Tips and Etiquette

You should be prepared to answer all types of questions. Here are some common questions employers have about you, your education, your work experience, and your goals:

First, tell me a little about yourself...

  • What do you consider to be your greatest strengths? weaknesses?
  • Have you ever had any failures? What did you learn from them?
  • Of which three accomplishments are you most proud?
  • Who are your role models? Why?
  • How does your college education or work experience relate to this job?
  • Why should we hire you rather than another candidate?
  • What do you know about our organization (products or services)?
  • Where do you want to be in five years? Ten years?

Then, give me some information about your education...

  • Why did you choose your major? 
  • Why did you choose to attend your college or university?
  • In which campus activities did you participate?
  • Which classes in your major did you like best? Least? Why?
  • Do your grades accurately reflect your ability? Why or why not?

Let's take a look at your work experience...

  • What job-related skills have you developed?
  • Did you work while going to school? In what positions?
  • What did you learn from these work experiences?
  • What did you enjoy most about your last employment? Least?
  • Have you ever quit a job? Why?
  • Give an example of a situation in which you provided a solution to an employer.
  • Give an example of a time in which you worked under deadline pressure.
  • How do you think a former supervisor would describe your work?

What are your career goals and preferences?

  • What kind of boss do you work best with?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Would you be successful working with a team?
  • What other types of positions are you considering?
  • Are you able to work on several assignments at once?
  • Can you share some of your experiences where you had to juggle several tasks at once?

Be smart about the questions you ask of employers, and prioritize them according to what is important to you (you may not be able to ask everything you want and should probably only ask as many as five). This may be your only opportunity to get information that can have a great impact on whether or not you want to work for a particular company.

The questions below can also serve to impress an interviewer, since they demonstrate your  desire and your long-term thinking:

  • Can you describe a typical work day in your department?
  • What do you like best/least about working at this company? in this department?
  • Is it possible to transfer from one department to another? How common is it?
  • What are the possibilities for professional growth and promotion?
  • How often are performance reviews given?
  • Who determines salary raises and promotions? Can you describe this process?
  • Do you feel free to express ideas and concerns here? Do most employees?
  • How much interaction do you have with superiors, colleagues, and customers?
  • Do you usually work independently or with a team?
  • How long have you been with the company? What have your good and bad experiences been?
  • What would I be expected to accomplish in the first six months? the first year?
  • What are some of the department's ongoing and anticipated special projects?
  • How much contact does staff have with management?
  • What is the rate of employee turnover at the company? in this position?
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