Preparing for Common Job Interview Questions

Coming for a job interview can make or break your chances of getting hired. You know you are highly qualified for the position and confident that you have what it takes to belong to the company. You are well aware of the questions that will be asked by the hiring manager and you are sure that you will pass the interview with flying colors. But how sure are you?

Preparing for the questions is different from answering them under the scrutinizing eyes of the hiring manager. What about inappropriate and difficult questions? How well can you handle them? This article lists some of the most common job interview questions, as well as out-of-place and "difficult" questions, and how you should answer them confidently.

Common questions

The interview usually begins with the hiring manager asking you to tell him or her something about yourself. You have to be careful when addressing this question as it is used to gauge your preparation, personality, communication skills, and the ability to think quick. Enumerate the things you have done, your strengths, and a brief overview of your career goals. Make sure that they are all job-related.

Another common question is: "Why did you leave your last job?" Always respond positively when asked this question. You will also be asked why do you want the position or work for the company. Here, tell the interviewer what you know about the company and emphasize your qualifications for the job.

The hiring staff will also ask what you can offer to the company. This is your chance to showcase what is in your bag. But do not overdo it. Concentrate only on the skills required for the job. You will also be asked about your expectations about the position. Demonstrate that you have done your research.

Moreover, the manager will ask what your key strengths and weaknesses are. Always give specific examples about your strengths that support your application. Regarding your weaknesses, turn the question into a positive one. Think of something that is really not a weakness, and tell the interviewer what you learned from your experiences.

Another common job interview question is: "Where do you see yourself in five years time?" You should show that the position being discussed suits your long term goals and your commitment to them. Lastly, interviewers usually ask candidates about the questions they would like to ask. You can request clarification of general information, ask about the job, or sum up your understanding and ask for confirmation.

Inappropriate questions

Prepare yourself for inappropriate questions. If asked questions that you think are inappropriate or you feel might be a basis for discrimination, politely refuse to answer. You have to have knowledge about the Equal Opportunity guidelines that limit the interview questions that can be asked. Questions to watch out for are: "Are you a single mother?", "How do you cope with the day-today needs of your child?", or "What is your religion?"

"Difficult" questions

Difficult questions include a bad experience with a former employer or reasons for termination. The best thing you can do is to be positive, honest, and to avoid expressing grudges or criticizing former employers or colleagues.

 
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