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The Job Interview: What Are Employers Looking For?
"I have found the right type of working environement, but can't get my foot in the door because the interview process makes my nerves shoot through the roof. Do you have any suggestions for me?"
When it comes to interviews, practice makes perfect. It sounds like you need some work on your comfort level with the interview process. Rather than lose this job because the process makes your blood boil, tackle this obstacle head on.
Below is a list of 50 of the most commonly asked interview questions. Print them out and grab a trusted non-judgmental friend to practice answering them with. Write down anything else that you know will be required of you—practice that, too!
Pretend to go through the process with someone you trust. That will give you the confidence you need to get through the interview, calm, cool and collected. Don't let the process of the interview keep you from a job you know you can do and one that you know you will like.
A good coach can role play with you in a safe environment, so you can iron out any mistakes that might otherwise keep you from getting the job. If the interview process involves paperwork that is tedious and overwhelming, ask someone who is good with paperwork to help you. Knowing when to ask for help is a sign of strength, not a weakness. Practice, practice, practice and ask for help, if and when you need it.
If you really want the job and know you have the skills to do it, tackling the interview process will be worth the work.
50 Questions Asked by Employers
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. Why should we hire you?
3. What did you dislike most about you previous boss/supervisor?
4. What do you know about our company?
5. Why do you want to work here?
6. What are your short-range/long-range goals?
7. Why are you changing jobs?
8. What do you look for in an ideal job?
9. Are you looking for a permanent or temporary job?
10. What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
11. Are you self-motivated? Organized?
12. How do you work in a group?
13. What did you like about your previous job?
14. How do you work under stress, pressure, and deadlines.
15. What work do you enjoy the most? Least?
16. What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
17. Name three major accomplishments in your present job?
18. What qualifications do you have for this job?
19. How would you evaluate your performance on your present job?
20. What have you learned from your mistakes?
21. How do you think your education has prepared you for this job?
22. Are you more comfortable working by yourself or with others?
23. Tell me about a problem you have solved in your present job?
24. Have you had experience as a supervisor? In what capacity?
25. What salary do you expect?
26. What has influenced your career decisions?
27. Do you object to overtime? Travel? Rotating shifts?
28. What interests you about this type of work?
29. Have you had any experience in this line of work?
30. Tell me about someone you admire.
31. When you were in school, what courses did you like best? Least?
32. Give me three adjectives that describe you.
33. How would your supervisor describe you.
34. What do you like to do in your spare time?
35. What would you do if a dissatisfied customer started shouting at you about a defective product?
36. What types of books have you read lately?
37. Have you taken any classes recently? Attended any workshops/seminars?
38. Define "success."
39. Would you be willing to relocate?
40. Give me a specific example of something you've done that shows initiative.
41. What person has had the greatest influence on you?
42. Tell me about your past attendance record. What do you consider an acceptable attendance record?
43. Describe a good supervisor.
44. What did you earn on previous jobs?
45. What can you tell me about your current job?
46. Why do you want to start working again?
47. What do you see yourself doing in five years?
48. What community activities have you been involved in?
49. Is there anything else I should know?
50. What questions do you have for me?
Sandy Maynard lives in Washington, DC where she operates Catalytic Coaching. She was instrumental in the development of The National Attention Deficit Disorder Association's Coaching Guidelines and a founding board member for the Institute for the Advancement of AD/HD Coaching (IAAC). Sandy lectures internationally and is a regular contributor to ADDitude.
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