Pesky Job Interview Questions That Keep Coming Up
Those same questions keep coming up – in every interview. They can be tough ones because they are about you and your thinking process. Preparing for them ahead of time can save you some grief during the interview.
What are your weaknesses?
The most dreaded question of all. Handle this question by minimizing the weakness and emphasizing the strengths. Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on professional traits: "I am always working to improve my communication skills so that I can be a more effective presenter. I recently joined Toastmasters which I find very helpful."
Why should we hire you?
Prepare and know your product – YOU! Summarize your experiences: "With five years' experience working in the financial industry, and my proven record of saving the company money, I could make a big difference in your company. I am confident I would be a great addition to your team."
Why do you want to work here?
The interviewer is listening for an answer that indicates you've given this some thought, and are not sending out resumes just because there is an opening. Doing research should give you plenty of reasons why you want to work there. As an example, "I've selected key companies whose mission statements are in line with my values, where I know I could be excited about what the company does, and this company is very high on my list of desirable choices."
What are your goals?
Sometimes it's best to talk about short-term and intermediate goals, and not lock yourself into the distant future. Something like, "My immediate goal is to get a job in a growth-oriented company. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. I hope to eventually grow into a position of additional responsibility."
Why did you leave (are you leaving) your job?
This question is almost a certainty. If you are unemployed, put you're leaving in a positive context: "I managed to survive two down-sizings, but the third round was a 20% reduction in force, which included me."
If you are employed, focus on what you want in your next job: "After two years, I made the decision to look for a company that is team-focused, where I can add my experience."
When were you most satisfied in your job?
The interviewer wants to know what motivates you. If you can relate an example of a job or project when you were excited, the interviewer will get an idea of your preferences. "I was very satisfied in my last job because I worked directly with the customers and their problem