Interview Typical Questions

Interview QuestionsPaula wrote in and asked, “What are some typical interview questions? Can you list some interview mock questions from a typical interview and how to answer them? I especially want to be able to answer the weakness interview question.”

In this article, I’ll answer all of these questions and many more. You might want to check out my How to Get People to Like you article as well. It shows you how to establish good rapport, so that the interviewer will like you.

What to Wear for an Interview

If you are not certain what to wear, error on the side of caution and follow these rule’s.

Recommended Mens Interview Clothing

  • Dark Suit: Navy blue and grey received the most votes. Dry cleaned as well
  • Plain Silk Tie
  • Plain Long Sleeved Shirt: Light colors are preferred and the shirt should be starched
  • Black Shoes

Recommended Womens Interview Clothing

  • Dark Suit & Dress: Same color as the men, but dresses received the most votes
  • Plain Top: Again no patterns
  • Jewelry: As little as possible
  • Nothing Revealing

Entering the Interview

  • Bring everything in one brief case, that is organized
  • Have many cover letter’s and resume’s
  • Offer a solid equal, up and down handshake
  • Maintain eye contact 60 to 70% of the time
  • Act enthusiastic, but professional
  • Have an interesting story to tell, if the interviewer is chatty
  • After you enter the room provide them with 3 to 5 seconds to look you over
  • Sit when asked to
  • Read my article on Getting People to Like you for more info

Answering Common Questions

I’m taking these question’s directly from a local corporation’s interview sheet.

“Tell me about yourself?”

  • Don’t provide your life history
  • They want your job history and the skills that make you a good hire
  • Don’t get personal
  • Talk about how experiences fulfill the needs listed in the job advertisement
  • This should take no more than 90 seconds to answer

“What are your strengths?”

  • List the same skill’s they stated they were looking for on the job advertisement
  • Don’t repeat the list verbatim (Use your own words)


“What are your weaknesses?”

  • If you don’t give any, they will think you have ego problems
  • Give a weakness that is a strength. Ex: If you must work with a lot of people, state that you don’t prefer working alone, or you prefer interacting with many people or you get bored.
  • Provide ways that you are working to overcome these weaknesses
  • Explain how you don’t let these weaknesses effect your work

“What (excites / motivates) you?”

  • Tell them that using the skill’s they are looking for motivates you (List those skills)
  • Ex: “I get charged up when I help people solve their problems”
  • Never answer money
  • Your best bet is to say solving specific problem’s excites you

“What are you most proud of?”

  • Keep these answers related to work (Never go Personal)
  • Give examples of how you helped past employers a lot of money, because of your efforts
  • Give examples on how you solved the problems the advertisement said they needed solved

“What is your biggest failure?”

  • Don’t say you have never failed
  • You may say, “I look at a failure as feedback on how to improve”
  • Give an example in which unforeseen circumstances caused the failure
  • Never blame other people for any failure you describe
  • Talk about how mistakes have made you a better person

“How do you (stay organized / get work done on time)?”

  • State that you constantly prioritize your most important tasks and then stay till the job is done
  • Give an example of when you did just this

“How do you handle pressure?”

  • State that you enjoy pressure, and don’t want a boring job (Unless this job is boring)
  • Give an example of when you handled a high pressure situation in the past

“Have you ever lost your temper?”

  • Say, “I’m not the type of person that thinks getting angry solves problems. If I get frustrated, I just stick to it and get the job done.”

“How do you deal with stress?”

  • Tell them how you relieve stress through physical activity or socializing with friends
  • Of course don’t talk about going out for drinks

“Our company believes in … how do you feel about that?”

  • Any company culture question’s must immediately be agreed with
  • Then give an example of your actions embodying this culture

“Are you detail oriented?”

  • Same as the organization question above
  • Give an example of when being detail oriented helped save money, or customers

“Rate yourself on…?”

  • If you are asked to rate yourself on specific skill’s, always answer with an 8 or 9

“Tell me something interesting about yourself?”

