Be Prepared to Answer these Interview Questions
Here are some common questions you should be ready to answer when interviewing. Take time to rehearse you answers or work with a friend. Make sure it feels natural and not forced and remember to smile.
1. Tell me about yourself.
Answer this question with your “elevator speech” – keep it professional (no talking about your pets or kids), targeted to how your experience fits the position, and what makes you unique.
2. Share with me why you are looking to leave your current position and why you left each position you’ve held in the last 5 years.
The interviewer is looking for red flags as to why you left previous jobs (job hopping, disgruntled, conflict) and how you feel about your current/previous employer. Be sure your answer does not come across as though you are angry, bitter or have a chip on your shoulder. Even in bad situations there are things you’ve learned. Share a professionally honest response as to why you left and keep your answer positive.
3. Describe for me the best & your worst bosses you’ve worked for and why they were the best/worst.
DON’T be negative! The interviewer wants to understand the kind of management that motivates you and de-motivates you, how you respond to leadership, and how you’ve worked with various styles of management.
4. Share with me an example of a professional conflict you were involved in – what was the situation and how did you respond?
The interviewer wants to know how you react to conflict (do you resolve or give in, are you a problem solver) and that you can handle yourself in a difficult situation.
5. If I were to call your current/most recent supervisor and ask which of your performance areas need the most improvement, how would he/she respond?
The interviewer is looking for your weaknesses. Remember, every weakness is an opportunity to learn & grow professionally, so when answering this be sure to address what you do to mitigate your weaknesses and how you are working to improve in these areas.
6. What success/accomplishment in your career are you most proud of and why?
The interviewer is listening for what energizes you, and the kind of work that makes you feel really good. This is a good chance to share your strengths and how your strengths helped you achieve this success.
7. Hindsight being 20/20, if you could go back and re-do a decision or a failed project, what decision/project would you chose and what would you do differently?
The interviewer is seeking to understand if you are accountable for your mistakes/decisions and if you learn from your experiences.
8. From everything you’ve learned about this role, the company, tell me why you are the best candidate for the position.
This is your chance to sell yourself. Speak to what you know the company needs in this role and how you can be a valuable player on their team.
9. Describe for me the type of work environment in which you thrive.
Be honest, but also know that if you describe an environment opposite of what you see around you in the interview, you’ve lost the job. Then again, if it is not the right environment for you, it’s not the right job for you!
10. What is your current salary? What are your salary expectations?
Do not avoid this question! If you are asked your current salary, give the base amount plus any bonuses/commissions/perks you receive. When asked your salary expectations, give a range (typically a $10 – $15K range) and be sure that your minimum amount in the range is a salary you are comfortable earning. Employers will typically offer you between your minimum and midpoint.
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