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MOST LIKELY ASKED QUESTIONS


01. So, tell me a little about yourself.
I’d be very surprised if you haven’t been asked this one at every interview. It’s probably the most asked question because it sets the stage for the interview and it gets you talking. Be careful not to give the interviewer your life story here. You don’t need to explain everything from birth to present day. Relevant facts about education, your career and your current life situation are fine. (Try to hold your response to 2 minutes.

02. Why are you looking (or why did you leave you last job)?
This should be a straightforward question to answer, but it can trip you up. Presumably you are looking for a new job (or any job) because you want to advance your career and get a position that allows you to grow as a person and an employee. It’s not a good idea to mention money here; it can make you sound mercenary. And if you are in the unfortunate situation of having been downsized, stay positive and be as brief as possible about it. If you were fired, you’ll need a good explanation. But once again, stay positive.

03. Tell me what you know about this company.
Do your homework before you go to any interview. Whether it’s being the VP of marketing or the mailroom clerk, you should know about the company or business you’re going to work for. Has this company been in the news lately? Who are the people in the company you should know about? Do the background work, it will make you stand out as someone who comes prepared, and is genuinely interested in the company and the job.

04. Why do you want to work at X Company?
This should be directly related to the last question. Any research you’ve done on the company should have led you to the conclusion that you’d want to work there. After all, you’re at the interview, right? Put some thought into this answer before you have your interview, mention your career goals and highlight forward-thinking goals and career plans.

05. What relevant experience do you have?
You have related experience; otherwise Crawley-Austin would not have submitted your resume. You should mention it all.  Have specific examples ready to discuss.

06. If your previous co-workers were here, what would they say about you?
If some people from your past are going to say you’re a boring person, you don’t need to bring that up. Stay positive, always, and maybe have a few specific quotes in mind. “They’d say I was a hard worker” or even better “John Doe has always said I was the most reliable, creative problem-solver he’d ever met.”

07. Have you done anything to further your experience?
This could include anything from night classes to hobbies and sports. If it’s related, it’s worth mentioning. Obviously anything to do with further education is great, but maybe you’re spending time on a home improvement project to work on skills such as self-sufficiency, time management and motivation.

08. Where else have you applied?
This is a good way to hint that you’re in demand, without sounding like you’re all over town. So, be honest and mention a few other companies but don’t go into detail. The fact that you’re seriously looking and keeping your options open is what the interviewer is driving at.

09. How are you when you’re working under pressure?
There are a few ways to answer this but they should all be positive. You may work well under pressure, you may thrive under pressure, and you may actually PREFER working under pressure.  Do not say you prefer not to work under pressure; this is not going to help you get your foot in the door.

10. What motivates you to do a good job?
The answer to this one is not money, even if it is. You should be motivated by life’s noble pursuits. You want recognition for a job well done. You want to become better at your job. You want to help others or be a leader in your field.

11. What’s your greatest strength?
This is your chance to shine. You’re being asked to explain why you are a great employee, so don’t hold back and stay positive. You could be someone who thrives under pressure, a great motivator, an amazing problem solver or someone with extraordinary attention to detail. The interviewer is looking for work-related strengths, so do not go into personal issues.

12. What’s your biggest weakness?
If you say you don’t have one, you will come off arrogant. This is a horrible question and one that politicians have become masters at answering. They say things like “I’m perhaps too committed to my work and don’t spend enough time with my family.” Remember; keep our feet on the ground. If you’re asked this question, give a small, work-related flaw that you’re working hard to improve. Example: “I’ve been told I occasionally focus on details and miss the bigger picture, so I’ve been spending time laying out the complete project every day to see my overall progress.”  Or, “I tend to take on too much.”

13. Let’s talk about salary. What are you looking for?
Even if you know the salary range for the job, if you answer first you’re already showing all your cards. You already discussed your salary requirements with your Crawley-Austin recruiter, and Crawley-Austin knows what range in salary the client is offering.  The big advantage of Crawley-Austin representing you is we are very effective acting on your behalf as a third-party negotiator.  Your response with money related questions should be, “Money is important, but it’s not the only consideration.  I am more interested in a better career opportunity where I can look forward to long-term, professional growth.”

14. Are you good at working in a team?
Always answer YES to this one. It’s the only answer. How can anyone function inside an organization if they are a loner? You may want to mention what part you like to play in a team though; it’s a great chance to explain that you’re a natural leader.

15. Tell me a suggestion you have made that was implemented.
It’s important here to focus on the word “implemented.” There’s nothing wrong with having a thousand great ideas, but if the only place they live is on your notepad it does not count.  Better still, you need a good ending. If your previous company took your advice and ended up going bankrupt, that’s not such a great example either. Be prepared to discuss an idea of yours that was taken from idea to implementation, and considered successful.

16. Has anything ever irritated you about people you've worked with?
The answer to this question can portray you as a negative and difficult person to work with. The best way to answer this one is to think for a while and then say something like “I’ve always got on just fine with my co-workers actually.”

17. Is there anyone you just could not work with?
The answer should be no.  Otherwise you could be flagged as someone who’s picky and difficult.

18. Tell me about any issues you’ve had with a previous boss.
The interviewer is testing you to see if you’ll speak badly about your previous supervisor. Simply answer this question with you've never had any issues.

19. Would you rather work for money or job satisfaction?
Remember that NOTHING is more important to you than the job. Otherwise, you’re just someone looking for a bigger paycheck.

20. Would you rather be liked or feared?
“Neither, I’d rather be respected.” You don’t want to be feared because fear is no way to motivate a team. You may get the job done but at what cost? Similarly, if you’re everyone’s best friend you’ll find it difficult to make tough decisions or hit deadlines.

21. So, explain why I should hire you.
This is a time to give the employer a list of your greatest talents that just so happen to match the job description. It’s also good to avoid taking shots at other potential candidates here. Focus on yourself and your talents, not other people’s flaws.

22. Finally, do you have any questions to ask me?
This is one of the most common questions asked in interviews. This directly relates to the research you’ve done on the company and also gives you a chance to show how eager and prepared you are.  A good answer is “how soon could I start, if I were offered the job of course.” You may also ask what you’d be working on. Specifically, in the role you’re applying for and how that affects the rest of the company. Always have questions ready.

 

Crawley-Austin has provided these questions only as interviewing guidelines. They are meant to help you prepare for the interview. Some questions may or may not be asked in the interview. By practicing your responses to these questions will help you through out the interview.