Jan 19

50 Most Common Interview Questions and Answers

interview questions

THE Most Common Interview Question

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Best Answer: The best answer is one that is well thought out, positive, and can be backed up with examples. There is absolutely no reason not to ace this question. It is the one question you know you will be asked. Be prepared with a solid answer that is short and simple. The only thing worse than stammering uncertainties is rambling without making a point. Write out your top selling points and condense them into a sentence or two. Skip words like loyal and hardworking for now. Tell them who you are. For example: “I am an experienced graphic designer. I specialize in logos and advertising campaigns. I’ve worked (number) years with (most reputable employer) where I worked on the successful (most successful project) campaign.” Write it out, and practice it in front of a mirror, with a friend, and on the drive to the interview. This is your first impression. Make it a good one.

Experience and Qualifications Interview Questions

2. Are you the best person for this job? Why?

Answer: Here the answer is always yes. Definitely. Absolutely. Don’t begin your answer with “I think so.” Show confidence and back it up with a reason. “I do. I believe I have the skills and experience necessary to this position and I’m willing to work hard and learn everything I can to succeed within your company.”

3. What can you do for this company?

Answer: Explain how your skill set relates to the needs of the company. If you’re interviewing to work in customer relations, explain how you are a people person and that personality makes helping customers not only effective but pleasant.

4. What relevant experience do you have?

Answer: Be specific. What previous positions have you held that prepared you for this one?

5. What was your biggest accomplishment?

Answer: This is an opportunity to brag about an accomplishment. Do this right and you’ll make a solid impression on your potential employer. Try to relate your experience to the position you are trying to get. If you’re interviewing for a sales position, describe a difficult but successful sale you made and how you did it.

6. How will you compensate for your lack of experience in this field?

Answer: Everyone starts somewhere. You may not have the experience they’re looking for but you have other great qualities. Now is the time to speak up about them. For example: I may not have worked in this field for very long but I am smart and I’m willing to work hard and learn everything I can. I believe that I would be a real asset to your company.

7. Do you feel that you are overqualified for this position?

Answer: you may actually have more experience than most people applying for this position. You may have already held a position that paid more than the salary this employer is looking for. They want to know that you’re not using them as a stepping stone. The best answer: Overqualified, no. But I’m certainly qualified. I believe the skills and experience I have will enable me to grow and advance in this company.

Strengths and Weaknesses Interview Questions

8. How would you describe yourself?

Answer: While most questions don’t warrant a list of traits, this is one time, that is okay. Words like people person, determined, loyal, hardworking, creative, and fast learner are not only allowed, they’re actually what the interviewer is looking for. Choose the ones that relate best to you, but be ready to back them up with solid examples if they ask for an explanation.

9. How would you describe your work style?

Answer: The employer expects a certain answer. Even if you consider yourself “productively messy” or a “disorganized genius,” it is not the answer you want to give. Tell them you are focused, steady, and organized and that you always get projects finished within the deadline.

10. Do you prefer to work alone or on a team?

Answer: Even the most independent position will require you to work with others. The best answer is one that is flexible. “I work well in both situations. I can work alone, but I also work well with a team.”

11. Give an example of a time when you worked well with a team.

Answer: Everyone has an example of this, whether it was on the high school band or as a cook in a kitchen full of employees. Describe the situation and how it worked in a positive light.

12. Do you take your work home with you?

Answer: Keep your answer as short as possible. “I can take work home when it’s necessary or when there is a deadline involved.”

13. What sort of work environment do you prefer?

Answer: “I’m pretty flexible and I’ve worked well in a number of different situations. What sort of work environment can I expect?” Take note of the key phrases your interviewer uses in the response. Remember them and use them later. This will help you to make a positive impression.

14. Why should you be hired?

Answer: “Because I have the skills and experience to be an asset to this company. Also, because I believe the goals of this company match the goals I have for my own career.”

15. Why would your friends or family members say you should be hired?

Answer: The skilled used to maintain a relationship are some of the same ones used to maintain a position within a company. Best answer: “My friends and family know me better than anyone. They would tell you that I am honest, hard working, dependable, and helpful. These are qualities they value in me and are some of the same qualities that make a valuable employee.”

16. What do you expect from a supervisor?

Answer: “I expect a supervisor to communicate his or her expectations well so that I can be certain to meet or exceed those expectations. I also expect a supervisor to be fair and open to hearing the ideas of those they supervise even if they don’t end up using those ideas.”

17. What do you believe is your greatest strength?

Answer: Like the greatest accomplishment question, this is an opportunity to show off. Keep your answer short and simple. If you have a specific skill that would be extremely helpful in this position, make sure to mention it.

