6 Essential Job Interview Questions

How to Answer Interview Questions and Land That Job

Ever been stumped with a question while on an interview? Job seeekers need to prepare for the interview and spend time planning, practicing, and crafting their interview responses.  Hiring managers and recruiters look at the interview not only to determine personality, professionalism, and qualifications, but also culture and job fit within the prospective organization.  Here are 6 typical  samples of interview questions that job seekers might encounter during the interview and selection process.

Prepare for these Typical Interview Questions:

  • Tell me about yourself. First off, let me say that I absolutely loath this question. It’s so generic. Keep your answer professional and between 1-3 minutes. Highlight your education, job qualifications, and job history based on the qualifications and requirements of the job you are interviewing for.
  • Why should we hire you? Once again, I hate this question!! Keep your answer professional and highlight your qualifications specific to the position you are applying for. Most often this question is asked to see how you handle the pressure. Be prepared to sell yourself.
  • What are your weaknesses? This question is tricky and the fact that you work too hard is not a good answer. I recommend using the STAR interview method. Outline the situation, describe the action you took to improve your weakness, and the result. Hiring manager’s like to hear measurable actions like you increased your team’s productivity by 35% by attending a 8 week class on leading and inspiring others using the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  • Where do you see yourself in five years? Be very careful. You don’t want to appear to be overly ambitious and say something like, “Well, Bob. I’d like to have your job.” I recommend talking about expanding your knowledge and experience in a new product line or the fact that you will have finished your MBA by then. You want to be a team player and show that you are a great long term investment for company x.
  • What’s your salary expectation? Tread carefully my friend. On one hand you don’t want to overshoot and bet out of the running because you want too much money. On the other hand, you want to be paid a fair salary. I recommend doing your research for the industry and position in your geographic area when beginning the salary negotiation process. Salaries can vary widely even in the same city as do the benefits and perks that companies offer their employees. Give them a range and ask if falls within their requirements. I am always upfront with candidates but not every recruiter or hiring manager is.
  • Do you have any questions for me?   Be ready with questions, I mean really good questions. Use the company website or your network to learn about the prospective company and the industry. Ask some questions about the number of employees you would be supervising or challenges one might face in the position. I recommend asking, “what do you feel is the most important skill or qualification for someone in the Public Relations Director position to be successful?” This allows the hiring manager to tell you what they want from their new employee giving you some insight. This way you can touch on your skills and qualifications one more time.

 

Have Your Answers for an Interview Ready

The job interviewing and hiring process can be a long and drawn out one.   Learn more about the interview process and different types of interviews you may encounter as you begin your job search.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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  1. Like many articles, Jessica give some good tips about the hiring interview. I conducted a lot of interview myself and from an employer point of view there is one thing that I am looking for above all and this is the attitude of the candidate. I red something one day about the hiring process saying: We hiring someone for his skills and knowledge and firing him for his attitude. So why not hiring someone for his attitude in the first place? I always put the attitude first in the hiring process trying to find someone who fit with the culture of the entreprise. We also have to learn to listen our little voice when she said to you: Don’t hire this candidate! We have to trust our senses and our feelings during an interview, because a human being is more than a resume.

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