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Questions to expect

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This article describes Interview Questions you might be asked.

About Your Qualifications

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • How do you think a friend or someone who knows you well would describe you?
  • What do you think is your greatest weakness?
  • Can you summarize the contribution you would make to our organization?
  • Please tell me about the greatest professional assignment you've ever handled.
  • What accomplishment has given you the most satisfaction?
  • Tell me about your experiences at school.
  • What has been the most rewarding college experience?
  • Tell me about your most significant work experience.
  • How would those who have worked with you describe you?
  • Why are you the best candidate for this position?
  • Have you ever supervised anyone?

About Your Ability to Work in the Environment

  • Why are you interested in this job?
  • What do you know about us?
  • In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
  • What criteria are you using to evaluate the organization for which you hope to work?
  • Are you a team player?
  • How do you work under pressure?
  • How do you handle conflict?
  • What major problem have you encountered and how have you dealt with it?
  • How competitive are you?
  • What do you expect from your supervisor?
  • What qualities should a successful manager possess?
  • Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and those reporting to him or her.

About Your Career and Personal Choices

  • What are your long-range career goals? When and why did you establish these goals and how are you preparing yourself to achieve them?
  • What are the most important rewards you expect in your business career?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • What kind of salary are you looking for?

Welcome to the Real World

  • For the most recent graduate, here are some tough questions specifically tailored to discover your business potential.
  • Why did you choose [school]?
  • What led you to major in_______?
  • What course have you liked the least? The most?
  • I'd be interested to hear about some things you learned in school that could be used on the job.
  • Do you think your grades adequately represent your abilities?
  • If you could do so, how would you plan your academic study differently? Why?
  • We have tried to hire people from your school/your major before, and they never seem to work out. What makes you different?
  • Have you ever had difficulties getting along with others?
  • What problems do you see in your school? How would you go about correcting them?
  • What have you done that shows initiative and willingness to work?

Hard Questions

  • Did you ever have a group leader or boss you disliked? Why did you dislike him/her?
  • How would someone who dislikes you describe you?
  • Talk about a group situation in which there were problems. How did you handle the situation and what was the outcome? What role did you play in the group? How could the group improve its performance?
  • Tell me about a time when you experienced a failure and how you reacted to it.
  • Tell me about a time when you were under considerable pressure to meet one or more goals.
  • Describe a situation where you had to resolve a problem at work and explain how you resolved it.
  • Give me an example of how you are a risk taker.
  • If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
  • What motivates you?
  • Why do you want to work for us and not for our competitor?
  • Why should we hire you over everyone else we spoke to today?
  • What do you think is the most important/difficult ethical dilemma facing corporations today?
  • Give a one sentence positioning statement of yourself.
  • How do you go about deciding what to do first when given a project?
  • Tell me about an experience you have had in a working environment (school, work, or community).
  • Describe a situation where you did not agree with something your boss asked you to do and how you resolved the problem.
  • Can you work under pressure?
  • What did you like/dislike about your last job?
  • What would you like to be doing five years from now?

The Stress Interview

  • Would you like to have your boss's job?
  • See this pen I'm holding? Sell it to me.
  • Why should I hire an outsider when I could fill the job with someone inside the organization?
  • Why were you out of work for so long?
  • Describe a situation when your work or an idea was criticized.
  • Your application shows you have been with one organization a long time without any appreciable increase in rank or salary. Tell me about this.

For Career Changers

  • Why would you be interested in this kind of work?
  • How do you expect to get up to speed in all the areas which will be unfamiliar to you?

And, the Most Dreaded Question, "Tell Us about Yourself"

  • This is also your greatest opportunity. You are likely to be asked this, so plan to use the open-ended nature of the question to your advantage. It is not necessary to answer autobiographically. You may choose to organize your thoughts around your interest in the job and why you are prepared to do it.
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