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Preparing for Common Interview Questions

When being interviewed, it can help to be prepared for the questions that the interviewer will ask you.  Of course, there is no way to know exactly what will be asked.  But there are very common interview questions that come up frequently and it can help to review and prepare for these.  And if a question you prepare for is not asked, the preparation you did may help you with questions that were asked.

The best way to prepare is to review common interview questions and then compose answers that you feel are good responses.  In your answers, you want to be yourself and you want to be honest.  But you also want to compose your answers so that you present yourself in the best light.

One trick to do when composing your answers is to have all of your answers drive toward a few personality traits and qualities that the interviewer might find impressive.  If you think about the personality traits and qualities of the candidate that employers see as ideal, you can then answer honestly but tweak your responses so that they are aligned with those traits and qualities making you look like a good candidate.

Examples of some ideal and preferred traits and characteristics are below:

  • Intelligent
  • Hard working
  • Reliable
  • Easy to get a long with
  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Trainable
  • Team player
  • Easy to manage

Those are just a few examples of some traits that you can tie your answers to.  But remember that when it comes to common interview questions, there are no right or wrong answers.  The is just better or worse answers and you can ensure that your answers are better by answering honestly but adding details that align your answers with the traits and characteristics of the employers ideal candidate.

Below are some examples common interview questions that could be anticipated:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What motivates you?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • What is your biggest achievement?
  • Do you have any goals for the next 3 years? 5 years? 10 years?
  • Where do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
  • What are you looking for in a position?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Tell me what you know about this company.
  • Why do you want to work in this industry?
  • Why are you leaving your current employer?
  • Why are you looking?
  • What do you spend your spare time?
  • What books have you read recently?
  • What is your biggest failure? What did you learn from it?
  • What would be your ideal job?
  • How do you define success?
  • How would those that know you describe you?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
  • Give me an example of a particular difficult time you had to be persuasive in order to get your ideas across.
  • Are you open to travel?
  • Why should we hire you?

Those are some of the more general and common interview questions.  You should also expect questions on your previous jobs and positions.  These will revolve around what you responsibilities were, skills you gained, successes and failures, why you left, etc.  It would be good to have ready the details that you want to share that make you look in the best light and again tie to the traits and characteristics of the ideal candidate.

Launch Pad Solutions provides Career Coaching that helps individuals drive career growth and changes.


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This article was published on Wednesday 02 December, 2009.
Back to main topic: Career Development
Interviewing Tips That Will Put You Ahead of the Competition
Questions to Ask During an Interview
What to Do When Preparing for an Interview
Good Job Interview Body Language Could be the Difference
Driving Career Growth
Some Things to do When Looking for a New Job
How Personal and Professional Coaching Can Help
Benefits of Professional Coaching

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