  • Give the interviewer an interesting story about something that happened outside of work
  • Make sure your rule in the story had you doing something exciting, but not illegal

“Tell me about your last performance review?”

  • Stick with the positives and ignore the negatives
  • Never say anything bad about anyone else

“How do you handle criticism?”

  • Companies will not hire someone that doesn’t welcome criticism
  • Say, “I welcome criticism, if it is constructive. I then use it to improve my performance anytime the situation occurs again.”

“How do you try to improve?”

  • Give an example of a failure, based off of an unforeseen issue, and how you prepare yourself from similar issues now

“What would random person say about you?”

  • I’m the person people come to for (insert strong quality)
  • Give an example in which you back up that skill

“Do you prefer working alone or on a team?”

  • Your best answer will be based on what you will be required to do with this company
  • Always give a positive example on the other side as well

“Why are you leaving your current employer?”

  • Never give a negative response on either your employer or co-worker’s
  • Explain how excited you are to work for this new employer
  • Maybe it is a dream?
  • Explain how the previous employer helped you gain the skill’s needed to work for this better company

“Why should we hire you?”

  • State what their advertisement said they were looking for
  • Explain how you are experienced in each skill and be specific
  • Also, explain what added value you provide that other candidates do not

That’s All Folk’s

I hope I answered all your question’s. If you have a question on this topic, or any other topic, leave it in the comment section below.

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11 Responses to “Interview Typical Questions”

  1. Its been nice to go through your post. It has been informative, thanks

  2. sujith says:

    Awesome blog post, numerous high-quality data. I am going to show my friends and ask them the things they think.

  3. David R. says:

    Great blog post! I’m looking for a new job after 13 years so this is going to help a lot! Any suggestions on writing a powerful resume for a senior software developer / team lead / product manager? Thanks as usual!

    • admin says:

      Thank you very much 🙂 I haven’t applied for an interview at a company for anything other than consulting work for a long time. In the past I kept everything very short. I listed everything I knew in a table with years of experience. I then listed projects I’ve worked on with links to those projects online in a table. I also included references and contact information for each of the projects. I never tried to be cute and I left all of the paragraphs of information on why I’d be a good fit on the cover page.

      I now just look for consulting work and contact the owner directly and ask for a meeting. I normally work for a percentage of profits so they have nothing to lose by hiring me. I’ve found I can get a never ending supply of consulting work when I ask for a share of profits without any up front money. I also make way more money when I do that as well.

      I hope that helps and I wish you the best of luck and happy future prospects 🙂

  4. nikhi says:

    i have a problem regarding xsl. i am trying to create a xsl file but could not find it in my eclipse tried with many downloads to install but could not find the way out.
    Can you help me to install xsl editor in eclipse.
    Thanking you

  5. Jay says:

    Hi,

    Since you have skills at the intersection of marketing and computers and people, do you think it would be worth talking about making a good technical resume? It seems like as I accumulate little skills here and there, it starts to clutter things, and technical work experience gets really verbose as well. Most guides I’ve seen for resume writing are geared toward either new graduates or less technical fields.

    The other trick is that you don’t know if your audience will be someone with a technical background in the area of concern or just an HR generalist tasked with weeding through them. I read a horror story once where an HR person said she couldn’t find qualified web developers anywhere because no one’s resume had CSS listed on it. It was such a basic skill that no one thought it was worth adding. So I get paranoid and don’t want to leave anything out.

    Just a thought. Keep up the great videos.

    -Jay

    • Derek Banas says:

      Hi Jay,

      I was always told it is best to list skills out in a table format in alphabetical order on the first page of the resume. Next to that I listed years of experience. I was also told by hr people that the resume should never be more then 2 pages. Yes I would always list CSS on a resume 🙂

      In the past when I was looking to apply some place I’d call and ask the HR people to send me a sample of the best resume they received. Every time i tried this I was successful, but I’m pretty good on the phone 🙂

      Derek

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