Surviving Interview Questions

September 8, 2008 at 2:33 am Leave a comment

Interviews can be stressful and it may be that you flounder on one of the questions and don’t answer well.  Don’t let that unsettle you. Pass over it and move on to the next question. You can still win the job if you show that you are able to recover well and maintain your focus.

To list exactly the questions you might be asked would be impossible – there are literally hundreds of possibilities, however, some questions on the most likely list include:

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What is your most significant accomplishment?
  • What things most motivate you?
  • Are you happy with your career progress to date?
  • What is the most difficult situation you have ever faced?
  • What jobs have you enjoyed the most / the least and why?
  • Why did you leave your last position?
  • If money was no object, and you wanted to work, what would be your ideal position?
  • How do you handle people that you don’t get along with?
  • What is your major weakness?
  • How would this position fit your overall career plan?
  • What three adjectives best describe you?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What aspects of your career have prepared you for this particular job?

And so on and on…..

Put yourself in the position of the interviewer. Make a list of the skills, proficiencies and character traits that you think he or she will be looking for. How do you meet these criteria?

Practice your interview ‘answers’. It might be best to time yourself, as answers should not take much more than a minute. Don’t talk yourself out of a job. Keep to the point and answer the question – no more!

There is a story that a HR manager asked an applicant: “Do you work better as an individual or as a part of a team.”

“I work well as an individual or as a team member,” the applicant replied.

“Pick one,” said the HR manager.

“As an individual,” replied the applicant.

The HR manager replied: “We work in teams here.”

Sometimes you just can’t win. But you can always do your best.

Here’s to writing powerful resumes – and shining through your interviews

Beverley Neil

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