Ace the Interview & Get the Job Offer – 10 Questions You May be Asked in a Job Interview & the Best Ways to Handle Them (part 1 of 10)

How to Answer those Tough Questions you may be asked at a Job Interview – Part One of a Series of Ten Articles

When interviewing for a new job, whether it be your first or a job change, you will be asked lots of questions. The sometimes highly skilled human resources people and managers of your prospective employer want to find out as ,much as they can about you. Will you fit in? Will you stay or are you just looking for a parking place until you can find something else? Are you a team player? In most cases they won’t ask these questions in this way. rather, they will likely ask indirectly. The more people who interview you, the more questions you will be asked. A short manual written several years ago for use in conjunction with a resume’ service I ran contains a list of 100 questions. Ten of them are presented here.

Better to be prepared in advance than to fumble around for answers during the interview. The mere fact that you did or did not prepare ahead says something about you. Being prepared is one of the attributes that may win you the job. Do otherwise at your own peril. Having changed jobs several times during my career, I learned how to answer most of them with ease. To be successful you need to do the same. The answers I propose are not the only answers, but hopefully they will serve as a guide for you in your search for a job. Good luck (or as a friend of mine once said good skill) to you in finding your new job!

Q1 – What do you know about our company?

You should consider this question as an opportunity to let the interviewer know you are interested, and that you have done your homework. Use can now use this as a springboard to tell the interviewer how your experience and/ or education and training relates to what their company does, the products they make, etc.

Q2 – What do you want to be doing 5 years from now?

Answering this question gives you the opportunity to state your goals, career milestones you hope to achieve, etc. Hopefully you have thought about this and put it down on paper. If you haven’t done it be sure you do it before the interview. Vague answers like “I hadn’t really though about ” will be scored against you and lessen your chances of getting the job offer. An answer well thought out in advance will work in your favor.

Q3 – What is your greatest weakness?

This question is a little tricky to handle, but obviously you should not start spouting out all your bad points (we all have a few). Rather you should turn the question around on the interviewer, so that your greatest weakness is not really a weakness at all, but is really a strength, i.e. – You could say that your greatest weakness is that you talk too much, but that in most cases this helps you communicate better and you usually learn more than you would if you were quiet all the time. Another example: I’m afraid I’m a “workaholic.” While this might seem like a weakness because of all the material that’s been written about this “disease.”

On the contrary, most employers look at a “workaholic” as one who is “dedicated to their job.” Many great musicians, for example have become great by spending most of their waking hours practicing, and who can say this is really a weakness?

Q4 – Why should I hire you?

Answer this one with all the attributes, accomplishments, etc. that make you the best choice for this job. Tell them that you like this kind of work, or that you want to help contribute to your new employer’s success. If you have done something in the past that specifically relates to what they do, tell them about it in detail, then tell them you can do the same for them. The absolute WORST answer here is “I don’t know” Please don’t give that answer, rather go over this question in advance and be ready for it when asked!

Q5 – Why are you leaving your present job?

If you are presently employed, the best answer is that I haven’t left my present job yet, and I may not, but that depends upon the opportunity I am offered. Another acceptable answer would be that my present job has little opportunity for growth, and that I am looking for a job with more responsibility, or I want to broaden my experience, or a similar answer that is positive.

Q6 – What was your biggest problem with your last job (or the job you are in now)?

This is another question you need to turn from negative to positive. Example of a good answer – My biggest problem was that I wanted more responsibility and authority and then job you are offering looks like just what I was looking for.. Or – My present job is not challenging enough and your offering looks like it is more challenging.

Q7 – Do you make mistakes?

Best answer here is – I am only human but I don’t make any more than the next guy, and any mistakes I make are usually minor ones and I learn from them.. If true, you could also mention that you are a stickler for doing things right the first time, and you are able to do this almost all of the time.

Q8 – Are you afraid of being fired from your present job?

This question is probably designed to put you off balance or get you flustered. Don’t let it worry you. The best answer is that you have no reason to be afraid because..and then you can start telling about some of the contributions you have made, and that you consider your self an asset to your employer.

Q9 – If you had it to do all over again, what field would you go into?

This question is probably designed to find out if you really like what you are doing presently. If you give a negative answer, or say you wish you had gone into another field, you are asking for trouble. Best answer here is the simplest – I can’t think of any field I would rather be in.

Q10 – What do you dislike about your present employer?

The safest answer here is that you have nothing against your present employer, but what you are seeking is more responsibility, a more challenging job, etc.

To see all 100 questions you need to be ready to answer at a job interview go to my website and click on the link for the book “How to Get a Job Anywhere, Anytime” part of which was the basis for this article. The rest is filled with lots of tips and how-to’s for hunting a first or a new job.

Retired Engineer,job consultant, resume’ writer, auctioneer, internet marketer, webmaster. Please visit my website at:

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