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Interviewing Basics
Sample Interview Questions:

In preparing for  an interview it’s important to come prepared with answers to commonly asked questions and to have  2– 3 questions that you can ask the interviewer at  the end of the interview.  Below are samples of; commonly asked interview questions with some tips on how to structure your answer and samples of questions that you can ask an interviewer at the end of the interview.


About yourself
1. Tell me about yourself
  • Cover four areas of your life: early years, education, work experience and your current situation
  • Keep your answer to about 2 minutes. Avoid rambling.
2. What are your strengths?
  • Have 3 or 4 key strengths that you can talk to that are relevant to their needs
  • Use the STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to provide examples of when you used these skills
3. What are your weaknesses?
  • Respond with strengths, which if overdone can become a weakness and say what you are doing to fix it
  • Never claim to be faultless
4. What are your short-term goals?
  • Talk about your desire to do the immediate job well
  • Learn and develop
5. What are your long-term goals?
  • Talk about progression, but be realistic
6. What things are most important to you in a job?
  • Try to relate your answer to details of the position
  • If not, use a corporate answer, “be challenged” etc.
7. How would you describe your personality?
  • Talk about your best 2 – 3 traits
  • This is a “fit” question so your ability to identify their corporate values will help you put together a stronger response
8. What is your management style?
  • Talk about your philosophy on setting team goals, keeping employees motivated and your approach to developing employees
9. What was your biggest failure?
  • Give an example that you were able to turn into a positive and what you learned from it
10. Why are you looking for a new job?
  • Keep your answer brief and positive

About the position/company
1. Why are you interested in this job/company?
  • Give an honest answer of what it is that appeals to you about the job/company (ex. entrepreneurial spirit, innovative approach, corporate culture etc.)
2. What do you know about our organization?
  • Make personal remarks about what you have learned about the company and ask specific questions to facilitate a conversation
3. What salary expectations do you have?
  • You may want to start by asking what the salary range is for the position
  • Or, you can rate yourself relative to others and say that you would expect to receive an offer that would be higher than the midpoint salary range for the position
  • Or, you can give a range that you had in mind but then qualify it by saying that you hope to learn more about the job responsibilities and scope
4. Why should we consider you for this position?
  • If asked at the beginning of the interview: discuss generally how your skills and experience would benefit the company
  • If asked at the end of the interview: relate your skills and accomplishments to the problems/opportunities of the role to which you are interviewing for
Regarding your work experience
1. What did you like most/least about your job?
  • Emphasize the positives and do not talk at length about the negatives
2. What did you like most/least about your boss?
  • If you liked your boss say so and why
  • If you didn’t find nice things to say
  • Keep what you liked least brief
3. What were your major career accomplishments?
  • Try to relate your answer to the needs of the employer
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