Job Interview Question And Answer

As you prepare for a job interview question and answer session, it helps to understand the different types of techniques and questions used by the interviewer.

Obviously, there's no way to predict exactly what questions will be asked, but you can get a pretty good idea and use these as a basis for practicing.

Behavioral Interviewing questions are designed to understand how you might react or behave, given a certain situation. Employers want to understand your core values.

Common Questions Include (But Are Not Limited To)

  • Tell me about a time you were able to overcome an adverse situation at work.
  • What would you do if you knew another employee was spending company time on personal matters?
  • Describe a time you had to work with a difficult person at work. What did you do?
  • Everyone's favorites - What are your strengths? Your weaknesses?

Depending on what type of position you're interviewing for, you may be asked specific questions related to that position.

For example, if the position requires customer interaction, you will be asked about situations in which you dealt with difficult customer situations, how you handle stress, what you do to retain clients, etc.

If you're applying for a management position, you will be asked many questions about your leadership style, how you motivate employees, build team cohesiveness, etc.

Your answers to behavioral questions should be focused on positive, resolution-based answers. Employers want to know that you can recognize adversity, make adjustments to make a bad situation better, and get along well with other employees.

They are looking for solutions-oriented, mature employees. Companies spend far too much money on employee churn and training. They do not want to hire someone who's going to cause problems, spread rumors, and instill negativity. Your answers should be focused on providing solutions and win-win situations.

Avoid Negativity

The best way to answer questions about your current or last position, your weaknesses, or anything else that may be construed as possibly negative is to answer the question in a positive manner. For example, when asked why you're leaving your current position, don't lie, but say something to the effect that you are ready for a new challenge and change.

When asked about a weakness, identify a weakness that you have (it should not in direct conflict with a job requirement) and state what you're doing to overcome it. For example, say a weakness of yours is mastering Microsoft Excel. Indicate what you're doing to get better, for instance, taking a Microsoft Excel class.

Steer clear of weakness answers that everyone uses - such as "my weakness is that I work too hard" or something like that. The employer wants to know that you understand yourself to know and recognize your own weaknesses.

Imagine YOU Are The Hiring Manager

One way to approach the behavioral job interview question and answer session is by imagining you are the hiring manager.

What kind of person are you looking for? Base your job interview question and answers on this concept, and you'll have a good understanding of what to expect.

Understanding yourself, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and how you have successfully managed difficult situations in your past will help you better prepare for the job interview question and answer session.

Skills and Qualifications questions are designed to ensure you have the skills and qualifications you stated on your resume. Unfortunately, some job-seekers "pad" their resumes, hoping to wow the employer and get a job they are not really qualified for.

If you're truthful about everything on your resume, you shouldn't have a problem with the job interview question and answer session based on your skills and qualifications. For example, if you're interviewing for an accounting position, you may be asked some accounting principles and techniques. Some employers even ask job-seekers to take tests to ensure they really do have the skills and qualifications for the job.

Prepare Your Own Questions

The job interview question and answer session should not be limited to the employer asking you questions.

Prepare your own questions for the job interview based on the following:

  • Any company research you perform ahead of time, list questions you have about the company and its services or products, or something you saw in a press release or news article.
  • Write down questions to understand if this position is a good fit for you. For example, if you value long-term growth in a company, find out what the company's plans are for long-term growth, and how you might be able to help the company achieve this objective.
  • What the company values in its employees, and what makes an employee successful at the company.
  • Steer clear of questions regarding salary and benefits at this time - these are usually inappropriate for a first interview.

What you're doing by asking pertinent questions is to understand 1.) if this company is somewhere you'd really like to work and 2.) show the employer that you are interested and care about the success and future of the company.

By taking time to sit down and write questions that might be asked based on a particular job position, you're setting yourself apart from the competition. If you have difficulty coming up with a job interview question and answer list, ask a friend or spouse to help you, or seek the services of a professional interview coach.

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