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Typical Interviewing Questions

Due to its importance, interviewing requires advanced preparation.  Only you will be able to positively affect the outcome.  Prior to the interview, take time to review these standard interviewing questions and prepare answers that reflect your strengths and accomplishments.


Most employers start out by saying “Tell me about yourself.”


Respond with “I will be happy to! But first, so I don’t waste your time, tell me what you are looking for the person to do and accomplish.” “I will then be able to tell you how my background and experience can do the job and help you accomplish those goals.”




Take the time to prepare a brief marketing statement which combines a career summary, exceptional accomplishments, and an employer specific career goal, as in this example:
“I am a five year sales veteran in the plastics industry specializing in the New England area.  My sales last year were $2.5 million and I am on target this year to exceed that! For the next step in my career I would like to find myself as a Sales Manager in a small to medium sized company that is looking to build a superb sales team.”


You may be asked: Employer is looking for:
Why do you want to change jobs or why did you leave your last job? Job changing motives.
What do you identify as your most significant accomplishment? Your strengths.
How many hours do you normally work per week? What type of worker are you?
What did you like and dislike about your last job? He/she is looking for negatives, give positives only!
How did you get along with your superiors and subordinates? Ability to fit in.
How would you evaluate the company you were with last? Your ability to judge fairly is being evaluated with this question.
What best qualifies you for the available position? With this question you want to directly apply your experience/qualifications to what he/she is looking for.
How do you feel about our company – its size, industry, competitive position? Knowledge of company and interest potential in joining.  Be positive!
What interests you most about the available position?. Talk about responsibilities and career growth – only!
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? Be positive….try to turn your weakness into a positive.
What are your career goals? Your answer should be: Being hired for this position for my short-term goal (long-term goal would be the reasonable next step up from the position you are interviewing for).
What do you do in your spare time? Motivation
How aggressive are you? Competitive aggressiveness is what is being evaluated.
What motivates you to work? Sense of accomplishment and reward of getting the job done.
Would you rather work alone or on a team? When answering this question, keep in mind what the position entails and employer is looking for.
What salary do you expect? Evaluating unrealistic expectations…best to answer with “I’m sure we can come to something agreeable.”
Why should we hire you? List your strengths as they apply to the positions needs.
Do you want the job?. Employer is looking for interest in the position and company. Answer honestly either way – It is an excellent opportunity or I really want the job!
  • Avoid answering questions with a simple yes or a no…..relate back to your accomplishments whenever possible.
  • Avoid close ended questions.
  • Never lie.  Remember you are building a long term relationship based on respect and trust.
  • Never make derogatory statements about your present or former employers.
  • Never be overbearing, overly aggressive, conceited or leave the opinion that you know it all.
  • Do not make excuses or be evasive for unfavorable factors in your background…try to put them in a positive light.  Remember, honesty is the best policy.

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