18. What is your greatest weakness?

Answer: Careful with this one. It’s a bit of a trap. When answering this question, don’t talk about the thing you struggle with the most. Instead talk about a weakness you have overcome. “I used to have difficulty meeting deadlines until I developed my time management skills. I have found that keeping a day planner really helps me to stay organized and I no longer have a problem meeting deadlines.”

19. How do you evaluate success?

Answer: “There are different types of success. I am successful with (hobby or interest) when I (accomplish something related to it). I am successful at work when I meet or exceed the goals my supervisor and company have set for me.”

Interests and Skills Interview Questions

20. What are you passionate about?

Answer: The interviewer is trying to get an idea of who you are as a person. Everyone has interests, hobbies and talents. Talking about them makes you more memorable. Talk about your interest in painting or the novel you write in your spare time. Don’t be afraid to show a little enthusiasm. Just make sure that your hobby isn’t one that will interfere with your work. If your biggest interest is backpacking through Europe for months on end, it’s probably best to leave that one out.

Situational Interview Questions

21. Describe a difficult situation and how you handled it.

Answer: This is one of the top ten questions asked in interviews. It’s a personal question that only you can answer for yourself. Think of a time when you dealt with a difficult customer, project, or work situation and describe how your skills (organized, hardworking, personable, and patient) helped you to overcome it.

22. Have you ever been made angry at work?

Answer: In this case, anger means losing control. It means reacting without thinking. You never want to admit to a potential employer that you allowed something to make you angry at work. The only exception to this rule is if you lost your job over an anger incident. In this case, it’s best to be honest but positive, “I made a mistake but I have learned to react to stressful situations by taking a moment to clear my head and rationalize the situation.” Otherwise, the best answer is no. “I have had difficult situations, but I know that allowing myself to become angry isn’t going to solve anything.”

23. How do you handle stress or pressure?

Answer: This is one of the best opportunities to show that you can turn a negative into a positive. “I take stress or pressure as a challenge. Instead of getting nervous or worried, I let the stress motivate me to do the best job I possibly can.”

24. What do you do if the boss is wrong?

Answer: This is a test in itself. The interviewer is trying to see how you would really do in a difficult situation. Are you confrontational or do you prefer to let a mistake slide by unnoticed. Luckily, there is a simple answer for that. “Honestly, it depends on the boss and the situation. I would address the mistake if my supervisor allowed it. Either way, I would be tactful and respectful to everyone involved.”

25. What are the most difficult decisions to make?

Answer: this is one of the most difficult questions to answer. The best way to respond is with an example of a difficult decision you had to make in the past. Talk about the time when you were faced with a difficult decision to make and how you went about making the decision. Try to avoid generalizing the situation as this can take your answer in a negative direction.

26. What have you learned from your past mistakes?

Answer: Make sure you answer this in a positive way. Maybe you misjudged someone because of something they said or did, but later learned that it’s better to give people a second chance. Maybe you gave up on something that seemed hopeless only to find that the answer was just around the corner, learning that it’s better to be persistent even when things seem tough.

27. What problems have you encountered at work?

Answer: For this question it’s much less important that you give the right answer and much more important not to give the wrong one. Don’t use this as an excuse to badmouth a previous employer or teammate. Instead, give a specific example of a problem you came across that you managed to solve, whether it was an unhappy customer or a scheduling issue when an employee quit without notice.

Work Experience Interview Questions

28. How would you describe your best boss?

Answer: Beware of comparing your favorite boss to your least favorite boss. If you had a boss that you learned a lot from or who was a positive influence on you, talk about what you learned from working with him or her. Try not to talk about employers who favored you or who buddied up to their employees as this sounds unprofessional.

29. How would you describe your worst boss?

Answer: Careful! It’s a trap! Never, ever, badmouth your previous employers or supervisors. This makes you look unprofessional and gives the employer the impression that you will talk just as bad about them when you move on from the company. Instead say that you’ve never really had a worst boss. You have learned from every boss you’ve had, even if you simply learned what not to do. If pressed, though pressing you would be extremely unprofessional in itself, simply say that you prefer not to speak ill of previous employers and would give the same consideration to them.

30. Have you ever had difficulty working with a supervisor or manager?

Answer: Beware of being too specific as that could be considered badmouthing your previous employer. Instead say that you have never had a difficulty that couldn’t be resolved by communicating your concerns or questions directly with the supervisor or manager.

