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Interview Questions – Prepare for the Unexpected

Interview questions will vary based on your industry, background and the position you're interviewing for, but at its root, the interview is all about getting to know a potential employee, both as a person and as a fit for your team. Remember, it’s a two-way street. It’s also the time to ask your questions to the employer.

I’ve given you some good ways to prep for that interview here. I also wanted to give you some of the general or expected interview questions as well as some that you may not expect. I highly recommend that you prepare for all of these.

Commonly Asked Questions in an Interview

1. Tell me about yourself or How would you describe yourself?

2. Why are you interested in this opening?

3. Why do you want to work here?

4. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

5. Describe a typical work week.

6. Describe your work style.

7. Do you work well with other people?

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

9. What is your dream job?

10. What are your career goals?

11. Why should I hire you?

The most common interview questions are the ones that will come up in the first 10 minutes of the interview. They aren’t market-specific, but they are meant to see how you can communicate your success, your goals and just you. But these are no light questions. Keep in mind too that the most common questions are the ones that will start off the interview and lead the interview. Keep the answers in your back pocket because they will come up.

The job-specific questions will always come up in interviews. The questions are generalized, but your answers should be tailored and tweaked with every interview. Chances are, you won't hear about the job from the same person or hiring site, and I hope you won't use the same one-liner answer to convince the interviewee why you should be hired.

Some questions you may not be expecting, but should certainly prepare for are:

1. Tell me about something that's not on your resume.

2. What makes you unique?

3. How will your greatest strength help you perform?

4. How do you handle failure?

5. How do you handle success?

6. Do you consider yourself successful? Why?

7. How do you handle stress and pressure?

8. Are you willing to fail?

9. Describe your work ethic.

10. Do you take work home with you?

11. How are you different from the competition?

12. How do you view yourself? Whom do you compare yourself to?

13. How does this job fit in with your career aspirations?

14. How many hours a week do you normally work?

15. How well do you assimilate into a new environment?

16. How would you adjust to working for a new company?

17. How would you describe the pace at which you work?

18. How would your co-workers describe your personality?

19. How would your current boss or professor describe you?

20. Is there anything else we should know about you?

21. What motivates you?

22. Are you a self-motivator?

23. What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?

24. Do you ask for permission or forgiveness?

25. What has been the greatest disappointment in your life?

26. What are you most proud of in your life?

27. What are you personally passionate about?

28. What do you do outside of work (hobbies)?

29. What are your pet peeves?

30. What is the worst thing you've gotten away with?

31. What will you miss most about your current / last job?

32. What won’t you miss about your current / last job?

33. Would you rather be liked or respected?

34. If you could relive the last ten years of your life, what would you do differently?

35. Why should I take a risk on you?

The interviewer is going to ask you these unexpected questions, not only to get to know you better, but to see how you think on your feet. This is where you can make yourself stand out among the rest with your own personal story, experience and self -awareness. In the early questions, the interviewer isn't looking to throw you off, rather looking to make you feel comfortable to continue the interview.

As you review these questions, feel free to turn these around to ask some of the same questions to the interviewer?

For example:

1. Why are you passionate about this company?

2. What motivates you to work here?

3. What would you miss most if you were to leave this company?

Now, go out and conquer the world! You have the tools to be well prepared for that interview.

Well, that’s all I have for now.


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