Six Common Job
One of the easiest ways to build confidence before a job interview
is to prepare answers to questions you might be asked. Whether
you're applying for a position as a web programmer, accountant, or
legal secretary, interviewers often use some general questions to
assess candidates, so you'll increase your chances for success if
you prepare for them in advance.
Six common questions are listed below, along with insights from
several recruitment professionals about how to answer. As part of
your interview preparation, take the time to formulate answers to
each question, focusing on specific tasks and accomplishments.
"What are your strengths and weaknesses?"
This is one of the most well-known interview questions, and
interviewers often ask it indirectly, as in, "What did your most
recent boss suggest as areas for improvement in your last
Tailor your "strengths" answer to skills that will benefit the
prospective employer. Though you may have a knack for building
gingerbread houses, it might be of little value for the job at hand.
When it comes to weaknesses, or areas of growth, build on your
answer to include "how you have improved, and specifics on what you
have done to improve yourself in those areas."
"Why did you leave your last position?"
Interviewers will always want to know your reasoning behind leaving
a company ? particularly short stints. Be prepared to tell the
truth, without speaking negatively about past employment.
"Can you describe a previous work situation in which you ... ?"
This question comes in many forms, but what the interviewer is
looking for is your behavior on the job. Your answer could focus on
resolving a crisis, overcoming a negotiation deadlock, handling a
problem coworker, or juggling multiple tasks on a project.
The theory behind this type of question is that past behavior is the
best predictor of future behavior. The key to responding well is
preparing real job examples, describing your behavior in specific
situations that demonstrate important skills that the job requires.
"What is your ideal work environment?"
This question is not about whether you prefer a cubicle or an
office, so think broadly to include ideas about supervision,
management styles, and your workday routine. It can give "a sense of
their work habits, how flexible they are with their schedules, and
how creative they are."
"How do you handle mistakes?"
The best strategy for this general question is to focus on one or
two specific examples in the past and, if possible, highlight
resolutions or actions that might have relevance to the job you're
Employers want to know they're hiring someone with the maturity to
accept responsibility and the wherewithal to remedy their own
is your most notable accomplishment?"
Candidates think of three or four accomplishments and quantify what
their actions meant in terms of increasing revenues, saving
resources, or improving resources.
Being able to quantify your achievements in your career will launch
you ahead of the rest and demonstrate your ability to do the same as
a future employee.