Handling Frequently Asked Interview Questions
Here is a list of commonly asked interview questions that you might get from your interviewer:
- What are your expectations for this position?
- Where do you want to be in five or ten years?
- What attracted you to this position?
- What attracted you to our company?
- What are your short and long term professional goals?
- Why are you looking to leave your current job?
- What makes you the best candidate for the job?
Be considerate and strike a delicate balance when responding to these kinds of questions:
- It’s not appropriate to mention personal or family topics, keep it professional.
- Don’t go off on a tangent about how you want to start your own business or run for office.
Typical responses to “what makes you the best candidate for the job” could be:
“I would like to let you know that I am the best candidate for the job.”
“I’ll make a significant advance in the organization within a short time.”
Answers to other popular questions:
- Would you rather work with information or with people? Ideally, both. But the response should be tailored toward the job description and the relevant strengths in those areas.
- What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have? Here is where your mention a few of the successful projects and resources you have managed. This will come in handy.
- How would you describe your ideal job? Your description of your ideal job should sound like the job you’re interviewing for.
- How much training do you think you’ll need to become a productive employee? Remember, the question is asking how productive you will be. Respond that you can be productive immediately. Answer with confidence, and make it clear that you have the ability to make an impact immediately.
- Why isn’t your GPA higher? Don’t make excuses. Turn a negative into a positive by mentioning that you were involved in extracurricular activities, volunteering, which made you a well-rounded person.
Yes or No questions:
- Are you a goal-oriented person?
- Are you a team player?
- Are you willing to go the extra mile and work overtime?
- Do you handle pressure and stress well?
- Do you handle conflict well?
Never respond with just Yes or No:
- Always elaborate, and be prepared to give specific examples.
- Your examples should be current. Avoid using anything from high school or before that.
Questions that require knowledge of the company:
- Do you enjoy doing market research? Ask in what context they are asking this question.
- How did you find out about us? Be honest about this question. A friend that works at the company, you heard good things about the management, they promote from within, etc.
- Do you have any plans to further your education? This will depend on the position, and if it requires an advanced degree In the future or additional training.
- Why do you want to work in this industry? If this position is in a new industry, you will need to do some research on the industry and what attracted you to it. This could be part of your response. Example: It’s a high-growth industry that is consistently hiring for people like you.
- What do you know about our company? Give them a few details about their company that you researched online or through reliable sources. An example might be…….they have 20% market share, They are a leader in a specific industry, and they have low employee turn-over.
- Have you set goals for your career? Yes, specify specific goals related to the position.
- What motivates you? Mention your top 2 or 3 professional motivations.
- What were your favorite classes? Why? Limit it to 2 or 3. Don’t mention too many classes.
- Who were your favorite professors? Why? Mention only 1 or 2 at most.
- What did you like most about your school? You can elaborate on this one, but don’t go overboard.
These types of questions require:
- Thoughtful responses
- Responses that are not self-serving
- Responses that are specific to the job
- Responses that tell the interviewer how you handle stressful situations
- How important is money to you? They want to know if you will accept a position on money alone.
- What are your salary expectations to accept a new position? Start with a range, but ask what their range is for the position.
- Will you accept a counter offer if your current employer offers you more money? This is important because it tells the interviewer if you are serious or not about the position or just trying to get an offer so you can take it back to your current employer for more money.
Answering money questions:
- Find a balance. Money’s important, but you should also consider things like total compensation packages with benefits, extra perks and bonuses.
- Remember, job satisfaction in the total package is also important.
- Don’t bring up student loans. The employer will base your pay on your worth to the company, not what your needs are.
- If at all possible, try to delay salary negotiations. We will talk more in depth about this in a later chapter. Don’t give specifics until after an offer is made.
Asking for the job:
Make sure you ask about the next step in the process. Before the interview is over, remember to ask for the job. If you don’t ask for these details, they likely won’t be volunteered.