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Interview Q & A

Job Interview Questions and Answers

Interviews are always stressful - even for job seekers who have gone on countless interviews. The best way to reduce the stress is to be prepared. Take the time to review the "standard" interview questions you will most likely be asked. Also take time to research the company so you'll be ready with knowledgeable answers.

Interview Questions

Work History

  • Name of company, position title and description, date of employment
  • What were your expectations for the job and to what extent were they met?
  • What were your starting and final levels of compensation?
  • What were your responsibilities?
  • What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them?
  • Which was most/least rewarding?
  • What was the biggest accomplishment/failure in this position?
  • What was it like working for your supervisor? What were his strengths and shortcomings?
  • Why are you leaving your job?
  • Why were you fired?

About You

  • Describe a typical work week
  • How many hours do you normally work?
  • How would you describe the pace at which you work?
  • How do you handle stress and pressure?
  • What motivates you?
  • What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?
  • If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
  • Give some examples of team work.
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • Describe a difficult work situation/project and how you overcame it.
  • How do you evaluate success?

The New Job and Company

  • What interests you about this job?
  • What applicable attributes/experience do you have?
  • Why are you the best person for the job?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What do you know about this company?
  • Why do you want to work for this organization?
  • What challenges are you looking for in a position?
  • What can you contribute to this company?
  • Are you willing to travel?
  • Is there anything I haven't told you about the job or company that you would like to know?

The Future

  • What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you?
  • What are your goals for the next five years/ten years?
  • How do you plan to achieve those goals?
  • What are your salary requirements - both short-term and long-term?

In addition to being ready to answer these standard questions, prepare for behavior based interviewing.

This is based on the premise that a candidates past performance is the best predictor of future performance. You will you need to be prepared to provide detailed responses including specific examples of your work experiences. The best way to prepare is to think of examples where you have successfully used the skills you've acquired.

If you were fired from your job, you will need to be prepared with an answer as to why you were fired.

Take the time to compile a list of responses to both types of questions and to itemize your skills, values and interests as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Emphasize what you can do to benefit the company rather than just what you are interested in.

Expect to have your references checked prior to getting an offer. Plan ahead and compile a list of references and some letters of recommendations now, so you're prepared when the employer requests them.

The last question you may be asked is "What can I answer for you?" Have questions of your own ready to ask. You aren't simply trying to get this job - you are also interviewing the employer to assess whether this company and the position are a good fit for you.

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