Preparing for the Interview:
Common Interview Questions, Purpose and Suggestions
“Tell me about yourself?”
To put you at ease.
To learn from you why they should or should not hire you.
To see how you define yourself.
To find out if your mind is on what you can offer the employer.
To learn a little bit about your background.
When speaking about your interests and experience provide information that only relates to the job.
Touch on you attributes, including you ability to get along with others.
Touch on some appropriate personal information to indicate stability and your well rounded character.
Do not ramble on about your life history.
“What are your greatest strengths?”
To discover reasons for hiring you.
To find out how well you know yourself.
To find out if you believe in yourself and to find out if you are the right person for the position.
Give an honest answer that relates to the job.
Mention that besides the work skills and/or experience that you would contribute, you also offer job related qualities. For example, you could list your attributes.
Be ready to back these attributes with specific examples.
“What are your weaknesses?”
To discover how honest and objective you are.
To discover if you are wrong for the job due to reasons such as a lack of experience, poor people skills, poor attitude, laziness.
Describe a positive attribute you have. For example, state that it is important to meet deadlines, maintain high standards or see that all messages are answered.
Continue with a statement or reassurance such as; "I have to really have to insure that I remain patient (diplomatic) when I see this is not happening."
Or… honestly state an obvious weakness, then describe factors that compensate for it. For example, "I am so enthusiastic what I want to do a hundred things at once, so I have to sit down and make a list of priorities and plan a schedule."
“Why do you want to work here?”
To find out what you know and like about the organization and if you would stay.
To see if your work qualifications fit the requirements and approach.
To find out if you are genuinely interested in contributing to the company or only want the security, benefits and prestige they offer.
Indicate the liking for the work you do and how your skills match their requirements.
Describe what you know about the organization. If you can, honestly compliment the company on such points as its reputation, service, product or quality, do so.
Indicate the interest and care you took in finding out backgrounds information about the company.
Make "you" statements not I need statements.
“Why should I hire you?”
The employer does not want to know how you will benefit from the job, but how the company will be better off hiring you.
Show how your skills and experience are important to the job.
Show enthusiasm to be part of the team.
“What would you do in ‘this’ situation?”
To assess your ability to answer unexpected questions.
To assess your ability to handle and juggle real life situations.
To learn about actual experience you have had.
To discover if you are aware of company policy and government rules.
Mention your commitment to follow company guidelines and consulting your supervisor when appropriate.
Describe a time when you successfully dealt with that type of situation.
Describe related situations, experience, skills and attributes.
“Do you have any questions?”
Indicates that the interview is almost over.
Find out what you are interested in knowing and how much research you have done.
Keep questions brief. Act confident but not demanding or self seeking.
Show that you have listened to the employer and that you have already researched the company.
Ask questions that will decide if the job is really for you.