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When it comes to interviewing, practice makes perfect. The following is a list of the ten most common questions asked during an interview and how to answer them. Role play your answers with a family member or friend, say your answers out loud and practice until you are comfortable responding to the questions. Showing you are prepared will get you one step closer to a job offer.



    • Tell me about yourself.
    • Talk about traits you possess that would be an asset to the job you are applying for. What are the characteristics that best describe you? What skills have you acquired that have helped you personally and professionally? What are your hobbies? The employer wants to see if your personality is a good fit for the company. Make your traits work for you.


    • Why do you want to work for us?
    • The employer wants to know what you can offer the company. What skills do you possess that will be an asset to the team? Also, what impresses you about the company, and how can you help the company grow?


    • What do you know about the company?
    • Do your homework. Make sure you know about the company and what they stand for. What is the company’s philosophy? How does their philosophy match yours? The employer wants to know why you want to work for them and what you have to offer. Impress the employer by being prepared.


    • Why did you leave your last job?
    • Talk about wanting to use your past experiences enter a new field. Never bad mouth a former boss, and always turn negatives into positives. Instead of saying “I wasn’t challenged,” say “I have acquired many skills at my last job and now I am ready for a new challenge to help a company expand.” The employer wants to know what you can offer the company. Be honest, but always turn negatives into positives.


    • Tell me about your experience at your last job.
    • What did you learn and how can those experiences be transferred to the job you are applying for? Again, never bad mouth a past employer. This can’t be stressed enough. Talk about your duties and how your accomplishments helped the company grow.


    • What experiences do you have doing___ (fill in the blank.)
    • Make sure you have the education and experience to do the job you are applying for. If there’s something you don’t know, say it, but also say you are a quick learner and welcome a challenge. Use examples to prove you welcome new opportunities for growth.


    • Tell me about your strengths.
    • Tell the employer what you’re good at and how these strengths can be used on the job. When asked about weaknesses, again, turn negatives into positives. Instead of “I’m a perfectionist,” say “I always do my best work, so I’m a bit of a perfectionist and put a lot of time into what I’m working on.”


    • Tell me about a time when (fill in the situation).
    • This question is aimed at seeing how you take control of difficult situations. For example, tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer. Or, tell me about a time you had to deal with a crisis. Show your take-charge attitude and how your approach helped the situation. You want to come across as confident and in control of stressful situations.


    • What salary range are you looking for?
    • This can be a tricky question, but don’t panic. This question usually comes toward the end of the interview to see if your salary range comes close to what the employer is offering. Again, do your homework. What is the fair market value of the job you are applying for? Get an idea of what other professionals in similar fields are earning and base your preferred salary on that range. Ask the employer if the company has a budgeted range and tell him if you fit into that range, if he’s willing to share the information. If all else fails, give a range. Be honest and say “I’ve done my research, and I have found that the position typically pays between $55,000 to $65,000 a year. Does this sound right to you?” It shows you did your homework and want to be fair about your pay expectations. However, you don’t want to compromise your own value as an employee.


    • What questions do you have for me?
    • Always have a few questions ready to show you are serious about wanting to know more about the company and your duties. Some good questions include “What is a typical day like for someone in this position?” “Are there advancement opportunities for employees?” and “What are the most important skills to succeed in this position?” Decide what’s most important to you and then ask those questions.


Knowing how you’re going to answer the above questions will help you feel more confident and comfortable at the job interview. That will go a long way in making a lasting impression on the employer.