31. What did you like about your previous job?

Answer: The friendly tone of this question may make you forget that it is, like all interview questions, a test. Don’t tell your potential employer that your favorite part of your previous job was the Christmas bonus and the free gourmet coffee in the break room, even if it was. Instead, talk about the friendly atmosphere, the ability of the employees to work as a team, and the willingness of your supervisor to listen to your questions, concerns, and ideas.

32. What did you dislike about your previous job?

Answer: Like the worst manager question, this one is a trap. Don’t let yourself be fooled into talking bad about your previous employer. In fact, try to be as positive as possible, even when discussing the negative. Good answers for this are a lack of challenge, limited opportunity for advancement and the fact that the previous job didn’t allow you to really make use of your particular skill set.

33. What was the most rewarding part of your last job?

Answer: Be honest. You’re talking about the part of your job that you enjoyed, the part that made you feel good about it. Smile and be enthusiastic. This is an opportunity to really shine. Just make sure to try to relate your answer to the job you are trying to get. In most cases, you’ll be applying for a job that lets you do the same thing you enjoyed the most in your previous job.

34. What was the least rewarding thing about your previous job?

Answer: This is a good opportunity to point out why you want to work for this new company. Mention something that your previous company lacked, such as a challenge or opportunity for advancement, and explain why this company is a better fit for you because of it.

35. Why are you leaving your job?

Answer: Keep your answer as positive as possible. Talk about the potential for new opportunity for advancement, challenge, or specialization. Under no condition should you talk about your previous boss or supervisor.

36. Have you ever been fired? And why?

Answer: If the answer is yes, be ready for this one. This is a big negative towards you and you need to be ready to turn it into a positive. Be honest. If you lie now and they find out about it later, you could lose your job. Instead, explain that you made a mistake and though it cost you your job, you have learned from the experience. In the end, being fired was a blessing in disguise. It caused you to leave a job you weren’t right for so that you could find something more suited to your skill set. Keep the answer short and end it on a positive note.

“Plan for the Future” Interview Questions

37. How would you describe your career goals?

Answer: You already know this one. Where do you want to go in your career? What do you want to do? Be positive and enthusiastic when describing your plan, but keep it brief. They don’t need your life story, just an idea of where you want your career to go. Try to explain how the current job is an integral part of your plan and not just a stepping stone to a better job. If you plan to advance in your field, let them know that you want to do it within the company. No company wants to train an employee for someone else. Show them you’re here to stay and you’ll have a better chance of landing the job.

38. What are your goals outside your occupation?

Answer: Give the interviewer an idea of what you have planned for your life. This shows that you have goals and are well rounded. Try not to go too far into detail. They’re just looking for a brief idea of who you are as a person and how far into the future you think. A good answer: “I plan to buy a house and start saving up for the future. I also want to build a retirement and maybe take a few recreational or refresher courses at the local college. Things change and I want to be prepared for that.”

39. How long do you expect to stay with this company?

Answer: Again, the employer wants to know that their company is more than a stepping stone. Be generous with your answer. If you’ve thought of joining the military or moving to Korea to teach English to underprivileged kids, it’s best to keep it to yourself for now. You can worry about those things if you decide to do them. Instead, tell the employer that you’re willing to stay with the company for as long as you can, especially if the company offers advancement within the company.

40. What will you do if you don’t get this Job?

Answer: The company wants to know whether this is the job you really want or just one name on a list of job opportunities. Stress your interest in the company, but show that you have a back up plan. This shows that you are both enthusiastic and resourceful. It lets them know that as an employee, you won’t give up at the first sign of trouble, whether it be with a customer, a client, or a big project. A good answer: I feel this company is the best choice for me but if I don’t get this position, I am willing to apply for another. If there is nothing available for me here, I will have to apply with another company, but I really hope that isn’t the case.”

41. What will you do if you don’t get this position?

Answer: The employer is trying to find out whether you’re a team player or a sore loser. Keep your answer as possible as possible, even if you believe you already have the job. There will most likely be other promotions in the future and you may not get every position you apply for. The company wants to know that you’ll continue to support the company, even if you don’t like their choices. The best answer: “While I would really like the position and believe I would do a good job with it, I also understand that there may be other applicants who are just as qualified as I am. If you choose another person for this position, I will continue to work with and support the company and I will support and help whoever you choose for the position.”

Company/Job-Related Interview Questions

42. What challenges are you looking for?

Answer: This may seem like a strange question but the answer they’re looking for is pretty straightforward: “I’m looking for challenges that help me build my skills and grow in my chosen field.”

