By Dan Simmons

During your job interview, hiring managers will ask you a variety of questions in order to determine your accomplishments, personality, desires, and habits.  While there are entire books devoted to listing hundreds of interview questions, below are a few that you should be prepared to answer:

  • How does your family feel about this possible move?
  • Why should I hire you? Why do you want to change jobs?
  • What training or qualifications do you have for this job?
  • How have you helped your company’s bottom line?
  • What kind of experience do you have for this job?
  • Why are you successful?
  • How many and what type of people have you supervised?
  • Have you ever hired or fired anyone?

There are also some very sophisticated behavioral interviewing techniques in use today.  The idea is to examine your past behavior patterns in specific situations.  Sometimes, it only takes one situation to establish the pattern.  Sometimes, it takes several situations.  The interviewer assumes that behavior repeats itself.

An example of a behavioral interview question is, “Have you ever made a mistake at work?”  The answer better be “Yes,” since anybody who tries to do anything makes mistakes.  Next, the interviewer asks probing follow-up questions about the mistake.  Their real agenda is to find out if the person being interviewed learns from mistakes.

Another example is, “Tell me about a time you were frustrated,” with a follow-up question of “What happened?”  This one usually goes through several instances to establish a pattern.  The interviewer is looking for the following data:

  • Is this person a quitter?
  • How aggressive is this person?
  • How determined is this person?
  • Did this person come up with creative solutions?
  • What are this person’s human relations skills on the job?

If you’re asked, “Tell me about a time when . . .” or another philosophical, open-ended, or simulated situation question, take a moment or two to think about the question, then refocus your attention back to the interviewer before you speak.  Answer the question as directly and concisely as possible.  Do not try to give the finer details.  If the interviewer wants elaboration, they will ask.  By asking for further details, they’ll probably give clues as to the information being sought.

Be prepared for the questions you’re likely to be asked during your interview, no matter the type, and you’ll be better able to answer them with confidence.

Need help preparing for your interview?  Contact Dan today!