Teacher’s Lesson: Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Summer is coming up! And so as the new batch of Graduates this 2015. Most of the common thing that new graduates do (yours truly as well) is to hunt for a new job and a new career to expand more of what you have learned during college and to earn and be a blessing as well. Most of the Job Fairs today usually happens during summer time. And it’s really quite a perfect timing for us to prep up for that job applications. And one of that is preparing for the Interview.

I use a interview Q&A guidelines for me to be prepared for that interview appointments. And I might say that it really helps a lot on how to deliver answers to some questions that is tricky to ask. I got this copy by the time I’m training for a BPO application, but I believe that it can help in so many ways.

There’s the Q&A and I’ll hope it will help you ace that job:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
    Keep the answer job or skill related.
  2. Tell me about your dream job.
    Don’t mention a specific job. Say something generic like, “I want a job where I love the work and the people I work with.”
  3. Why did you leave your last job?
    Never refer to a major problem with management or say undesirable things about your supervisors, co-workers or the organization. Keep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an opportunity , or a chance to do something better.
  4. What is your weakness?
    Always try to give a positive answer. For example, “It takes me a long time to get ready in the morning, so I set my alarm two hours ahead of my time in for work.”
  5. What are your strengths?
    Sell yourself. Say how you can be a desirable employee for the company.
  6. What do you know about the type of work we do?
    Do a research about the company before going to the job interview.
  7. Why should we hire you?
    This is your chance to show why working for the company is important to you and why you think you will fit in. Don’t mention other applicants for comparison.
  8. Tell me about a suggestion you have made.
    This will show that you care about the company’s growth. Use an example that was accepted and successful, especially one that is related to the position.
  9. Do you consider yourself successful?
    You should always answer yes. Success doesn’t necessarily have to be big ones, just mention how you have achieved goals you have set for yourself.
  10. Why have you been unemployed for such a long time?
    Mention the activities you have done that would help market yourself like trainings or short courses you attended, or for example say, “I gave birth and had to take care of my baby and this experience taught me so much about patience and time management.
  11. What do co-workers say about you?
    Recall good things that your co-workers have said like, “My manager, Mr. Santos, once told me that I am a very organized person”.
  12. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?
    Don’t give a specific answer. Say something like, “I plan on staying for long.” or “As long as we both feel I’m doing a good job.”
  13. Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
    Regardless of your qualifications, state that you are very well qualified for the position. Or you may say something like, “I don’t think I am overqualified, but I am fully qualified.”
  14. Have you ever had to fire anyone? How did you feel about that?
    If you had, always explain yourself in a way that implies you did not want to, but had to.
  15. Are you applying for other jobs?
    Be honest. If you are considered an asset to the company, they just might give you a good salary offer to get you to work with them, instead of the other companies you are applying to.
  16. Describe your management style.
    Mention how you deal with your subordinates or your projects like, “I provide team members with effective guidance and motivation to complete assignments on time so our projects succeed.” Or you can simply say “For me, good communication among members is the best way.”
  17. Are you a team player?
    The answer should always be a yes then cite examples. You may mention situations where you were part of a group or organization, and the activities you’ve had that show you worked well with them.
  18. What is your philosophy towards work?
    Don’t give a monologue here. Say something short and positive like, “My philosophy is to do my best at all times.”
  19. What position do you prefer on a team working on a project?
    You may say you are comfortable with any position in the team, may it be the leader, or follower. This shows that you can lead a team but at the same time also able to follow directions. This shows you are flexible.
  20. Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
    If you have, be honest and never say anything negative about your former boss or company. Focus on saying positive like how much you have grown from the experience.
  21. What irritates you about co-workers?
    Do not speak badly of your past co-workers, as this reflects a flaw on your attitude, not theirs. Divert the negativity posed by the question. Assure the interviewer you get along well with fellow co-workers.
  22. Why do you think you would do well at this job?
    Mention your skills, experience and interest.
  23. What is more important to you: the money or the work?
    You can say something like, “Both are important because everybody needs money to live but job satisfaction is also important.”
  24. What has been your biggest professional disappointment?
    Mention something that was beyond your control but show acceptance and no negative feelings.
  25. What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?
