SPLICE | General Interview Questions Employers Ask
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General Interview Questions Employers Ask

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.

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