Tell me about yourself
Yourgoal:To prove to the interviewer that you have theskills and experience to be the ideal or perfect candidate for the job.
Keep the answer short at about two minutes.
Focus on work-related skills and accomplishments, not personal information.
Tell the interviewer why you think your work-related skills andaccomplishments would be an asset to the company.
Describe your education or work history very briefly.
Tell the interviewer about things you have done and jobs you havehad related to the position you are interviewing for.
Mention one or two personal characteristics that have helped youaccomplish your goals, giving short examples to illustrate.
Why did you leave your last job? Why are you lookingfor a new job?
Yourgoal:To minimize any problems and to show that youhad positive reasons for leaving previous positions.
Mention positive reason for leaving.
Never criticize supervisors, co-workers, or the company/organization.
Don’t mention major problems with management.
Tell the interviewer about any neutral reasons for leaving.
Stay positive no matter how bad the situation you are leaving maybe.
Use the right words so you don’t sound self-serving. Instead ofsaying “I left to seek better opportunities” say “ Ilooking for a situationwhich will use more of my skills and experience.”
Avoid sounding like a “job hopper.”
Turn this into an opportunity to tell the interviewer about yourskills and abilities, if possible.
Keep your explanation short or the interviewer may think you’remaking excuses.
Why do you want to work here?
Yourgoal:To show that you know a lot about the companyand that your qualifications match the company’s needs
Find out all you can about the company, including the departmentwhere you would work and the people you would work for.
Research the company’s products or services and the positive thingsit has done for the community or society.
Be familiar with the company’s mission statement and core values.
For large U.S. companies, look for information about the companythrough the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or the Better businessBureau, in addition to the “About Us” section on the company’s own website.
Don’t make the answer all about you. Focus on the positive thingsabout the company, including its reputation in the industry.
Tell the interviewer how your qualifications meets a need in theircompany.
Show the interviewer that you are being selective about where youwant to work and are not willing to take just any job offered to you.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Yourgoal:To assure the interviewer that if the companyhires you, you will continue working for them, and that you have given carefulthought to your future career plans.
Reassure the interviewer that you are not a “job hopper” by tellingthe interviewer that you plan to stay and grow with the company.
Research the company to find out the logical next positions to moveup in the company.
If there is more than one direction you can move in to move up inthe organization, name theses paths and talk about your options depending onyour future interests and performance, and the company’s needs.
Show that you are motivated and have definite plans about doing morein the company.
Avoid naming a specific job or position or you will seem to narrowor inflexible.
Do not talk about personal goals or plans.
Questions about marriage, babies, and childcare are illegal, but ifyou don’t plan to make any big personal life changes soon, you can volunteerthat information.
What are your strengths?
Yourgoal:To show how your strengths match the needs ofthe job
Know your strengths in three categories:
Knowledge-based skills – These are skills developed through educationand experience, such as computer skills, university degrees, languages youspeak, and technical ability.
Transferable Skills - Thesesare skills that you can take from one job to another, such as being able tomanage people well, being good at solving complex problems, being good atplanning, and being a good communicator.
Personal Traits – These are qualities about you are a person, suchas being dependable, being hard working, being flexible, and being outgoing.
Review with the interviewer your strengths, which are already notedin your resume and cover letter.
Give specific evidence or examples of how your strengths have helpedyou in the past.
What are your weaknesses?
Yourgoal:To name weaknesses that can be improved onand that may be an asset in the right circumstances.
Don’t try to present a strength as a weakness, such as being aworkaholic or being to detail-oriented.
Keep the weakness a small one.
Show how you are working to improve on your weakness.
Give specific evidence or examples of how you’re working to overcomeyour weakness.
Tell the interviewer about a weakness you have already overcome.
Tell the interviewer about a mistake you made in the pass to showthat you can learn from your mistakes.
Tell the interviewer about a weakness that does not relate to theduties of this job.