It's important to be prepared to respond effectively to the interview questions that employers typically ask at job interviews. Since these questions are so common, hiring managers will expect you to be able to answer them smoothly and without hesitation.
You don't need to memorize an answer, but do think about what you're going to say so you're not put on the spot during the job interview. Your responses will be stronger if you prepare in advance and have a sense of what you want to play up during your interview.
1. What is your greatest strength?
This is one of the questions that employers almost always ask. When you are asked about your greatest strengths, it's important to discuss the attributes that will qualify you for the specific job and set you apart from the other candidates.
2. What is your greatest weakness?
Another typical question interviewers will ask is about about your weaknesses. Do your best to frame your answers around positive aspects of your skills and abilities as an employee.
3. Tell me about yourself.
Here’s how to answer questions about you without giving out too much – or too little – personal information. Start by sharing some of your personal interests which don't relate directly to work.
4. Why should we hire you?
Are you the best candidate for the job? Be prepared to say why. Make your response a concise sales pitch that explains what you have to offer the employer, and why you should get the job.
5. Why Did You Leave (Or Why Are You Leaving) Your Job?
If you're unemployed, state your reason for leaving in a positive context: "I managed to survive two rounds of corporate downsizing, but the third round was a 20 percent reduction in the workforce, which included me."
If you are employed, focus on what you want in your next job: "After two years, I made the decision to look for a company that is team-focused, where I can add my experience."
6. When Were You Most Satisfied in Your Job?
The interviewer wants to know what motivates you. If you can relate an example of a job or project when you were excited, the interviewer will get an idea of your preferences. "I was very satisfied in my last job, because I worked directly with the customers and their problems; that is an important part of the job for me."
7. What Can You Do for Us That Other Candidates Can't?
What makes you unique? This will take an assessment of your experiences, skills and traits. Summarize concisely: "I have a unique combination of strong technical skills, and the ability to build strong customer relationships. This allows me to use my knowledge and break down information to be more user-friendly."
8. What Are Three Positive Things Your Last Boss Would Say About You?
It's time to pull out your old performance appraisals and boss's quotes. This is a great way to brag about yourself through someone else's words: "My boss has told me that I am the best designer he has ever had. He knows he can rely on me, and he likes my sense of humor."
9. What Salary Are You Seeking?
It is to your advantage if the employer tells you the range first. Prepare by knowing the going rate in your area, and your bottom line or walk-away point. One possible answer would be: "I am sure when the time comes, we can agree on a reasonable amount. In what range do you typically pay someone with my background?"
10. If You Were an Animal, Which One Would You Want to Be?
Interviewers use this type of psychological question to see if you can think quickly. If you answer "a bunny," you will make a soft, passive impression. If you answer "a lion," you will be seen as aggressive. What type of personality would it take to get the job done? What impression do you want to make?
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