Review these typical interview questions and think about how you
wouldanswer them. Read the questions listed; you will also find
somestrategy suggestions with it.
(From the book : The Accelerated Job Search by Wayne D. Ford, Ph.D,
published by The Management Advantage, Inc.)
1. Tell me about yourself:The most often asked question in interviews.
You need to have a shortstatement prepared in your mind. Be careful
that it does not soundrehearsed. Limit it to work-related items unless
instructed otherwise.Talk about things you have done and jobs you have
held that relate tothe position you are interviewing for. Start with
the item farthestback and work up to the present.
2. Why did you leave your last job?
Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a
majorproblem with management and never speak ill of supervisors,
co-workersor the organization. If you do, you will be the one looking
bad. Keepsmiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as
anopportunity, a chance to do something special or other
3. What experience do you have in this field?
Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying
for.If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can.
4. Do you consider yourself successful?
You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. A
goodexplanation is that you have set goals, and you have met some and
areon track to achieve the others.
5. What do co-workers say about you?
Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. Either a
specificstatement or a paraphrase will work. Jill Clark, a co-worker
at SmithCompany, always said I was the hardest workers she had ever
known. Itis as powerful as Jill having said it at the interview
6. What do you know about this organization?
This question is one reason to do some research on the
organizationbefore the interview. Find out where they have been and
where they aregoing. What are the current issues and who are the major
7. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A
widevariety of activities can be mentioned as positive
self-improvement.Have some good ones handy to mention.
8. Are you applying for other jobs?
Be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. Keep the
focuson this job and what you can do for this organization. Anything
else isa distraction.
9. Why do you want to work for this organization?
This may take some thought and certainly, should be based on
theresearch you have done on the organization. Sincerity is
extremelyimportant here and will easily be sensed. Relate it to your
10. Do you know anyone who works for us?
Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization.
Thiscan affect your answer even though they asked about friends
notrelatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if they are well
11. What kind of salary do you need?
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose
ifyou answer first. So, do not answer it. Instead, say something
like,That’s a tough question. Can you tell me the range for this
position?In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell
you. If not,say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then
give a widerange.
12. Are you a team player?
You are, of course, a team player. Be sure to have examples
ready.Specifics that show you often perform for the good of the team
ratherthan for yourself are good evidence of your team attitude. Do
not brag,just say it in a matter-of-fact tone. This is a key point.
13. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?
Specifics here are not good. Something like this should work: I’d
likeit to be a long time. Or As long as we both feel I’m doing a good
14. Have you ever had to fire anyone? How did you feel about that?
This is serious. Do not make light of it or in any way seem like
youlike to fire people. At the same time, you will do it when it is
theright thing to do. When it comes to the organization versus
theindividual who has created a harmful situation, you will protect
theorganization. Remember firing is not the same as layoff or
15. What is your philosophy towards work?
The interviewer is not looking for a long or flowery dissertation
here.Do you have strong feelings that the job gets done? Yes. That’s
thetype of answer that works best here. Short and positive, showing
abenefit to the organization.
16. If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?
Answer yes if you would. But since you need to work, this is the
typeof work you prefer. Do not say yes if you do not mean it.
17. Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
If you have not, say no. If you have, be honest, brief and avoid
sayingnegative things about the people or organization involved.
18. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization
You should be anxious for this question. It gives you a chance
tohighlight your best points as they relate to the position
beingdiscussed. Give a little advance thought to this relationship.
19. Why should we hire you?
Point out how your assets meet what the organization needs. Do
notmention any other candidates to make a comparison.
20. Tell me about a suggestion you have made
Have a good one ready. Be sure and use a suggestion that was
acceptedand was then considered successful. One related to the type of
workapplied for is a real plus.
21. What irritates you about co-workers?
This is a trap question. Think real hard but fail to come up
withanything that irritates you. A short statement that you seem to
getalong with folks is great.
22. What is your greatest strength?
Numerous answers are good, just stay positive. A few good
examples:Your ability to prioritize, Your problem-solving skills, Your
abilityto work under pressure, Your ability to focus on projects,
Yourprofessional expertise, Your leadership skills, Your positive
23. Tell me about your dream job.
Stay away from a specific job. You cannot win. If you say the job
youare contending for is it, you strain credibility. If you say
anotherjob is it, you plant the suspicion that you will be
dissatisfied withthis position if hired. The best is to stay genetic
and say somethinglike: A job where I love the work, like the people,
can contribute andcan’t wait to get to work.
