Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Common interview questions

Are you trying to find a better job right now?  Well hopefully this post will be helpful to all you job hunters!  I'm currently looking for another job and I'm finding that job interviewing is a much more in depth process than I thought.  I'll tell you about my recent interview experience and list a few common interview questions I recall over the years.

Today, I went to my first group interview ever!  Apparently a group interview is just like any other interview except there are a lot more people present when you answer interview questions and you also have to be more aggressive in the sense of taking action and answering as many questions as you can get your hands on. 

I was fairly nervous because I was told by the recruiter that I was responsible for answering many questions..  But as life likes to make a twist on things, it turns out that a good few people bailed out on the interview, leaving me with just one other person.  Seems like a good situation right? 

When I made it to the training room, I sat down behind a long white table across from two interviewers.  There was another candidate sitting a couple chairs to my right.

I had tried to prepare the night before by researching the company and finding out what kinds of questions they ask and what to expect.  The recruiter also told me of a few things I should expect such as what kinds of questions the interviewers would ask.

I ended up writing answers to possible interview questions and speaking them aloud to myself as if I were being asked.  I practiced throughout the night with possible interview questions.  But even with all that preparation, there always has to be just one little thing that is different from what I predicted.  Or maybe I just didn't practice enough, lol.

Anyway, with only two interviewers and two people, we had all thought that we would do the interview differently and have separate, personal interviews.  Unfortunately, one of the managers dropped in late and so there were three interviewers and two interviewees.

We ended up doing the interview as a group discussion. D:

I was asked a lot of questions about sales because hey, we live in a retail dominated world.  It was good for me because I have a ton of experience with sales and having the pressure to reach goals.

I thought that it would be a good idea for me to list as many interview questions that I can recall just for future reference.  Maybe this can help me and others in the future if we need to prepare for an interview.

Before I list the interview questions, here are some things that you must do before going to the interview:

Dress professionally
No matter where you apply to in a job, it's always best to show respect to the interviewer and present yourself professionally.  Don't wear jeans or khakis.  Make sure to wear dress pants or a dress skirt with stockings.  Wear dress shoes and a collared dress shirt or elegant blouse.  Accessorize minimally and keep your makeup and hair simple and natural.  Go for the clean-cut look.

Don't be arrogant 
It's not good if you appear like a show-off.  Although you may have some good experiences and things to talk about yourself, there is a difference between confident and cocky.  Present your accomplishments and strengths but be humble about it and don't make it seem like you have the job in the bag.

Show confidence
As I mentioned before, confidence is about 'stepping up to the plate' and presenting your accomplishments and backing them up even though you may not have much faith in them.  Be sure to make eye contact with the interviewers and avoid looking down at the table or anywhere else.  It will make you appear unfocused.  Try not to fidget with your hands/feet.

Present yourself as being self motivated
I hear from many sources that interviewers and hiring managers LOVE people who are self motivated because it shows that they will work hard without the manager hounding them to do their work.
(I'm super excited to say that this is how I presented myself in my interview today.  For example, when they asked me how competitive I was on a scale of one to ten, instead of outright lying and claiming to be a ten, I elaborated on how I used to be in an art major and from that time, I learned to push myself to do my personal best because I could never be the other person, I can only improve upon myself.)

OKAY!  So now onto the most common interview questions I've gotten.

1. What is your greatest accomplishment?
2. Why do you want to work for us?
3. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
4. Tell me about a challenging/difficult situation you've had to face and how did you deal with it?
5. Tell me about yourself.
6. How do you deal with an angry customer?

There are many informative websites that give information on how to prepare for an interview.  Here are a few cool ones I've found:

Hope this post was helpful and good luck!

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