43. What are you looking for in your next job?

Answer: The best answer is one that is well researched. Know as much as you can about the company that you’re trying to work for so that you can have this answer ready ahead of time. A good general answer: “I’m looking for challenges specific to the skills I am trying to develop. I want to learn and grow as a (manager, graphic designer, your specialized position) and I know that I will only do so if I push the limit of what I am capable of.”

44. Why do you want to work here?

Answer: Again, if you’ve done your homework, you’ll be more than ready for this one. Mention some of the things this company has done and how that has inspired you. You chose this job for a reason. Chances are, it isn’t just a paycheck you’re looking for. Explain what drew you to the company in question and why you feel it is a good match for your skills.

45. What interests you most about this job?

Answer: There is no copy and paste answer for this one. You need to be honest. Choose one of the things you mentioned when asked why you want to work here and elaborate on it. Give an example or share a story. Be honest and enthusiastic and you’ll be well on your way to making a good impression.

46. Why do you want this job?

Answer: More specific than why do you want to work here, but roughly the same question. Explain why you feel this job is the best way to start your career with this company. Tell them what you think you will learn from it and how it will help you grow in your chosen field.

47. What do you know about this company?

Answer: If you’ve done any research at all prior to walking into the interview, this question should be a piece of cake. Many people apply for jobs and companies they know little to nothing about. Doing your homework will put you a step about them from the start. Share what you know and explain why that knowledge only builds your enthusiasm for working with the company. You’ll be well on your way to making a great impression.

48. Are you willing to put the needs of this company above your own and are you willing to relocate to do so?

Answer: This is a two part question with a two part answer. The first part is an undeniable yes! You are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. You will sacrifice your free time and energy to being the best employee you can possibly be. As for the second part, try not to rule it out completely unless you’re absolutely certain you will never be willing to relocate. Instead, say that it could be a possibility in the future but that you would prefer to stay in the area if it is at all possible.

49. What are your salary or pay requirements?

Answer: You really want to avoid this question if it is at all possible. Quote a number too high and the company may go with someone who asked for less, especially if the number you give them is out of your price range. Ask too little and you could come off as unqualified or un-knowledgeable about your field. In case the question does come up, make sure you are fully prepared. Do some research into the standard salaries of your field both in general and in your local area. Also try to research the company you’re applying for. If you have an idea of what the position usually pays and what you can expect from the company in question, you can give them a salary range that fits their budget and expectations. This will make the salary question less of an issue and increase the chance that you’ll give the impression that you are exactly what they’re looking for.

The [Most Common] Final Interview Question

50. Do you have any questions for me?

Anwer: The answer to this should always be yes. While it’s tempting to say, “No thanks,” the interviewer is giving you an opportunity to emphasise your interest in the job and the company and you should take it. Some good questions to ask are:
What kinds of projects will I be able to work on?
How soon can I start working?
When will I be given my first project?

Dec 28

Tricky Interview Questions

You will come across some tricky interview questions when it comes time to interview for a job. It may seem as though some job interview questions are designed to put you “on the spot.” To a certain extent they are.Peculiar and indiscriminate interview questions may not seem politically correct, but there is always an interviewer ready to throw one at you, and they expect an answer as well.Interview Questions

Here are 10 tricky interview questions, in no particular order, that you may encounter on a job interview:

Tricky Interview Questions

1. “Why should I hire you?”
Real question: “Who are you?”
Do: Stick to how suited you are to the job.
Don’t: Go into your life story.

2. “If you won the lottery, how would you change your life?”
Real question: Are you altruistic? What is your work ethic, values?
Do: Be honest; let them know you would be elated.
Don’t: Say you would work just to have something to do, or you’d never work again.

3. “What do you think about your interview so far?”
Real question: Can you provide practical feedback? How would you do things differently without being too analytical?
Do: Be aware that your resolve is being tested. Answer calmly, and if you can throw in a bit of intelligent humor, they may even start to like you.
Don’t: Get nervous or jittery.

4. “Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
Real question: How motivated are you?
Do: Speak about your individual abilities, experience and training.
Don’t: Say you don’t know, or talk about how you “tried” so hard before but now you’re ready.

5. “Tell me something negative you’ve heard about the company.”
Real question: Are you objective? Are you a factual person or a gossipmonger?
Do: Say, “you wouldn’t apply at company that you object to.” It is true isn’t it?
Don’t: Talk about rumors.

6. “How good are you at handling pressure?”
Real question: Are you going to run out on us when the going gets tough?
Do: Keep your composure and speak about the time you aced a project within short notice. Or something similar.
Don’t: Go too far back to grade or high school.