24. Why do you think you would do well at this job?
Give several reasons and include skills, experience and interest.
25. What are you looking for in a job?
See answer # 23
26. What kind of person would you refuse to work with?
Do not be trivial. It would take disloyalty to the
organization,violence or lawbreaking to get you to object. Minor
objections willlabel you as a whiner.
27. What is more important to you: the money or the work?
Money is always important, but the work is the most important. There
isno better answer.
28. What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?
There are numerous good possibilities:Loyalty, Energy, Positive
attitude, Leadership, Team player, Expertise,Initiative, Patience,
Hard work, Creativity, Problem solver
29. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor
Biggest trap of all. This is a test to see if you will speak ill
ofyour boss. If you fall for it and tell about a problem with a
formerboss, you may well below the interview right there. Stay
positive anddevelop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor.
30. What has disappointed you about a job?
Don’t get trivial or negative. Safe areas are few but can include:Not
enough of a challenge. You were laid off in a reduction Company didnot
win a contract, which would have given you more responsibility.
31. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
You may say that you thrive under certain types of pressure. Give
anexample that relates to the type of position applied for.
32. Do your skills match this job or another job more closely?
Probably this one. Do not give fuel to the suspicion that you may
wantanother job more than this one.
33. What motivates you to do your best on the job?
This is a personal trait that only you can say, but good examples
are:Challenge, Achievement, Recognition
34. Are you willing to work overtime? Nights? Weekends?
This is up to you. Be totally honest.
35. How would you know you were successful on this job?
Several ways are good measures:You set high standards for yourself and
meet them. Your outcomes are asuccess.Your boss tell you that you are
36. Would you be willing to relocate if required?
You should be clear on this with your family prior to the interview
ifyou think there is a chance it may come up. Do not say yes just to
getthe job if the real answer is no. This can create a lot of
problemslater on in your career. Be honest at this point and save
37. Are you willing to put the interests of the organization ahead ofyour own?
This is a straight loyalty and dedication question. Do not worry
aboutthe deep ethical and philosophical implications. Just say yes.
38. Describe your management style.
Try to avoid labels. Some of the more common labels, like
progressive,salesman or consensus, can have several meanings or
descriptionsdepending on which management expert you listen to. The
situationalstyle is safe, because it says you will manage according to
thesituation, instead of one size fits all.
39. What have you learned from mistakes on the job?
Here you have to come up with something or you strain credibility.
Makeit small, well intentioned mistake with a positive lesson learned.
Anexample would be working too far ahead of colleagues on a project
andthus throwing coordination off.
40. Do you have any blind spots?
Trick question. If you know about blind spots, they are no longer
blindspots. Do not reveal any personal areas of concern here. Let them
dotheir own discovery on your bad points. Do not hand it to them.
41. If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?
Be careful to mention traits that are needed and that you have.
42. Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
Regardless of your qualifications, state that you are very
wellqualified for the position.
43. How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?
First, if you have experience that the interviewer does not know
about,bring that up: Then, point out (if true) that you are a hard
44. What qualities do you look for in a boss?
Be generic and positive. Safe qualities are knowledgeable, a sense
ofhumor, fair, loyal to subordinates and holder of high standards.
Allbosses think they have these traits.
45. Tell me about a time when you helped resolve a dispute between others.
Pick a specific incident. Concentrate on your problem solving
techniqueand not the dispute you settled.
46. What position do you prefer on a team working on a project?
Be honest. If you are comfortable in different roles, point that out.
47. Describe your work ethic.
Emphasize benefits to the organization. Things like, determination
toget the job done and work hard but enjoy your work are good.
48. What has been your biggest professional disappointment?
Be sure that you refer to something that was beyond your control.
Showacceptance and no negative feelings.
49. Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job.
Talk about having fun by accomplishing something for the organization.
50. Do you have any questions for me?
Always have some questions prepared. Questions prepared where you will
be an asset to the organization are good. How soon will I be able to
be productive? and What type of projects will I be able to assist on?