General Interview Questions Employers Ask

Once you are in the interview process, you can expect a series of open-ended questions.  Below are a few general, sample questions.  I have taken the liberty to provide a framework for the answers hiring managers are seeking.

  • Tell me about yourself?
    • Focus on personal and professional values
    • Why you chose your career path
    • Highlight experiences (life, career, education etc..) you are proud of
  • What is your greatest accomplishment?
    • Choose an example that was helpful to an employer or project
    • Discuss how you achieved the success, not just that you achieved success
  • What is your greatest strength?
    • Focus on top 3 (1 may not be enough however more than 3 may give a negative impression
    • leadership skills
    • team-building skills
    • organizational skills
  • What is your weakness (improvement area)?
    • DO NOT SAY:  I tend to expect others to work as hard as I do,” or “I’m a bit of a perfectionist” or “I work to hard”
    • State your true improvement areas and how you are working or have worked on them.
    • Employers want to know that you are aware of your shortcomings and willing to do what it takes to improve
  • How do you handle stressful information?
    • Tell how you use time management, problem-solving or decision-making skills to reduce stress.
    • It is fine to discuss your work-out regiment
    • Don’t make a “poor taste joke” such as “I kick the dog”…yes someone really told me this, they did not get the job.
  • What is the toughest problem you’ve had to face, and how did you overcome it?
    • Tell a story here, 2 minutes should be enough time (discuss projects that were off schedule, job search in 2009 etc…)
    • Answer from a professional standpoint (one example may be overcoming the transition from manager to individual contributor, etc…)
    • Do not discuss personal issues such as bad relationships, divorce, TMI…
    • Personal problems that are acceptable include; putting yourself through school, overcoming an obstacle to reach a personal goal etc…
  • Why do you want this position?
    • Here’s where your research about the company will help you stand out among the other candidates
    • Discuss the pros of the job and how your skills match
    • Openly discuss any shortcomings you may have and present how you will overcome
  • Why are you the best person for this job?
    • Emphasize several reasons why you should be hired (skills match, behavioral match, company cultural match).
    • Do Not provide “canned” answers such as;
      • “Due to my extensive experience in (insert job function)”.
      • I’m a fast learner”.
    • Provide detailed answer such as;
      • Due to my extensive experience in (insert title)  and skills in (key items they are seeking from the job interview)
      • Provide an example of times you had to learn something quickly, how you came up to speed and the final results.

I am sure there are tons of other general questions.  Please feel free to comment with some general interview questions and how you think people should respond.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Like This!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “General Interview Questions Employers Ask

  1. Hi there!

    As a recruiter, I try to stay away from “How do” and “What is” type questions. They tend to not produce much value in the long run as the responses tend to be more opinion that substance.

    I like that you are directing candidates to answer these types of questions with examples of past experience or behavior. Good job and good coaching.

    Scott

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s