Job Interviews: Common Questions and How To Answer Them

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Not being able to answer questions posed to you at a job interview can be the kiss of death for your application. Interviewers are often less interested in the answer given as opposed to the thought process used to determine an answer. Because of this, you can’t simply guess at an answer because you’ll potentially be asked to expound upon it or explain how you arrived at the solution. The good news is that these questions are often standard among corporate employers and, as such, you can prepare in advance for the types of things that will be asked.

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What Can You Tell Me About Yourself?

This is a common question and is usually one of the first ones asked. A right way to answer this question is to share a little bit about your personal life, such as where you were born and what your hometown is like. Then segue into your education, including discussing a couple of accomplishments. Finally, explain a few of your favorite hobbies. Whatever you do, don’t devote too much time to boasting about things you’ve done. Boasting is a sign of immaturity.

Why Are You Interested In This Job?

Not being able to answer why you actually want the job is definitely a sign that you aren’t a serious employee. Of course, many of us want a job so we can earn money to live. Unfortunately, the employer is expecting something else. Instead, talk how the position interests you. Try to tie it into your hobbies or academic pursuits. Give them the impression that you find the work stimulating.

What Can You Tell Me About Your Last Job?

Specifically, they want to know why you left. The ulterior motive here is the employer wants to filter out those who aren’t team players or are difficult to work with. As such, you don’t want to go off and start bad-mouthing your old boss and former co-workers. Instead, offer a positive angle on why you left and try to remain positive when asked about other people.

What Are Your Strengths?

This is a good opportunity to shine. View this as a softball question and try to knock it out of the park. Instead of boasting, however, choose a part of your resume that you feel separates yourself from most of the other applicants. This is the time to drop names. If you went to a good school, for example, talk about how you served as a tutor to students there. If you studied under some guru professor, mention the skills you learned while under his tutelage.

Do You Have Any Questions For Me?

Always ask at least a couple of questions. Show that you’re interested in the organization and genuinely want to become an employer with them. If not, you’re really no different than the countless other applicants who will be passed over for the job.

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