FAQs of Job Interview!

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You are on the spot but do not be caught with your guard down. Here are 10 of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) during the interview.
Caution: This is merely a guide and not to be treated as textbook answers because there is none.

Question # I    : Tell me about yourself. 

Tips:     Prepare a two-to-three minute presentation that briefly introduces yourself (where you are from), your personal interests (hobbies, community involvement, etc.), your work history and recent career experience, with the most time spent on detailing accomplishments in the last two areas.

Question # II    : Why do you want to join this company/organization? 

Tips:     This question is intended to clue them in on your motive for wanting to join. So dig up the facts about the company, its culture and market. Don’t offer “give-me”-oriented answers such as “Oh, because it’s such a cool place to work”, “I like your salary and benefits package” or “My friends are already here and it makes it easier for us to hang out together”. Instead, demonstrate what you can chip in to help achieve the company’s goals and how your skills and experience match their requirements.

Question # III    : Why are you looking for a new job? 

Tips:     This may seem like a straightforward question, but it is very easy to slip up if you are unprepared. Keep in mind that relating anything in a negative light is in bad form. Even if you got fired from your last job, try to keep your explanation honest, brief and positive. And since most terminations happen because of an ill fit between the company and employee, not so much because of performance, you could also try taking this angle.

If you left voluntarily, do not dwell on the negative reasons for leaving; instead demonstrate how you can make a significant contribution to the company’s objectives.

Some sample answers that may work:

  • I want to move my career in a new direction (Make sure you say something about this new direction).
  • My company was restructuring and I chose to search for better opportunities elsewhere.
  • I decided to make a change because I wanted to keep developing new skills but was unable to do this in my previous company.

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Question # IV    : What kind of position are you looking for?

Tips:     Vague answers such as “I want an exciting job” or “I want to grow my skills in this area” show lack of career focus and motivation.

Instead, zoom in on the position and how it stands to benefit from your skills and experience. Here is a good example: “I have a strong ability to communicate and market a product, as proven in my two-year experience as marketing officer at the University/Company A. I believe I understand the consumer industry and can add value to your marketing efforts.”

Question # V   :  What do you consider are your strengths and weakness? 

Tips:     This is a time to be honest, but do not go to the extremes. You do not want to confess that you are really terrible at organizing and could never be on time, do you? Neither do you want to make yourself out to be the next best thing since sliced bread.

Rather, be clear and concise in describing qualities that demonstrate how you take responsibility for your actions and show that you take pains to draw lessons from work experiences.

Question # VI   :  What do you know about our company? 

Tips:     This is where your research should serve you well. Do not respond by repeating each fact you learned about the company, because it can seem arrogant and memorized. Do mention its major products and services, markets and the latest developments. Also try to display an eagerness to learn more about the company by asking questions yourself.

Question # VII   :  What do you consider to be your greatest achievements? 

Tips:    This is a way for interviewers to gauge how you managed people/projects/yourself in a successful manner. Mention two or three achievements that showcase a variety of strengths. For instance, relate how your organizational skills helped you to pull off a successful event, how your problem-solving skills put an effective resolution to a work situation or how your ability to handle pressure enabled you to deliver important reports under difficult circumstances.

Question # VIII   :  Where do you see yourself five years from now? 

Tips:     Respond to reflect your drive to reach a certain level of work success by that time. State realistic expectations and propose a real plan on how you intend to make career progress. Never sound overly confident, fearful or confused.

Question # IX    :  What tasks you perform in your last job?

Tips:     Be honest and to the point, even if your assignments did not exactly match those in the new position. But also take the opportunity to mention any specific projects you volunteered for or elected committee positions you held that indicated pertinent experience to the position offered.

Question # X    :  When you start a new job, How do you establish good relationships with your new colleagues and supervisors? 

Tips:     It is important here to be enthusiastic and positive. Tell them how you worked well with your past colleagues or peers in projects or committees. Networking skills are important so show how you used yours in the past in good stead.

Reference: Street SMART Guide, JSBD

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Writer: Md. Shumsud Doha, Asst. Director-CDC, Daffodil International University

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