7. “Who do you think is a good role model and why.”
Real question: “How do you see yourself?”
Do: Speak about the individual’s personal characteristics and how they are similar to your own.
Don’t: Get too personal, or say “because we wear our hair alike.”

8. “Have you ever considered running your own business?”
Real question: “Can you work independently? Does someone have to constantly look over your shoulder?”
Do: Speak about how you work best in a company like the one you are applying to.
Don’t: Babble on about how you’d love to own your own business. Even if you do.

9. “How do you feel about your boss’s performance?”
Real question: “Do you take things too personally, or are you earnestly impartial.”
Do: Discuss admiring qualities like how they motivate the team, and make decisions. What if you don’t like the boss’s performance? If you want the job, you may have to “grin and bear” this question.
Don’t: Start dissing your boss, even if it’s true.

10. “What is the last book you read?”
Real question: “Are you the type of individual that can be focused and in depth?”
Do: Speak about a book that reflects your good qualities, preferably by a reputable author. If you’re interviewer has heard of them, that’s even better.
Don’t: Talk about a book you haven’t actually read.

Dec 27

Preparing for an Interview – Part II

Now that you have landed an interview or two with the potential company of your dreams, don’t blow it by messing up on one of the most important things, interview questions. You already know that your interview can make or break your chances of being hired, so instead of coming across as overly nervous or desperate, the key is to be prepared. If you are prepared, you will feel much more comfortable because you know you’ve done everything you can to do well in your interview. In fact, the more prepared you are, the odds of acing the interview are significantly more in your favor.interview questions

You know that you need to look good at the interview, so dress nicely and look professional. You know you need to engage in conversation and be as relaxed as possible. The way to do this is to practice! Before you go in for the interview, rehearse ahead of time. Make a list of questions that have come up in past interviews, or consult websites that can give you tips on common interview questions and how to answer them. You will more than likely be nervous, but this is the time to work right through the fear. If you let your fear and nerves take over, you cannot possibly bring out the best in your conversation or your personality.

When you have a list of possible job specific interview questions and the most common interview questions put together, stand in front of a mirror and rehearse your answers. Don’t be too long-winded, but don’t give one word answers either. Do your homework about the company. Odds are, there is at least one website out there and you can read up on the company and its history in great detail. Be sure to get a really good feel for the atmosphere and type of employees that work there so the employer feels that you can easily assimilate into their family. Doing research on the company can also aid you in asking some specific interview questions for the employer to display your serious interest in the company.

The last thing you want to do is be dishonest in an interview. It will make you uneasy and the interviewer will pick up on your vibe from a mile away. This is another reason for rehearsing your interview. It will help get you through tough questions. For example, if you are asked why you’ve been unemployed for the past six months, let the potential know that you haven’t been just sitting around watching TV. Tell them what you’ve done to advance your skills or education, and give them a good reason as to why you left your last position. Maybe it was due to a layoff. Whatever the circumstances, prepare your answers ahead of time.

If your interviewer is very professional and serious, then adapt your tone to match their tone. If they are more casual, be polite and professional, but a bit more relaxed. Follow their lead. If you don’t know what to say at a joke or even know if the person is joking, stay quiet and smile.

Don’t talk too much as you will be inclined to give out way too much information and it might hurt you in the long run. The less you say, the better. Even if you don’t feel it, you want to try to give the impression of confidence in yourself and your abilities. You don’t want to boast and brag, but provide facts, figures and/or examples of prior accomplishments. Do not say anything negative about past employers.

It is better to be more reserved and professional than to say too much, say the wrong thing or break out into nervous laughter. The more reserved and professional, yet polite and warm you are, the better of an impression you will make. Don’t be overly friendly or start telling your deep dark secrets, just focus and keep the conversation on track.

For those tough interview questions, be prepared and rehearse before the meeting. The more you rehearse, the better prepared you will be and the more comfortable you will feel, and that will make all the difference.

Imagine the interview ahead of time and go through it in your mind, with nothing but a successful and positive outcome. The more you do this, the better you will do with the interview questions and the better your chances of landing the job.

Dec 23

Phone Interview Questions

phone interview questions and answersWhen preparing for a phone interview and phone interview questions, you have to act as if you are meeting with the employer for a regular, face to face interview. Since the employer has not met you in person, they have to be able to tell if they want to hire you based on your confidence, attitude, your dedication, and your persistence. Employers like to hear that you want the job more than anything and that nothing will stand in your way from getting it.

Phone Interview Questions

Q: If offered the position, would you be willing to relocate to our company location?

