Fifty Standard Interview Questions
It is not enough to have solid answers only for the above questions. You
need to be prepared for the full spectrum of questions that may be presented.
For further practice, make sure you go through the required mock interview (see
the "Competitive Interview Prep" Section) and for further review, look at some
of the following questions:
1. Tell me about yourself.
The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a short statement prepared
in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items
unless instructed otherwise. Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that
relate to the position you are interviewing for. Start with the item farthest back and work up
to the present.
2. Why did you leave your last job?
Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a major problem with
management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers or the organization. If you do,
you will be the one looking bad. Keep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason
such as an opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking reasons.
3. What experience do you have in this field? or Do you have any actual work experience?
Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for. If you do not have
specific experience, get as close as you can.
4. Do you consider yourself successful? or Describe a situation in which you were successful.
You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. A good explanation is that you have
set goals, and you have met some and are on track to achieve the others.
5. What do co-workers say about you?
Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. Either a specific statement or a
paraphrase will work. Jill Clark, a co-worker at Smith Company, always said I was the
hardest workers she had ever known. It is as powerful as Jill having said it at the interview
6. What do you know about this organization?
This question is one reason to do some research on the organization before the interview.
Find out where they have been and where they are going. What are the current issues and
who are the major players?
7. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide variety of activities can
be mentioned as positive self-improvement. Have some good ones handy to mention.
8. Are you applying for other jobs?
Be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. Keep the focus on this job and what
you can do for this organization. Anything else is a distraction.
9. Why do you want to work for this organization?
This may take some thought and certainly, should be based on the research you have done
on the organization. Sincerity is extremely important here and will easily be sensed. Relate
it to your long-term career goals.
10. Do you know anyone who works for us?
Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization. This can affect your answer
even though they asked about friends not relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if
they are well thought of.
(Continued on next part...)