Job Interview Question

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Typical Interview Questions and Answers

Let’s take a look at some of the common questions during interviews.


Tell me about yourself.

This is a very popular question that has left most people speechless and confused. It does not specify what you should say and it is very open. If you are not well prepared you might end up saying so much that is not necessary. There are also people who do not know how to limit their words. You should use this question as an opportunity to highlight the things that will play to your advantage in relation to the job. Highlight your skills, strengths, things that you have accomplished as well as what you are knowledgeable about. Have a clear direction when responding to this question. Of course you need to give a brief introduction on yourself and qualifications.


What do you expect to gain from this position or company?

This question aims to establish if you know what exactly you want in life and in terms of career. Get ready to describe your ideal job and try and incorporate the company your description. A prior study and research on the company will help you in tackling this question.


Why are you thinking about leaving your current job?

Honestly, if you are comfortable in your current job you would not want to leave. This is a question that aims to check your open mindedness. Be sure to highlight that you are looking for more exposure in your field of expertise. Do not try to paint a bad image of your current or previous company. That will not do you any good. Try and be as diplomatic as possible.


What are your strengths and weakness?

This question needs to be approached in the right manner. It is very easy to go on talking while not answering this question. Highlight all your accomplishments in relation to the job that you have applied for. You might have other strengths that are not relevant. Remain focused when you respond to this question.

Weaknesses are not a positive thing to brag about. Most interviewers ask this question in order to gauge your honesty. You do not need to give a full account of all the areas you have failed in. Highlight just a few and indicate that you are working on improving in those areas. Do not be afraid everyone has faults.


Where do you want to be five years from now?

Most people are excited when they are asked this question and they go ahead to unleash unrealistic goals that they aim to have achieved. Be very modest when you answer this question. Draw a line between over ambition and being shallow minded. Let your job be the reference point to where you are aiming to be in five years.


What would you do if your superior tells you to do something that you know is not right in the way of doing?

It is good to follow the chain of command. However, since even superiors in a company are human beings, it might be as a result of an oversight. It is good to try and point it out but if he persists carry out the task. Be sure to raise any concerns that you have in a clear way.


What do you think your boss would describe you if I were to call your company?

Be confident about yourself when answering this question. Assure the interview that your former boss would have all sorts of praises to your hard work and responsibility.


What would you say about your time management?

Try and be as honest as possible when it comes to time management. In the event that you lie and you are offered the job and do not live up to what you said it might not augur well with your superiors.


What do you know about our company?

One of the best ways to getting ready for an interview is by doing an in depth research on the company. The interview will be impressed if you are able to answer this question with solid facts that you had checked out. It also demonstrates your ability to be proactive.


What are you looking for in your next job?

When this question is put forward to you, let your answer revolve around the job that you are interviewing for. The interview will mostly want to use this question to establish how much you are interested in the job.


What types of people do you find hard to get along with?

It would be wrong to pinpoint and direct your answer to a particular set of people. Be very diplomatic when handling this question. Use illustrations if you have to demonstrate the characters that you do not appreciate. Talk about characters and traits that are not productive in companies as an answer to this question.


How do you handle a conflict situation that occurs in your work place?

As long as you are working with people, it is inevitable to avoid conflict. Most employers are concerned about the ability of employees to handle conflicts. It will be also important to give an example of a conflict situation and how you would handle it. Remember that everyone has weakness and do not portray yourself as without fault. Use scenarios where you are the one on the wrong and vice versa. Explain that he conflicts have made you better and have improved your ability to work with people while avoiding conflicts. Try and paint a picture of yourself as one who is interested in solving conflicts rather than be the trigger. Be sure to demonstrate your ability to admit your faults for the purposes of smooth running of the company. What the interviewer seeks to find out is your ability to be a team player. Be sure to highlight the importance of working with other people as a team in the company.


You seem to have little experience with this job. How do you intend to learn up the knowledge you need to perform well.

Never acknowledge that you have insufficient experience or skills for a job that you want. When this question is asked, highlight your ability to grasp things quickly and how you are able to implement what you learn.

Use a very creative response for this question and win the confidence of your potential employer.

This would be a typical answer:
“In response to your question, I would like to mention that I have worked under different environments. Some of the places I have worked I did not have the slightest idea on what to do. However, I am very keen on instructions and never afraid to ask questions. I am proactive and I take it upon myself to find out as much as I can about any job I am interested in. I have done a thorough research on this company and I am sure I will just need slight polishing to become effective and deliver results”.



What is the last book you read?

The kinds of books or materials that you read mostly influence who you become. Many employers will use this question to determine your personality. When responding to this question it is important to think carefully. You might provide books on cartoons that might be interpreted to mean that you are not a serious person. Get a list of books that might be related to the job that you are interviewing for. If you have read real like issues that build and develop character especially at work place do not leave those ones out.


Is there anything else about you I should know?

At this point most interviewees would take this as an exit point and respond by saying there is nothing more. However, at times the interviewer is giving you an opportunity to market yourself and convince the interviewer to offer you the job. Be very keen when responding to this question just highlight a few of your achievements and skills. Do not take too much time and also avoid to much repetition. Stick to what is relevant and only issues that will increase your chances of securing the position. Do not use this chance to ask any question just talk about yourself and put an emphasis on your professionalism.

It is important to go to the interview well prepared for this question. Let the interviewer understand your level of experience and expertise in relation to the job. Use both positive and challenging scenarios that have developed your personality regarding that position and the lessons that you have learned from previous companies as well. It is also good to mention how you handle things and your reverence to the management. Be very clear in your mind in order to deliver an excellent answer. Let your potential employer understand that you are really motivated about the position and you would be glad when offered the opportunity. Consider yourself as a product and sell yourself fully.


Why do you think we should pay you this much?

Everyone wants to know that their getting their money’s worth when paying for any product or service. The interviewer will also seek to be convinced why they should part with some cash. In short, they want you to persuade them why you are different from the others and why they should pay you. Do not appear desperate or to be begging. Answer this question using your skills, experience and strengths. Any achievements that made your former boss proud would also play a big role in your answer. Let the prospective employer understand the benefits he stands to achieve upon hiring you.


When can you start?

If you get to this question, then you are as close to your job as possible. Unfortunately most interviewees have failed at this stage. In the midst of the excitement, remember that the interviewer will use this question to determine how you will leave the company in the future. Be sure to ask for some time to get a competent person to replace you in your former job and also inform them you would need to notify your current employer of your exit.

Depending on the final agreement on your start date, get all the necessary information about your new job. It will be quite disappointing if you start the job and fail to leave up to what you had implied during the interview.

Last edited on: November 16, 2011





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