(1) Tell me something about yourself
It is the big daddy of all interview questions. It is often the first questions the interviewers ask and, as the saying goes, the first impression is the last impression; success depends a lot upon how you answer this question. The interviewer doesn’t want a five or ten minute long essay about yourself but only a couple of sentences that not only describe who you are but also sets you apart from the rest of the people. The question doesn’t have a one-for-all answer because it reflects your individuality; therefore, you need to prepare yourself before you go for the interview.

(2) What do you know about our organization and industry?
It is not really a tough question to answer if you’ve done your homework. It is not really a difficult task to find about the organization or the company; you are going to be interviewed in, in this age of internet. Just make a search on the internet, open the company’s website and read what is written under the tab About Us. If possible, try find among your friends circle an employee of the company because he can give you an insider’s view. Spending some time researching about the company is going to help you to make a good impression on the interviewer.

(3) Why have you applied for the job?
Again, it is one of those frequently asked questions which set you apart from the rest of the aspiring candidates. Answering simply as ‘because I’m hardworking’ or something similar can backfire in a counter-question like ‘Do you hold the opinion the other candidates aren’t hardworking?’ by the interviewer. You can either consult the internet or find yourself a job consultant to help you with preparing for the question.

(4) Why should we hire you?
It is a typical interview question and it is exactly here where many candidates stumble. The best manner to answer the question is to tell the interviewer about your skill and accomplishments which make you the best candidate for the job. The preparation requires comparing the job profile with your abilities.

(5) What are your goals in the next five years?
The biggest mistake you can make while answering to the question is discussing your goals to return to school or marrying someone or saying anything that is not relevant to the job you’re applying for. This mistake will make a bad impression on the interviewer and can reduce your chances of being hired. You have to sound professional and what you say should ultimately connect to the job you are applying for. Here is an example of what you can say: My long term goals include working with a company where I can continue to learn, grow and take on more responsibilities.

(6) Why aren’t you continuing with your current employer? or Why did you leave your last job?
Here you will need to tailor the reasons for leaving your last employer into something that is appropriate to the situation and one thing that you must keep in mind is: don’t speak badly about your previous employer.

(7) Your greatest strengths and weaknesses
Explaining your strengths to the interviewer isn’t rocket science but it should be kept in mind that you aren’t dwelling too much into it to bore the interviewer. The best way to answer to the question would be to describe only those skills and qualifications which are related with the job you’re applying for. Again when asked about the weakness, you have to have the skills to turn the negative into a positive. You can say, for example, I triple check everything before making a final decision or something similar.

(8) Salary expectations
ere you need to do some little research about the job profile and your skills before making any statement about how much you’re worth. You have to be very patient answering this question and it is always better to play with the words in such a way that the employer himself/herself makes an offer to you. This will make a base for further negotiations and instead of talking about the compensation, you should better ask the about any additional job responsibilities.

(9) Situational questions
Situational questions are those which suddenly come up in the mind of an interviewer for whatever reason. No guidebook can prepare you for them; you have to show confidence in this situation. Most of the time, even the situational questions arise from the conversation you are having with the interviewer, so you should know from the start what you are telling the interviewer.

(10) It’s your turn
In the end the employer will ask you to ask some questions. Here you can question the employer about the company, job profile and similar stuff but don’t go personal in this session.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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