What are your short and long-term goals; how are you preparing to achieve them?

This question is aimed at finding out what kind of person you are. Keep in mind that your goals must be achievable and you should be prepared to explain how you plan to achieve those goals. Have several short-term (in the next 12-24 months) and several long-term goals (2-5 years) to present.

 

What do you see yourself doing five years from now?

This question is to see if you can set achievable goals for yourself and whether the position and organization fits with your long-term plans. Even if you know there may be opportunities for advancement within the organization, be cautious about talking about your desire for promotion at this time.

 

Why did you apply for this position?

The interviewer is trying to learn whether you will be satisfied in your job and likely to stay. Explain why you are interested in the position and working for the company.

 

What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Try to highlight your most positive attributes (i.e. skill, reliability, enthusiasm.) Make sure to use examples to illustrate your positive qualities and how they apply to work. Do not describe any weaknesses that may be essential to performing effectively on the job and avoid making negative comments. Talk about things that you have improved and the steps you took to do so.

 

How would you describe yourself?

The interviewer is asking you to profile yourself to see if you fit with the company and to get a sense of your self-image and how it compares with his/her perception of you. Be factual and use the opportunity to sell yourself without being arrogant.

 

What qualifications do you have that make you think you will be successful in this position?

The interviewer is asking you to profile yourself to make their decision for them. If you have to hesitate or can think of only one or two reasons, they will think that the qualifications are not obvious or sufficient enough. Quickly list your skills and positive characteristics.

 

What two or three professional accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction and why?

This question is to find out what kind of professional accomplishments give you a sense of pride. Pick several accomplishments, explain why they satisfied you and how they are related to your job performance.

 

How do you work under pressure? Give me an example?

This question indicates that your job will involve working under pressure and deadlines so reassure the interviewer by giving examples of times that involved pressure/deadlines. Stress how capable you are in rising to the occasion.

 

What do you know about your company?

The interviewer wants to know if you have done any research about the company.  To reassure the interviewer, mention as many positive features about the job, company or organization as you can.

 

What have you learned from your mistakes?

This question is designed to see if you recognize that you have made mistakes and then how you resolved the problem. Be honest – this is a test of your credibility and integrity. Use examples of real mistakes that you have made – stress how what you learned led to a better job performance.

 

What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you work?

The interviewer wants to know that you are being targeted in your job search and that you do not want to work for just any company. Give several examples of things that you look for in companies that you wish to work for (i.e. Good reputation, room for advancement, excellent products, friendly work environment etc.).

 

Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision but didn’t have all the information you needed?

Use a real anecdote from your experience. The answer doesn’t have to be elaborate – it could be a simple situation that was handled well.

 

What is the most significant contribution you made at your most recent place of employment?

Tell a story about an accomplishment that added value to the company, demonstrating skills that show initiative or resilience. Relate the outcome of your work.

 

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made?

Be honest. You will show credibility and integrity. Be careful, however, to concentrate your answer on describing what you have learned from your mistake.

 

Was there anything that you were afraid I was going to ask you? Why did it make you uncomfortable?

Keep it cool. Many people blurt out the question they didn’t want asked. Be prepared for this one.

 

If I were to talk to your former employers and co-workers, what would they say about you?

Have an open letter of recommendation from your last employer which you can summarize and hand to the interviewer. If you do not have such a letter, list the positive things that they would say about you. Supply the interviewer with a list of references including telephone numbers.

 

Describe your ideal job

The interviewer wants to see how close a fit there is between your ideal job and the job you are applying for to determine if you will be happy. In general terms, describe a position quite similar to the one for which you are applying. Also describe the ideal company you would like to work for.

 

What did you enjoy most/least about your last position?

This is to determine what gives you the most or least job satisfaction and whether the current position will offer the same elements. Try to pick something that you know will be present in the position you are applying for. Give examples of how your job performance improved because of the presence of these elements.

 

Have you ever quit a job? Why?

Be honest – people quit jobs every day for very legitimate reasons. Regardless of the reason, present it in a professional manner. Do not badmouth your past employer of the situation. Simply explain why you left that position. This shows your maturity and integrity.

 

Do you prefer to work under supervision or on your own?

This question is to find out if you can work independently if the position so requires. Use examples of how you have worked independently in the past but also worked under supervision. Show your flexibility.

 

Would you be successful working on a team?

In this question, you are being asked to demonstrate your ability to get along well with others. Speak of the advantages of working in a group. Use positive examples of working on a team from your own experience. You may want to talk about the role you generally play in a team environment and what you can offer the team.

 

Are you able to work on several assignments at once?

This question indicates that your job will involve working on several assignments – the interviewer wants to know if you can if you can handle multiple tasks without being overwhelmed. Use examples from your past to show how you are quite capable of doing this.

 

Which do you prefer, large or small companies? Why?

The interviewer wants to know if you will fit in with the company. Answer accordingly but be sure to give concrete reasons why you prefer large or small companies.

 

How do you feel about working overtime? Travel? Possibility of relocation?

Be honest. If these questions are asked, chances are the position will involve overtime, travel or relocation. Ask the interviewer for more details and be honest in your response.

 

Do you have hobbies? Tell me about them

The interviewer is trying to determine what kind of person you are outside of work. This is the time to talk about any volunteer work you do, any teams you may participate on etc.

 

What kind of person gets on your nerves

Perhaps there is a difficult person in the department and the interviewer is trying to determine if you could work with this person. Stress how you can get along with most people and use examples from your past experiences of how you have interacted with difficult people.

 

Define Success. Define Failure

This is a very personal question. The interviewer wants to know how you personally judge success or failure. You may want to address this as an individual success or failure verses corporate success per failure.

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