common interview questions you should prepare for
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Do you know how to respond to these common interview questions?

So what are those tricky questions you can expect to face at job interviews? Here is a big list of common interview questions that have been used in various interview situations. Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list - such a listing is impossible anyway.

However, if you prepare for and answer these common interview questions using the strategies described on this site, you will gain a distinct edge over the other candidates for the position you are targeting. More on that on some of the other pages of this site.

  • The classic opener - "Tell me about yourself." This question frightens a good many people, but it's actually a wonderful opportunity to present yourself in a strong, effective manner.

  • Here's a variation on the above question - "Tell me a story." Many candidates go "Huh?" to themselves when they have this question thrown at them. Well, the question can be translated as "Tell me your story." Make sense? Now its the same as the first question above, isn't it?

  • All-time favorite with interviewers - "What are your major weaknesses?"

  • A corollary to the above - "What has been the biggest mistake you made in your career?"

  • Tell me why I should hire you for this position.

  • What two (or three) words do your friends use to describe you? (I was once asked what three words my enemies use to describe me!)

  • Which other companies are you targeting for a job? (Any sensible job seeker would certainly go after more than one company and would, hopefully, have more than one interview lined up. Therefore, a direct answer to this question may be your best bet. Let them know that yes, you are interviewing with other organizations, if that is indeed the case. This is one of those common interview questions that many people are unsure of how to respond to.)

  • Describe an ethical dilemma you faced at work.

  • How do you balance your work and family life?

  • Tell us about when you had a serious difference of opinion with your boss or colleague. How did you resolve it?

  • Who are you? (This rude-sounding question has actually been asked at many interviews! Just keep in mind that this is just another variation of "Tell me about yourself.")

  • What is your definition of success?

  • Where do you see yourself 10 years from now (or 5, or 15 years from now)?

  • How did you choose this profession / career / line of work?

  • What do you really hate about your current job?

  • Why are you looking for a job now?

  • Tell me about any new skills you picked up over the past year.

  • Why do you believe you are the best qualified person for this position?

  • If you had what you thought was a brilliant idea that would really help your organization and your boss rejected it outright...what would you do? And why?

  • Do you work well alone or as part of a team?

  • Did you participate in any volunteer activities over the past year? How did they add value to your work?

  • Tell us about how you manage your time at work?

  • Tell me about a colleague whom you admire and why.

  • Describe a time when you had to meet a tight deadline that you thought was impossible. How did you manage to accomplish the task?

  • Who was the best boss you ever had? The worst? Why?

  • What about any of your colleagues irritates you the most?

  • What is your biggest work accomplishment to date?

  • What have you done to prepare for this new position you want?

  • How are you finding the time to interview for another job?

  • What kind of work environment do you prefer?

  • What makes you think you will fit well into our organization?

  • If we were to offer you this position, would you have any problems with taking up the offer?

  • How do you use technology to help you do your job well?

  • What new initiatives would you take up if you were to be offered this position? What new programs would you start?

  • Describe your ideal workplace / job.

  • If you were to interview people to who would be reporting to you, what would you look for?

  • What are your views on how to accomplish ongoing professional development?

  • Describe a situation where you put in the right kind of effort but could not accomplish the objectives you had. What did you learn from this situation?

  • What do your bosses / coworkers say about you?

  • Is there anything else you would like to let us know?

  • Are there any questions you would like to ask us?

If you take the time to prepare for at least some of these common interview questions, you will certainly improve your chances of getting the job you want. Go for it!

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