Interview Questions

During the interview it is crucial to pay careful attention to the questions. Remember, not every employer knows his/her role as an interviewer, or is comfortable with it. Some questions may have several interpretations. If this occurs while you are interviewed, state what you think the interviewer asked or ask for more specific information before responding. For some questions, you may need a few seconds to think about your response before answering.
The following are questions from the Northwestern Endicott Report which may be asked during an interview:

  • What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • How do you think a friend, employee or work partner, who knows you well would describe you?
  • What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and those reporting to him or her?
  • Why did you decide to seek a position with this company?
  • How do you spend your spare time? What are your hobbies?
  • Why do you think you would like this particular job?
  • Do you prefer working with others or by yourself?
  • What have you learned form some of the jobs you have held?
Additional questions from Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed by H. Anthony Medley include the following:
  • Tell me about your present job.
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • How many hours a day do you think a person should spend on his/her job?
  • What is unique about yourself?
  • Do you have any questions?
  • What have you done that indicates that you are qualified for this job?
Other examples of interview questions include:
  • What do you like best about your job?
  • What do you like least about your job?
  • For what type of supervisor do you work best?
  • What is important to you in your work?
  • How do you handle pressure on the job?
  • What type of activities outside work did you do that you can use on the job?
  • What are your long range and short range goals?
  • What do you really want to do with your life?
  • What qualifications do you have that will make you successful in our organization?
  • What are your skills?
  • In what ways can you make a contribution to our organization?
  • What are your greatest accomplishments?
  • What do you know about our organization?
  • What qualities make a good manager?
  • How do you feel about overtime?
  • What salary do you expect?
  • Do you like to work with people? Have you had to supervise employees?
  • Are you willing to travel or relocate?
Behavioral Interviewing
Most interviews include behaviorial questions. Be prepared.

What is it?

Behavioral interviewing is a technique used by employers in which the questions asked assist the employer in making predictions about a potential employee's future success based on actual past behaviors, instead of based on responses to hypothetical questions.
In behavior-based interviews, you are asked to give specific examples of when you demonstrated particular behaviors or skills.
General answers about behavior are not what the employer is looking for. You must describe in detail a particular event, project, or experience and you dealt with the situation, and what the outcome was.
Examples of behavioral interview questions:
  • Describe a time when you were faced with problems or stresses at work that tested your coping skills. What did you do?
  • Give an example of a time when you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision.
  • Give me an example of an important goal you had to set and tell me about your progress in reaching that goal.
  • Describe the most creative work-related project you have completed.
  • Give me an example of a problem you faced on the job, and tell me how you solved it.
  • Tell me about a situation in the past year in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker.
  • Give me an example of when you had to show good leadership.
Responding well to these types of questions:
Be specific, not general or vague. Don't describe how you would behave. Describe how you did actually behave. If you later decided you should have behaved differently, explain this. The employer will see that you learned something from experience.

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