    There are many good qualities you can mention but be sure to give an example or a situation to back your answer. Or if you have a recommendation letter you may say, “I believe my supervisor would say that my strongest point is that I’m reliable, hard-working, efficient, timely, and responsible. I know this because he has written it in my letter of recommendation. Would you like to see it?”
  26. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor.
    Never mention a problem or anything negative about your supervisor. Try to think and then come up with none.
  27. Are you willing to work overtime? Nights? Weekends?
    This is up to you. Be totally honest.
  28. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
    You may say that you thrive under certain types of pressure. Give an example that relates to the type of position applied for.
  29. How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?
    You may point out that you are a quick learner and hard worker. Or state experiences that may not be from work but are somewhat related like for a managerial position, you may cite experiences you had as a leader in a school project.
  30. Do your skills match this job or another job more closely?
    Never give the interviewer the impression that you are more interested on other jobs.
  31. Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job.
    Talk about having fun but at the same time accomplishing something like a team building you had where you gained a good relationship with your co-workers.
  32. Would you be willing to relocate if required?
    Be honest. Discuss with your family beforehand, assuming this question should come up.
  33. What motivates you to do your best on the job?
    Some examples are challenge, achievement, recognition, integrity.
  34. How would you know you were successful on this job?
    You can say something like, “When I have achieved all the goals that were set and I have given more than what is expected of me.”
  35. Are you willing to put the interests of the organization ahead of your own?
    Just say yes. This is a test of your loyalty.
  36. What qualities do you look for in a boss?
    Be generic and positive. Some examples are fair, competent, good motivator.
  37. How do you see yourself five years from now?
    If you answer that you have not thought about it or you have no plans yet, the interviewer could conclude you have no vision and goals. Say something that is achievable but not too low as this could imply you lack initiative. It should be consistent with the objective on your resume and the skills you mentioned you have.
  38. What have you learned from mistakes on the job?
    Mention mistakes you’ve had but be sure to focus more on the lessons you have learned from that mistake.
  39. Do you have any blind spots?
    Don’t say something specific but just say everyone has them that’s why working as a team is very important to point out and cover each other’s blind spots. This answer diverts the question to how you are as a team player.
  40. If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?
    Mention qualities that are needed for the position that you have.
  41. Tell me about a time when you helped resolve a dispute between others.
    Pick a specific incident and what role you played in its resolution.
  42. Describe your work ethic.
    Emphasize benefits to the organization. Things like, determination to get the job done and work hard but enjoy your work are good.
  43. What are your expectations from this job/company?
    You will be able to answer this question well through company research and self-assessment. Think as if you are already part of the company. You may say something like, “I expect challenging tasks.”
  44. Do you have references?
    Contact your references ahead of time and have their names and contact details ready
  45. Do you have any questions for me?
    Always prepare questions, but those that are not answered in the company’s website or those you have not discussed. Asking questions shows you are interested to know more about the company or the job.
  46. Why do you think you will be successful at this job?
    You can say something like, “Basing on my research of the company and the job description, I can say that I have the skills and experience you are looking for.
  47. What do you think of the last company you worked for?
    As always, never say anything negative about the last company you worked for. You can say you learned a lot from the company and the job, and you consider it an important stepping stone in reaching everything you have achieved.
  48. How do you handle criticism?
    You can say something like, “I see criticism as an opportunity to improve my work.” Then give an example where you were criticized and you handled it in a positive way like, “My manager once told me that the reports I gave him were unorganized so I tried to review my past reports and asked if he had any preferences. I followed my manager’s suggestions and reconstructed my reports. My manager was happy with all the reports I handed him after that.”
  49. Do you feel you are ready to take on greater responsibilities?
    Employers ask this especially if the position you are applying for is higher than your former position. This is for them to gauge if you are up for the challenge of the new position. Give a positive answer and show them you are the job.
  50. What are your activities and interests outside of work?
    Say something about your interest and how it can help you on the job you are applying for. Like basketball can teach you team work, or baking can teach you accuracy. If you are applying for a job that requires you to be fit, you may mention physical activities that you do like swimming or any other sport.


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