Tips for Answering Tough Interview Questions
“Tell me about yourself”
Talk briefly about your academic and work history. Identify your strengths and skills that make you qualified.
“What makes you interested in this job”
Talk about which responsibility of the job are attractive and how you would be an asset to the company.
“What are your weaknesses?”
Present an example of an area that you have identified and are improving upon. For example, “I have received feedback that I need to be more assertive when working on projects and I am asking more questions and requesting assistance when I need it. Again, an example can be very useful. Don’t use examples that are very negative – being late for work, conflict with co-workers. Try to turn your weaknesses into a challenge that you are working to overcome.
“Tell me about a time where you had multiple tasks to do and how you accomplished them”
Think about what skills and attributes the employer want to see in a successful candidate. Can you prioritize? Do you meet deadlines? Can you work with other people and elicit help? Your research on which skills they are looking for will help you to prepare for questions like these.
“What motivates you at work?”
Review experiences that have motivated you in the past. These could include managing information, helping people bring creative, speaking publicly, then determine which of these would be useful in the job for which you are interviewing.
“Why do you want to work here?”
Articulate clearly what a good company it is, or that they work will be challenging and interesting or that you have a commitment to the type of work you wish to do. Do not emphasize the time off, fringe benefits, or free employer tuition.
“Why did you leave (or wish to leave) your past (present) employer?”
There are many legitimate reasons to leave a job. You may have a lack of promotional opportunity or you were looking for new a challenge. During interviews, never speak badly of a present or previous employer even if your boss was awful or the company wouldn’t treat you fairly, you do not want to tell a possible future employer about it in an interview. It will concern them than you may be a complainer or a difficult employee.
“What are your goals?”
Respond with goals appropriate to work and company. For example, “ I hope to begin in this position, demonstrate my abilities and do quality work. After a year (two, three) then apply for other appropriate challenges in the company with more responsibility. Longer team goals to continue your education or plan for management or advance positions are appropriate as well.
“What areas in school or work have been the greatest challenges to you?”
Think of a challenging college assignment (an end of the year group assignment required you to work with other students, some of whom did not do their fair share, or a big project at work or an internship site such as a report was due and you could not early get the info you needed. How did you accomplish the task and what successes did you have. Successes might include an “A” on the assignment or meeting an important deadline.
Good luck in your job search!
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If you’d like to check out some common questions used during interviews read this blog for more insights