Interview Questions Exposed
The key to an interview is to be well prepared in advance. Many people typically find it difficult to explain exactly what their strengths and accomplishments are in detail.
As difficult as it is, you must develop the skills to successfully convey what you bring to the table.
There is no substitute for preparation! By preparing answers to all of the questions in this book, you’ll have the ammunition you need to answer the additional questions that come into play. Plus, you will
feel more confident walking in to the interview.
The key is to listen to the question that is asked and then pause for a moment before answering it.
Once you have provided your answer, stop talking! Do not offer answers to other things that
come to your mind unless they directly relate to the question.
Your answers should be short, sweet, and to the point. If you can weave in some statistics about your past performance, you’ll hit a home run.
If you know that this is the ideal job for you, in the right company, and in the right industry, don’t be shy about it. Let your interviewer know. Enthusiastic people are much more likely to get hired than people who simply match the job description. Interviewing takes practice, but it is far less stressful when you truly know what you want your next job to look like. Interviewing for jobs that you love will be the easiest thing you’ll ever do, and it will also be easy for the hiring manager to make their decision to hire you!
1.Tell me about yourself….. WHY INTERVIEWERS ASK THIS…
To test your overall preparedness for the interview
To allow you to feel comfortable and have a sense of control
To see your communication style, your personality, and how you organize your
To stall for time to review your resume and collect their thoughts
To see which topics you naturally emphasize, e.g., personal life, work, hobbies, etc.
“I was born on a farm in Pennsylvania…”
– Interviewers typically want to hear about your work history, not about your personal life. Think of this
“Tell me the highlights of your career.”
A STRONG ANSWER…
Provides a 30 second synopsis that concludes with an accomplishment. The end includes a question that steers the interviewer away from this question to a topic that enables you to demonstrate your accomplishments.
Example: “My passion is helping companies hire extraordinary employees.
For the past x years I have helped several companies transform their recruiting departments from weak to world class. I have led teams that hired 900 teachers in 4 months, 400 pharmaceutical sales reps in 3 months, and 500 IT professionals in a year. Would you like to hear more about one of those accomplishments in particular?”
2.Why are you interested in working for your company?
“I am interested in your company because you are in a growing industry.”
– This is not a specific enough answer. It is simply too general.
“I am interested in your company because you produce cheese, my favorite
– This is not a strong enough reason. Don’t other companies produce
cheese as well?
“I hear that this is a great place to work.”
– Although other people may have told you this information, this answer doesn’t explain why this is the right company for you.
“I am interested in this company because of its many career growth opportunities.”
– This reason is not compelling enough.
A STRONG ANSWER…
Includes details to explain why this company interests you, backed up by facts
and figures researched before your interview.
For example: if you discovered that the company is launching a new product in six months, tell the interviewer you’d like to contribute to that project.
Gives examples of why you have a personal interest in working in this industry.
For example: you may want to work in healthcare because you have a passion for helping people. Or, you may want to work in fashion because sewing has always been a personal hobby.
3.What kinds of positions are you looking for?
“I am interested in whatever you have open.”
-Interviewers want to hire people with passion for their job, not desperate people.
“I am interested in positions that will offer me the ability to use my skills and to grow with the company.”
–This is too general of an answer and fails to differentiate you, in the interviewer’s mind, from other candidates.
“I am interested in project management jobs, but I will also consider administrative jobs.”
– These job categories are too diverse, which suggests that you are willing to settle.
“I have a strong background in IT and have been successful in all of my positions.”
– This doesn’t answer the question
– it explains what you’ve done in the past when we want to know what you are interested in now.
A STRONG ANSWER…
Demonstrates exactly what you’d like to do at this point in your career.Rather than rehashing your resume, speak from the heart. What do you really want to do? How can you make a difference?
Shows your passion for the position with examples of why you enjoy doing this type of work.
