...I am easy to get along with...I play close attention to detail."

6. What are your greatest accomplishments?

  A. Have one or two short hero stories available. Don't brag.

7. Tell me about yourself?

  A. Keep this answer as professional as possible. Tell the interviewer about your education, work history and community organizations and where you have done volunteer work. Keep it brief and job related.

8. What are you looking for in a job?

  A. Answer this question carefully. Mention that you want a job that offers challenges and an opportunity to advance. Also, say that you want to learn new skills and develop other abilities.

9. Why have you changed jobs so frequently?

  A. This is one of the major reasons people are not hired. Be truthful. You must convince her/him that your job-hopping days are over.

10. Why did you leave your job?

  A. The opportunity was limited because of:
a. size of company
b. little room for advancement or give a reason that has an emphasis on the company, but remember to keep it positive.

11. Where do you see yourself five years from now?

  A. Once again, know your company. Be realistic; you can't afford to tell the interviewer that you believe you will be more successful than he/she is.

12. What are your strong points? What are your weak points?

  A. For your strong points say something like, "I'm a hard worker, fast learner and dependable." Relate your answer to the job opening. For your weak points, don't relate your answer to the job opening.

13. What do you know about our organization?

  A. Use your research here. Mention products, services, revenues, etc.

14. What can you do for us that someone else can't?

  A. Do not use negatives - I really can't say what someone else can do for you, but I know with my skills what I can do, etc.

15. You may be over qualified or too experienced for the position we have to offer.

  A. The employer will get faster return on investment because you have more experience than required. Experienced people are at a premium today.

16. In your current or last position, what features did you like the most? Least?

  A. Liked most — highlight your skills pertaining to the job.
Liked least — use an example not related to the job.

17. Why haven't you found a position before now?

  A. "There were rumors that the company was going to call people back, and I felt it unfair to make a commitment to another firm. Now I realize it was only a rumor."

18. Who was your best supervisor? Worst? Why?

  A. Never answer negatively. Never criticize.

19. What would your previous boss say are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

  A. Emphasize attributes - turn weaknesses into strengths.

20. Can you work under pressure?

  A. Yes. Give an example.

21. What do you feel this position should pay?

  A. If you have researched the job market, you can answer, "My understanding is that a job like this pays in the range of $__ to__."

22. How do you feel about working in a non-union environment?

  A. It does not matter. Where I worked last, belonging to the union was simply a condition of employment.

23. What are your goals?

  A. Talk first about doing the job for which you are applying.

24. If I gave you a job to complete in eight hours, and you were done in six hours, what would you do with the other two hours?

  A. Help coworkers. Get a head start on tomorrow's work. Check with supervisor.

25. What do your coworkers think of you?

  A. Dependable, helpful, etc.

26. How many people have you supervised?

  A. Be truthful. If you have no experience in this area, demonstrate your ability to delegate or coordinate work projects.

27. Have you ever hired or fired anyone?

  A. First, the interviewer wants to determine whether you are capable of performing these duties; second, he/she wants to determine if your previous experience was at a high enough level to include this responsibility.

28. Describe what you feel to be an ideal working environment.

  A. Talk about advancement, your contributions, etc.

29. How would you evaluate your present or past firm?

  A. Never answer negatively.

30. What kind of people do you like?

  A. A good answer: "I like people who are dependable and have personal integrity."

31. Describe a few situations in which your work was criticized.

  A. Use an abstract instance and turn it into a positive.

32. If you could start again, what would you do differently?

  A. Don't give a sob story. Focus on the future.

33. Do you have any health problems that would prevent you from performing this job?

  A. Tell the truth. Be concise: don't give a lengthy medical history. Tell it to your doctor!!

34. Are you available for transfer to another area?

  A. This probably means they have intentions of shipping you off. A "no" will probably mean you won't be hired.

35. How long will you stay with the company?

  A. Employers expect a "till death do us part" attitude. A reasonable response might be "as long as I continue to learn and grow in my field".

36. How do you feel about drug and alcohol testing?

  A. No problem. Keep it simple; don't go into a social dissertation.

37. If you saw a fellow employee stealing, what would you do?

  A. Talk to the employee.

38. Whom can we check as references?

  A. Be ready with a neatly typed list of four or five individuals. Being prepared in this manner will impress your interviewer.

39. Do you have any questions?

  A. Yes! Research, Research, Research!
1. Where would I fit in?
2. How many people are you interviewing?
3. What are the company's future plans?
4. Do you have any questions about my qualifications?