When I was preparing this post, I realized there was one more area to review before going into an interview, and that is the actual questions. While you’ll never know exactly what an interviewer will ask, there are common questions. A quick Google search resulted in over 31 million responses to interview questions. You can refine your search by the type of position you’re interviewing for.
Why work on practice questions? While you don’t want to sound rehearsed, you don’t want to sound surprised at a question. The best way to sound natural is review questions and develop answers.
10 Common Questions
- Why are you looking for a job?
- Why are you interested in this position?
- Tell me about your work history.
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why should we hire you?
- What was your biggest success?
- What was your biggest failure?
- What are you looking for in this position?
- Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
While these are generic questions, the best way to answer them is with specific answers. For example, question one is easy if you’re unemployed but not so easy if you’re working. Sample answers to that question are your company is going through a downturn, they’re relocating, you don’t have an opportunity for advancement, etc. Be as specific as possible.
Try to view your answers how the interviewer would. Would that answer impress you as an interviewer or at least want you to know more about the applicant? Practice with another person. Have a family member or friend ask you the questions. Become accustomed to someone asking you questions and you answering.
There is a great app on the iPad called Interview Assistant Pro. Its a way to see possible questions for a variety of positions and note your answers. You can also use pen and paper and note taking apps. Anyway you do it, take the time to prepare.
I think we are ready now for walking into the actual interview. That’s the plan for next week.