Welcome to our page on job interview questions. This page will give you an overview of the job interview process as well as some answers to common job interview questions.
Job Interview Topics
- Important Pre-Interview Thoughts
- How to Prepare & Practice for a Job Interview
- How to Answer Job Interview Questions
- Sample Job Interview Questions & Answers
- Questions to Ask the Employer
- Following Up After the Interview
- Job Interview Thank You Note or E-Mail
Important Pre-Interview Thoughts
Before you begin the process of preparing for a job interview, I would like for you to take a moment and realize how great you are. You will need to believe in yourself and your unique skill-set if you are to be successful throughout the job search process.
And if you have been asked to an interview, you have a lot to be proud of already. It’s important to keep in the back of your mind that you were selected
Prepare & Practice For The Interview
Two of the most important aspects of preparing for an interview is doing research and practicing interview questions.
How To Research For An Interview
Once you have scheduled an interview it is crucial that you start researching to prepare for the job interview.
Review The Job Listing
First, you will want to go over the initial job listing once more and verify the job specific skills they are looking for so that you can emphasize them during the interview.
You’ll also want to see if there are specific vocabulary words they use to describe processes that maybe you’ve called something else. Ultimately, you want to be on the same page as the future employer.
Research The Company
Next, you will want to do more general research on the company through a Google search our on websites like GlassDoor.com.
Look for information about what the company does, their mission statement, their involvement in the community, or any other info that will help you make a connection with the employer. Information like how large or how small a company can give you some idea to who you may be interviewing with.
Also look for information on how much the pay and any feedback you can find from their past employees online. Searching various news feeds can also be a great place to look for information. Find out if a company has been around for awhile or if they are new in town.
All of this information will help you understand the mentality of the company and their employees.
You will also want to research yourself. It sounds silly, but you need to go back through your career and take a good inventory of your skills and positive outcomes that you’ve been a part of.
You should try and come up with three scenarios from each job that you can use to answer interview questions. They should be specific and with as much detail as possible. Remember to target times where you used skills the employer is specifically looking for.
How To Practice For An Interview
How To Answer Job Interview Questions
The STAR method is important because it gives us a rough guideline for how we will answer. STAR stands for Situation or Task, Action, & Result. The situation or task you were asked to perform in your job that presented a challenge. The action you took to overcome that situation in a positive way. And the result of the situation – what happened?
STAR gives us an outline on how to search back through our career and find good situations that we can re-tell as answers. What we also have to do is turn our STAR answers into a story.
Most good stories are made up of three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. Your interview answers should also have a beginning, middle, and end. With STAR as your guide, setting the stage with the situation will be your beginning. The lead up and subsequent action acts as the middle of your story. And the result is the resolution of your story – the ending.
A few key takeaways to spinning your experience into a story:
· You are the hero of the story. And every story is a success story.
· The points of STAR will act as place-markers in your story. From A to B to C.
· Your answer should hit two key points for the employer: you have a skill they are looking for and you have experience you can talk about using that skill.
· Your answer should be in the time range of 2-3 minutes. Any outside information you tell during your story that does not advance the idea of how skilled you are is wasting time.
“What is your greatest strength?”
This is a common question that you may be asked. Here’s my answer:
My greatest strength is my ability to communicate. As the Career Services Director I coordinated efforts across departments with my director colleagues to address our collective ability to communicate with students. I was responsible for talking with students after they graduated. Part of that responsibility was working with the director of finance to communicate any financial issues or questions between our director and the student. The director would also help me with additional student contact information from their file if I had lost touch with a student. Our ability to keep a continuous line of communication open between each other and the students helped me to find more students jobs and helped her have more students pay their bills.
The great thing is that this story works for multiple answers. Obviously, you don’t want to give the same answer to multiple questions, but you can use your answers differently depending on the questions asked and the company involved.
So with the example I give above, if I wanted to use a different story to describe my greatest strength I will still have the above story in my back pocket. I could use it to answer questions like, “why should we hire you?”, “tell me about a time when you had to communicate with your co-workers”, or other similar questions.
Sample Job Interview Questions & Answers
Below are some quick notes about specific interview questions you will be asked. Click the links below to find out more information on answering each of these common interview questions.