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Questions to Expect

Tell me a little about yourself.
Talk about your accomplishments, experiences and qualifications, not your childhood, family or personal information.

Why do you want to work as a ?
Talk about the interesting details of the job and why they fascinate you.

What qualifications do you have?
Using your fingers, name a skill, list your qualifications. Move to the next skill.

Tell me about my company and why you want to work for us.
Research before the interview. Be sure to find out company's mission, vision and values as well as competitors, products and services and current events and issues.

How did you learn about us?
Friend, relative, career center, newspaper - anything to show that they are not a random choice.

How many other companies have you approached?
"Several for back-up, but this is where I really want to work, this is where my hopes are."

How many employers have you worked for during the last five years?
Tell the truth.

You seem to switch jobs a lot. Why?
Job stagnation, demotions due to down-sizing, career exploration, school schedules or having made a bad choice are all good reasons.

Tell me about your current (or last) job?
List your duties and responsibilities. Explain your accomplishments.

What did you like most about that job?
Talk about responsibilities, challenges, accomplishments and the people.

What would you change about that job?
Don't bad mouth the job. Explain that you'd want more responsibilities. It shows initiative.

Did you ever have a disagreement with a boss? Why? Why not?
Answer, "yes" and you're a troublemaker, "no" and you're a wimp. Find the middle ground: "Sure we disagreed. But we worked well together. For example"

Which courses in school did you find most difficult? Why?
The manager wants to know if you have perseverance: "I got a D in my first term in algebra. My study skills were all wrong. I joined a study group. By the third term I pulled it up to a B and kept it there."

What have you learned from participation in extracurricular activities?
This is important to most managers. They want to see your leadership skills, teamwork, and social skills.

Do you plan to continue your education?
Continuing education courses suggest growth, ambition, promotability - and may qualify for tuition assistance.

What do you plan to be doing for work five years from today?
Figure the promotions you should get if you work hard for this company over the next five years. Tell the manager you plan to be working for him or her in that position. Do not indicate that you hope to start your own business, change careers or go back to school.

Give an example of any major problem that you faced and how you solved it.
Think of something related to school, work, civic or leisure activity. Tell it as a story. The manager wants to see how you define problems, identify options, decide on a solution, handle obstacles, and solve the problem.

What was your greatest failure?
Fessing up to a failure shows maturity. Avoid examples that might reflect on your ability to do the job.

What is your greatest weakness?
Focus on work, not character weaknesses. Turn it into a positive, "I'm accused of being a workaholic. I like to stay and get caught up on the odds and ends before I go home."

What motivates you to do a good job?
Money is not a good answer. A good answer is something like, "having responsibilities and being acknowledged when the job is done right."