A: Answer an interview question like this with confidence, but be honest. If you do not have anything standing in your way of relocating, then let them know you will be glad to. Sometimes people have family obligations and are not able to leave but you can ask if you would be able to work from home doing the same position you are interviewing for. Remember: all interview questions, including phone interview questions, are intended to help the employer understand who you are and how you will fit within their company – so be honest without scaring them away!

Q: Where would you like to see yourself ten years from now?

A: Employers like asking these types of interview questions because they want to see if you have any plans to move up within the company so let them know you are looking to advance up in the company to either a manager or supervisor. This shows the employer that you have the passion and dedication to make it all the way up to the top. It would also be a great idea to mention any volunteer work you would love to do to help the community.

Q: What kind of professional skills do you have that would benefit the company?

A: Keep in mind they have received your resume through fax or by email, and they may be seeing if you could elaborate some more of your professional skills. You only want to mention the skills that would qualify you for the position you are applying for. Since just about every job opportunity requires customer service experience, it would be a great idea to bring up how many years of experience you have had. When answering this phone interview question, it is pertinent that you go into it with confidence and straight-forwardness to display to the employer exactly why you are the person for the job.

Q: What is the amount of income you are expecting to earn to start off at?

A: The salary questions is tough. If you can avoid it, don’t give a salary range because the employer may be thinking of a higher number and now know they can hire you at a lower rate that you may be more qualified for. To the contrary, the employer may be thinking of a lower number and will dismiss you as a candidate because you are too expensive. Always say that you are open for negotiation or “salary is negotiable,” because this shows the employer that you will accept a fair salary range for the respective position.

Q: How soon would you be able to start working for our company?

A: This answer depends on whether or not you are still working for a company or you may have some plans that can hold you back. If you are not currently employed, inform the employer that you can start immediately. If you are currently employed, inform the employer that you would be happy to begin the paperwork and training immediately, but would need to give your current employer at least two weeks notice. Although you may want to start your new job immediately, it is only proper to give your current employer at least two weeks notice as a gesture of appreciation and respect. More importantly, giving your current boss two weeks notice tells your new employer that you handled the situation with respect and dignity, and gives them a great first impression of the type of person you are.

Dec 21

6 Interview Mistakes You’ve Probably Made in the Past

When going for an interview, people usually have different perceptions on what to wear, what to say, and even how to carry yourself. This usually affects how you answer interview questions. How you view yourself matters a lot as this will help you answer specific interview questions quite well. Even if you are confident, there are certain common mistakes that you may come across. Let us just peruse through a few. interview questions

6 Crucial Interview Tips

Arriving Late: This makes the worst impression. If you cannot keep time for your interview, what can you keep time for as an employee? You should leave your place very early so as to deal with any inconvenience that you may encounter on your way. In case something absurd happens, let us say a comet hits your car, call immediately and reschedule.

Arriving Early: Interview questions actually begin with the receptionist. With the receptionist, you may be the interviewer. For this reason, you should avoid arriving early. Imagine arriving at 2:30 for an interview that is scheduled for 3:00. There is a possibility that you may begin to ask the receptionist where the interviewer is and this may pressure the interviewer. In case you arrive too early, look for a restaurant and have some tea or something and then return to the building 5 minutes to your interview.

What You Wear: How you look has a lot to do with how you feel about yourself as well as how you are seen. Do not dress too casually or too flamboyantly as you may ruin your chances. You should know that even if you are going for an interview in a creative field like advertising, interviewers respect the fact that you know a job candidate should look business-like. The best thing to do is to wear a tailored suit in a conservative color like tan, navy, or gray.

Not Doing Your Research: Not doing all your homework is another mistake that will affect how you answer interview questions. Do not get me wrong. It is not a must that you know a company’s profit figures but it will help if you know something about their services and products. Look for information about big companies anywhere you can. Nowadays, with the advancement in technology, the internet can help you in your search for information.

Skipping a rehearsal:. There is no way that you will make a speech, whether a best man speech or a victory speech, without planning what you are going to say. The same applies when it comes to interviews. Do not just assume that brilliant answers will come to your lips when you are asked questions. Try thinking of interview questions that you may be asked based on the position you’re applying for, and check our relevant interview questions in the job specific interview questions section of our site. If your specific job/occupation is not listed, please ask an interview question and we will do our best to get you an answer as soon as possible.

Admitting a (considerable) flaw is another mistake that you have probably been guilty of during a past onslaught of interview questions. One of the most common interview questions is “what is your greatest weakness?” Do not give a totally honest answer. You should know that the interviewer does not expect you to (check out typical interview questions for the best answer to the weakness questions).

