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Published on January 12th, 2014 | by thevyne

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5 Job Interview Questions You MUST Have Answers To

ThumbsupblackwomanBy K. Boyd

No matter what job you’re interviewing for or what level the job is, there are a few key questions that you should always go in prepared to answer. Even if you don’t get asked these exact questions, chances are you will be asked questions that are similar so having prepared answered will ensure you put your best foot forward. On the flip side, if you don’t get asked questions like these, look for opportunities to weave your answers to these questions into the answers for the questions your interviewer does ask you. Job interviewing doesn’t have to be hard. Read through these questions and tips for preparing your answers to each and you’ll be one step closer to landing that gig:

1. What Strengths Are You Known For and How Have You Applied Them? Your answer to this question should contain three key strengths and how companies/departments have engaged you in the past for the use of those strengths. For example, if you are particularly organized and a great project manager you might say something like this, “In my previous roles I’ve been known for my project management skills – consistently delivering projects on time and under budget; as well as my ability to build relationships quickly and an impeccable attention to detail which makes me a bit of stickler for organization, follow up and follow through. “

2. Tell Me About a Time When You Took the Initiative to Improve Some Aspect of Your Department—Explain the situation, what you did to improve it and what was the result? This question is all about the interviewer trying to understand your ability to be a self-starter and whether or not they can count on you to look for ways to continuously improve the team or department. Practice responding to this question as if you’re telling a story. Be clear about the situation, what you did to fix the situation and quantify the outcome (e.g. did you save the team/department money? Time?).

3. What do you consider to be an Area of Opportunity for Growth and How Have You Been Working to improve that Area? This question is sometimes asked as, “describe is your weakness?” It’s a tricky one but one thing is for sure, DO NOT answer with, “I’m a workaholic” or “I don’t really have any”. Instead, focus this answer on some aspect of the business that is not critical to the role you are interviewing for but is a legitimate area of growth for you. Be sure to share what you’re doing to improve in the identified area as well.

4. Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Manage Multiple Competing Priorities? This question is all about the interviewer trying to understand your capacity for large scale work as well as your capability for handling the complexity of different streams of work. You’ll want to be very clear about the details of this answer as well so that the interviewers leave with a good understanding of how you’ve demonstrated this skill.

5. What is it about this role that intrigued you to apply? This question is often overlooked but interviewers want to know that you think the job they have to offer is special. They want to hear why you’re pursuing it so give this some thought. Weave in information about the company that is exciting to you as well as about the role specifically that drew you to apply.


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One Response to 5 Job Interview Questions You MUST Have Answers To

  1. Allison says:

    Great tips! Another good (behavioral) question that I’ve been asked is, “Tell me about a ‘mistake/failure you made.” Good opp to show you make deciscions and informed risks and how you solved it (fast), and learned from it. The “tell us your weaknesses” is a good one too.

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