Job interview questions and answers can be a mystery. Don’t worry, we will not let you fall down the rabbit hole and into the twilight zone. No, no! It can be difficult if you are not prepared.
Depending on job responsibilities, company, panel of interviewers, and time will determine what questions and how many are asked in an interview. The best thing you can do is relax.
A first phone interview or screening typically is between 15 to 30 minutes. A face-to-face interview is usually 30 minutes to 1 hour.
A hiring manager is attempting to learn about your qualifications, as you are learning about the position and company. This is the ideal time to use the What to Ask in an Interview Guide and Form, that is included in the Chronological package. By the time you use this guide you will have your complete set of job interview questions and answers regarding your future employer and job responsibilities.
You are interviewing the company, just like they are interviewing you. By the end of the job interview questions and answers session, you will decide if the job and employer is a right for you. You must ask questions in the interview, and make a decision if you want to work for that employer.
1. Name a weakness
Turn a weakness into a strength. You can answer this question in a variety of ways. Below is one suggested answer:
- “Sometimes it takes a little extra time to complete my work, because I want to provide quality end results"
2. Why do you want this job?
This is where you present your research. Research, research and RESEARCH. This job interview question and answer can be a little challenging. You do not want to come out and say, I just need a job to pay bills. That is a serious no, no. Of course we all need money to live.
Here are a few suggestions:
- “I learned that this company gives back to the community”
- “This company was on a list of best places to work”
- “The corporate culture and the opportunity for advancement is what attracted me to the company”
- "I am interested in this industry and look forward to learning more"
3. Explain the gaps in your work history
Be prepared, because mostly likely they will inquire. A questionable gap is considered 3 to 6 months or more between jobs, with no work experience.
If you took time take off for family, then state that. If you decided to be a lazy couch potato for 5 months, you can say:
- “I took some personal time off”
- “I took time to address some personal projects”
4. What did you like least about your last job and/or employer?
Take the high road here. Even though you may have been working for an idiot and not an icon, you can still spin it to a positive. You do not want to speak negatively about your previous employer.
You can say:
- “I enjoy learning new things and have access to growth opportunities. Even though, I enjoyed my responsibilities, previous company had little to no growth opportunities”
5. What is your greatest strength?
Reference your strengths that would qualify you for the job, such as education, accomplishments, people skills and any related responsibilities.
- “When I am working on a project or task, I don’t like to miss deadlines. I prefer to complete a project ahead ahead of schedule.”
- “I practice communication and follow up skills”
- "I enjoy working with people"
6. What do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?
Relate this question to the job.
- “Preferably, in a position that exercises the skills and experiences that I have acquired from the previous 5 years”
- "Continue to grow with this company and contribute to the team"
- "Acquire a certification or certificate that I can use in the workplace"
7. What do you think is a reasonable salary or rate for this position?
You certainly don’t want to ask for a billion dollars. Do your research by entering the same job description into a job search site, like Indeed.com, then view the pay range. Keep searching until you find a few salary ranges, and use the average from the top three salary.
Based upon what you find, you can say:
- “Based on my research, I would prefer a range from $$$ to $$$. However, I am flexible.”
- “I am looking at a range between $$ and $$, however, I am flexible. Job responsibilities are something I value, and would not want to be disqualified due to salary."
8. How do you handle conflict in the workplace?
You want to handle this interview question carefully. You can say:
- “First, I stay calm. Then I address the conflict directly, by asking the person with the conflict to meet with me to address the issue so we may stay focus on accomplishing goals and objectives.”
- “I like to meet with my manager to let them know about the issue, so we can address the conflict together.”
How to answer job interview questions
Job interview questions and answers are subjective. There is no exact right way to answer a question.
1. Make sure to listen to questions carefully, before answering.
2. Have the What to Ask in an Interview Guide and Form
3. If a recruiter is calling you, make sure you are in a quiet room, have your resume, job description, notes about the company and job contact form in front of you
4. If you are not sure how to answer a question, pause for 2 to 3 seconds and then answer. Don't rattle off some random answer that you can't take back.
5. Make sure you are in a quiet place for the interview
Remember, a job interview is only temporary, and you CAN practice common questions. You can do this !
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