Lastly, thoroughly read through our site and interview question articles and be sure to ask us for help with any interview questions that we don’t have on our site!

Dec 19

3 Interview Questions You Can Answer Better

There are few things in life quite as stressful as interviewing for a new job, but knowing how to answer some of the tricky questions that often come up in interviews can help you feel more prepared and ready to answer the questions that trip up many applicants. While interview questions will often be specific to the job you are applying for, there are a few questions that interviewers consistently use that you probably aren’t answering as well as you can. Honesty is always the best policy, but when it comes to these three questions, planning your answers in advance can make your interview go far more smoothly.interview questions

3 Interview Questions You Can Answer Better

1. Tell me about your most successful project at your last job / school.

Most job seekers see this question as a chance to demonstrate their own personal strengths and as a way to brag just a little. Whether you increased sales by ten percent or led a successful fundraising job, chances are you didn’t do it all alone, and your interviewer knows that. Rather than focusing on yourself when you answer this question, describe being part of a team and how you worked with others to create a successful outcome on the project. Interviewers are interested in finding out how you function as part of a team environment and how you work with others, and this question is a great way for you to let them know that you understand the value of teamwork and are proud of your ability to be a team player. Like other interview questions, you should be sure to put out some good information about yourself as you answer, but don’t forget to mention how working with others made the project successful.

2. Why did you leave your last position?

It might be obvious that this is one of those interview questions that is loaded, but many job seekers make the mistake of responding with an overused answer that doesn’t tell the interviewer anything of value. Answers that demonstrate immaturity, such as trashing your old boss, are a bad idea. But so are nebulous answers like “I was looking for more of a challenge”. Instead, give an answer that shows that you have learned something about the company you want to work for. For example, if your old company didn’t offer educational benefits but your new one does, say “I want to find a company that will support me in my educational goals and help me grow”. Additionally, use interview questions like this to include something that tells the interviewer why he/she would want you on board, such as “I am passionate about using my education to benefit both myself and the company I work for.”

3. What is your biggest weakness?

There are few answers that all interviewers have heard a million times – “I’m a perfectionist” or “I work too hard.” Don’t let yourself fall into this trap, instead, this is the time for some honesty. Before the interview, think of something that has been a weakness for you in the past that you are currently working to change. For example, if you are bad with organization, talk about how you have recently started a habit of spending fifteen minutes at the end of the day to keep your desk organized. Or, if you are bad about returning phone calls, talk about how you have recently begun using a planner to keep track of calls on a “to-do” list so that no one gets forgotten. Showing your interviewer that you are not only aware of your weakness but that you are willing to change it will demonstrate your maturity and willingness to grow.

Before you head out to your interview, think about questions you have been asked at other interviews and see if you can come up with any other ways to better answer interview questions. After each interview, make a brief list of interview questions you were asked and make notes about how you answered them and use this to prepare for future interviews. Being great at answering interview questions will come in handy throughout your career, and practicing now can make you more successful in dealing with the tough interview questions you will face.

Dec 14

Top 10 Interview Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

You’ve managed to secure an interview for your dream job. This might have taken hours of work, preparing and sending off your resume, completing an application form, perhaps even a telephone screening. The employer has seen something they liked and is giving you the chance to prove your worth for the job, so it’s important that you present your best side. It’s natural to be nervous, and seasoned interviewers will be expecting nerves and might even help you overcome them. What they might not be, is tolerant of some of the most common, and most damaging interview mistakes. Knowing what these are and how to avoid them will help you to sail through those interview questions and show your true potential. interview questions

Top 10 Interview Mistakes

1. Not preparing sufficiently.

An ill prepared interviewee is guaranteed to irritate the interviewer. Don’t let them think that you’re wasting their time by asking basic questions about what the company does. Do your homework before you go and at the very least show interest by finding out a bit about the company history, ethos and approach. Ideally, try to get hold of a copy of the job profile for the position you’re interested in- this will help you to seem professional and prepared.

2. Not listening.

Nerves play a part in interviews, and nervous people naturally babble but there’s nothing worse than a candidate who never answers the interview questions asked. If you don’t listen carefully during interview it suggests that you won’t do this once employed. Calm down, take your time and listen carefully- check that you understand a question before you answer it and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.

3. Dressing inappropriately.

One of the biggest interview mistakes people make is dressing inappropriately for their interview. Remember the old addage ‘people like people like themselves’, and consider this when you’re preparing your interview outfit. Managers and HR professionals usually dress smartly, and so it makes sense for you to do the same. If the role is for a company who take pride in allowing their employees to be relaxed at work then it may be appropriate to leave off the tie, but in all cases your clothes should be clean, ironed, and conservative. Today is not the day to try out the lastest bold print shirt, short skirt or low cut top.

