Job Interview Questions, Job Interview Answers, Job Interview Tips, and Job Interview Strategies to Help You Prepare for your Next Job Interview

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April 30, 2010

Job interview questions...Don't be caught off guard by predictable ones !

Imagine being prepared for just about every possible job interview question an interviewer could throw at you! Not only would you be more relaxed and confident in the job interview, but you'd be ready with dynamic and well thought-out answers to those job interview questions. The following article includes most of the job interview questions you're likely to encounter in a job interview situation. It also offers some suggestions on how to project a winning attitude, put effective job interview interview strategies into action, and increase your chances of turning job interviews into job offers. Most of the time you only get one chance to make a positive impression in job interviews, and some people would argue that the first five minutes are what matters most. With that in mind, it's best to leave nothing to chance, including small but important details like arriving at job interviews a few minutes early, making sure your job interview suit is clean and pressed, and having a couple extra copies of your resume with you, in case the job interviewer can't find his or her copy, or (and this is a good thing to mentally prepare for) if you're going to be interviewed by a committee or a series of job interviewers.


Successful job interviews are like a good theatrical performance. If you convincingly act confident, enthusiastic, and prepared for those tricky job interview questions, there's a good chance you'll be called back for an encore! The job candidate that gets chosen isn't necessarily the one who's the most experienced or capable; it's often the job seeker who has cultivated the ability to relax at job interviews — to "just be themselves" — to answer job interview questions in a deliberate way, and to come across in job interviews as if they really believe in themselves. With persistence and determination, almost anyone can acquire the skill to answer job interview questions with confidence and composure.

A highly recommended way to increase your level of comfort and confidence in the job interview is by taking the time, a day or two before the interview, to mentally review your accomplishments and the high points of your resume. You should be able to rattle off your qualifications, your academic credentials, and specific examples of how you effectively handled job challenges, and do so as effortlessly as if you were reciting your own name, address, and phone number. An inability to come up with specific examples of past job achievements has resulted in many a job applicant not making it to the final cut.

Know your answers to probable interview
questions before you walk through the door!

Update your resume before the job interview, looking for ways to put the most positive spin on your career history, responsibilities, and accomplishments. It's always best to be totally honest, but, on the other hand, don't shortchange yourself by understating or minimizing your career or educational accomplishments. Failing to give yourself all the credit you deserve is one way to sabotage your chances of being hired. For example: if you initiated and coordinated a successful project, don't leave those details out of your resume and job interview. If you helped save your last employer $100,000, don't hide that fact. If you developed a new, more efficient training technique that was implemented at your last job, don't neglect to talk about that in the job interview and include it in your resume. Make a list of and review all these career achievements, so they won't slip your mind when you need them most. Forgetting to mention any or all of those types of professional accomplishments could make the difference between being offered the job or getting passed over for it.

In the job interview, one key tactic for projecting a powerful, competent, and experienced image is by using action words to describe yourself and the work you've done. That technique also helps create a dynamic resume. Examples: "I coordinated ... managed ... initiated ... supervised ... produced ... built ... solved ... recruited ... formed a new department ... provided leadership for ...etc."

A time-tested strategy for feeling and acting prepared for an upcoming job interview is to rehearse answers to typical job interview questions that will probably be posed in one form or another. A fatal error that many job applicants make is to try to "wing it" when they respond to job interview questions. If you mentally review your positive attributes, your accomplishments, and your strengths, before you shake hands with the job interviewer for the first time, you will appear more focused, organized, and articulate at the job interview than if you attempted to fly by the seat of your pants! (Don't try that at home!) Bottom line: you need to know your answers to probable interview questions before you walk through the door!

Don't go to that next job interview
until you've looked "Inside the Mind of an Interviewer"!

Assuming you're qualified for the job -- and if you cleared the first hurdle (namely, being invited to the job interview in the first place), chances are you are qualified -- then the image you project, and how you present yourself, will make or break you! So smile, make lots of eye contact with the job interviewer, have a firm handshake, act enthusiastic about the job and the company, research the company on the Internet, and, perhaps most importantly, rehearse the answers to these frequently asked job interview questions:

  • Tell me about yourself. (To avoid rambling or becoming flustered, plan your answer.)
  • What do you know about our company/organization? (This is a commonly-asked first or second question, so don't let this one be your Achille's heel! If they have a web site, your research will be easy!)
  • What are your strengths? (Make an exhaustive list, familiarize yourself with the list, and then narrow it down to the most important items for the interview.)
  • What are your weaknesses?(What you say here can and will be used against you! Whatever you say, make sure your stated weakness doesn't relate even remotely to the requirements of the job to which you're applying.)
  • How would your current (or last) boss describe you?*
  • What were your boss's responsibilities? (Interviewers sometimes ask this job interview question to prevent you from having the chance to claim that you did your boss's job. Be ready for it!)
  • What's your opinion of them? What type of relationship did you have with your last boss.(Never criticize your past or present boss in a job interview. It just makes you look bad -- not them.)
  • How would your co-workers or subordinates describe you professionally?* (Remember, now is not the time for modesty! Brag a little bit.)
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why do you want to leave your present employer?
  • Why should we hire you over the other finalists?
  • What qualities or talents would you bring to the job?*
  • Tell me about your accomplishments.
  • What is your most important contribution to your last (or current) employer?
  • How do you perform under deadline pressure? Give me an example.
  • How do you react to criticism? (Leave your ego at the door when you answer questions like this.)
  • Describe a conflict or disagreement at work in which you were involved. How was it resolved?
  • What are two of the biggest problems you've encountered at your job and how did you overcome them?
  • Think of a major crisis you've faced at work and explain how you handled it.
  • Give me an example of a risk that you took at your job (past or present) and how it turned out.
  • Describe your managerial style.
  • Have you ever hired employees; and, if so, have they lived up to your expectations?
  • What type of performance problems have you encountered in people who report to you, and how did you motivate them to improve?
  • Describe a typical day at your present (or last) job.
  • What are the last three books you've read?
  • What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
  • For aspiring pharmaceutical sales reps, only:
    60 realistic interview questions and answers with specific pharmaceutical sales job interview questions and intelligent questions to ask the interviewer

And finally, an interview question which is almost always asked, but is rarely responded to effectively is, "Do you have any questions?"! Most interviewers are not asking that final question just to be polite or because it's a smooth segue to the end of the interview. More often than not, they're expecting you to show at least some knowledge of the company or some genuine interest in the company's future.

Your underlying message in all your job interview answers should be that you're hard working, dedicated, results-oriented, dependable, organized, passionate about making a difference, cooperative, easy to get along with, a creative problem-solver, an excellent communicator, an effective project manager, a good delegator, and that you believe in doing things right the first time...or assigning tasks and projects to other people and following through to make sure that others get them done right!

If you give some serious thought to the above job interview questions and strategies for giving effective answers, and rehearse them out loud, you'll sound prepared, self-assured, and capable in the interview. Those are among the key qualities that make a job applicant stand out among the competition and create a dynamic impression. Always concentrate on putting your best foot forward, give yourself the benefit of the doubt, and above all: avoid sounding or appearing tentative in your attitudes, answers, or behavior. (If you even imply that you don't believe yourself, you can be sure that an interviewer won't!).

Remind yourself that you're not going to job interviews to win any humility contests! If you don't sing your own praises at the interview, chances are, there will be no encore performance!


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by ebhakt published on April 30, 2010 7:55 PM.

Preparation for Successful Job Interviews was the previous entry in this blog.

In what way can a candidate impress the interviewer? is the next entry in this blog.

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