An interviewer would prefer to hire someone who demonstrates strong interest in their position, as opposed to someone who is more qualified but lacking passion.
4.Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
“I would like to become a consultant in 5 years.” Or “I plan to start my own business.”
– Neither answer suggests that an investment in you will provide long term gains.
“I’d like to manage a team in 5 years.”
– In many instances this goal can be reached within 1-3 years, so you may want to aim for higher aspirations.
“I don’t know yet.I’m just starting out in your industry.”
– You don’t have to know for sure, but you should at least venture a guess.
“What career opportunities do you have here?”
– This doesn’t answer their question. Tell the interviewer what you are interested in regardless of what is available.
A STRONG ANSWER…
Shows that you are taking responsibility for your own career growth while also benefitting from future mentorship.
For example, “I am a marketing assistant now, but one day, with the right guidance, I’d like to be the VP of Marketing.”
Shows that you are looking to expand your skill set over time.
For example. “I have plenty of analytical skills because of my finance background, but my goal is to gain skills in IT and marketing so I can be a well -rounded manager.”
5.Why did you leave your last position?
“Because I didn’t get along well with my boss.”
–Even if your boss was an ogre, this raises a red flag that you might not get along well with others. Avoid negativity if possible.
“Because they eliminated my position.”
– If this is true, mention how many other positions were eliminated along with yours, and then mention your strong references.
“Because the salaries they paid were not competitive.”
– This might raise concerns that perhaps you didn’t deserve a higher salary.
“Because I kept getting passed over for management opportunities.”
–This might suggest that you are a poor performer or aren’t management material.
A STRONG ANSWER…
Where termination is concerned –take responsibilities for your actions without blaming former bosses, companies, or other situations Mention why the company was justified in their decision to terminate
you. Highlight what you learned from the experience,and explain why it will never happen again.
Where you resigned voluntarily
– explains that you are searching for new challenges which you couldn’t find at your former company. Share details about what you are seeking from this new company: a stronger manager, a mentor, more responsibility, larger projects, etc.
6.Why are you still unemployed?
“Because the job market is terrible.”
–Do not blame outside circumstance
– despite the fact that the job market might be impacting your search, people are landing.
“Because there is too much competition.”
– Again, some of your competitors are
landing because they may be using different strategies than you are.
“I don’t know.”
– This is a poor answer to any interview question. You should atleast venture a guess.
“Because I wasn’t really putting my heart into my search at the beginning.”
– Unless you have a compelling reason, i.e., tending to sick family member, traveling, or taking classes, this is not a strong answer.
A STRONG ANSWER…
Shows that you are taking responsibility for your current situation.
Explain how you’ve accelerated your search with new approaches (such as networking) and are confident that you’ll land soon. Details how you’ve been very selective and are only considering positions that are perfect for you.
Explain that this is an ideal position for you. Be prepared to share details about offers you may have declined or instances where you were strongly considered.
7.Tell me why you are the most qualified?
“I have 3 years of experience and I really believe that it is more than enough for
– Disagreeing with an interviewer is never a good idea. Reminding
them of what you have achieved instead is a better plan.
“I have an Associate’s Degree and 5 years of experience
Why isn’t that sufficient?”
–At times, a BA or BS is a fixed requirement – in this case, emphasize everything you bring to the table beyond a degree.
“I’ve been a project manager in financial services, so a project manager in
pharmaceuticals should be the same thing.”
–When changing industries, it’s your job to convince your interviewer that each of your specific skills will directly transfer into the new role.
A STRONG ANSWER…
Demonstrates that you are confident in your skills and despite that the requirements are, you will be successful
For example, “Being an outstanding manager in this role requires strong leadership, communication and organizational skills, all of which my references will corroborate.”
Demonstrates that you are a fast learner and will overcome your deficiencies in short order.
For example, “I entered the IT industry and the manufacturing industry without having experience in either, and in both cases, I was one of the top performers in my division.”
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