4. Being too modest.

Your interviewer wants to learn about you and your skills. The interview is not the right place to claim that you don’t have any skills, are not much good at anything, and to give credit to others for things that you’ve done. You’d be surprised how many people answer the question, ‘What do you consider to be your main strengths’ with, ‘I’m not sure that I have any strengths as such’.

5. Denying any weaknesses.

Your interviewer knows that no one is perfect, and being able to identify your weaknesses and talk about how you overcome them at work is perhaps one of the most important interview skills you can have. Always present a weakness in a positive light, think about the interview question ‘What weaknesses do you have’ before you get there and you’ll be fine.

6. Not prioritizing the interview.

Your interviewer has taken the time to see you, so it is important that you focus entirely on them for the time that you’re with them. Don’t talk about another appointment or interview you’re rushing off to, and what ever you do, don’t answer your mobile phone.

7. Talking about money.

The money question is an important one, but talking about it too early in the interview, and accompanying it with questions about time off and benefits suggests that you’re only interested in the position for one thing and can really turn interviewers off.

8. Assuming it’s a done deal.

Don’t arrive at the interview thinking that all of the hard work is done and the interview itself is only a formality. Give the interviewer and their interview questions the respect they deserve.

9. Being unenthusiastic.

You’ve applied for a job at this company, so the interviewer will probably be making the assumption that you actually want it. Respond enthusiastically to their questions, and smile! Don’t let your nerves make you seem bored or disinterested.

10. Not having any questions to ask.

Having a couple of questions set aside to ask the interviewer will win you brownie points as it shows you’re interested in the company. Questions about the companies social programme, outside interests, development plans and future changes are all good interview questions to ask the employer and show your commitment to the company and job.

Above all, relax and try to enjoy the interview. Avoiding these top 10 mistakes will give you a good chance of keeping that foot in the door and doing your best. Good Luck.

Dec 13

5 Worst Ways to Answer Interview Questions

Getting a job isn’t easy these days. Whether you’ve been out of work, or are just looking for a change of environment, it’s likely that you’ve spent time and effort applying for jobs, filling in application forms, making telephone calls and posting resumes. interview questionsSo if the chance has finally come along to get your foot in the door and you’ve actually secured an interview, there are some very important DON’Ts to remember if you want to succeed. It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re nervous, and most interviewers will understand that and go easy on you, but there are certain things that are guaranteed to get an interviewer’s back up, and so should be avoided at all costs.

5 Worst Ways to Answer Interview Questions

1) DON’T start by asking the interview questions yourself.

Don’t ask the interviewer what the company does. Research and common sense both tell us that the interviewer wants to believe that you’ve applied for a job at their company, because you want to work at their company, not just because you want to work in any old place. Before you go for any interview, make sure you’ve done some homework about the company, either on the internet or by speaking to people who already work there. Then use the interview as an opportunity to show your interest and commitment.

2) DON’T answer interview questions with ‘I don’t know’, or worse still, sit in silence and stare at your interviewer.

If you don’t know what to say or how to answer a question, don’t panic. Take a breath, and if you need to ask the interviewer if you can come back to that question later. Store it in the back of your mind and make a point of returning to towards the end of the interview. At the same time, try not to answer interview questions with a lot of waffle. If you’re not sure what the interviewer means or wants then ask for clarification- there’s nothing worse than having a candidate who talks around the question leaving you unsure what on earth to write in your interview notes.

3) DON’T use slang or bad language in your answers to interview questions.

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget and revert to bad language, especially under pressure. Think before you speak and make sure that the words you say reflect the formality of the situation.

4) DON’T make the interviewer feel as though you’re only there for what you can get.

It’s fine to ask the employer interview questions about salary, benefits, holidays etc- but make sure that these aren’t the only questions you ask. Time your questions right too – at the start of the interview isn’t the right place for these kinds of questions, but later, when you feel that the interviewer understands that you’re genuinely interested in the role.

5) DON’T answer the dreaded interview question, ‘Tell me a little about yourself’ with your life story.

The interviewer wants to know about your skills as relevant to the job, and to understand what value you’ll add to their company. They don’t want to know about your first wife/husband and the problems you’ve had since the marriage ended, about how you’ve struggled since being out of work or about how difficult it is when you need to work and organise child care.
Finally, DO – relax, smile and be yourself.

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