Basic Interview Questions I
1. Tell me a little about yourself.
2. What are your strengths?
3. What are your weaknesses?
4. What are your short term goals?
5. What are your long term goals?
6. What do you want to be doing five years from now?
7. If you could change one thing about your personality, what would it be and why?
8. What does success mean to you?
9. What does failure mean to you?
10. Are you an organized person?
11. In what ways are you organized and disorganized?
12. Do you manage your time well?
13. How do you handle change?
14. How do you make important decisions?
15. Do you work well under pressure?
1. “Tell me a little about yourself.”
You should take this opportunity to show your communication skills by speaking clearly and concisely in an organized manner. Because there is no right or wrong answer for this question, it is important to appear friendly.
“I attended MIT where I majored in Electrical Engineering. My hobbies include basketball, reading novels, and hiking.”
“I grew up in Korea and studied accounting. I worked at an accounting firm for two years and I enjoy bicycling and jogging.”
“I’m an easy going person that works well with everyone. I enjoy being around different types of people and I like to always challenge myself to improve at everything I do.”
“I’m a hard worker and I like to take on a variety of challenges. I like pets, and in my spare time, I like to relax and read the newspaper.”
“I’ve always liked being balanced. When I work, I want to work hard. And outside of work, I like to engage in my personal activities such as golfing and fishing.”
“I went to the University of Washington and majored in English Literature. I went to graduate school because I really enjoyed learning. Afterwards, I started my career at Boeing as a web content editor. I’ve been there for 3 years now. Although my emphasis is in writing, I like numbers. I think solving logic problems and riddles are quite fun. I also enjoy jogging, reading, and watching movies.”
There is no right or wrong answer for this question. Most important thing you should remember is how you deliver the message. The example above shows a short answer telling a little bit about the person. The answer went from education to career, and then to personal interests all in a smooth flow.
2. “What are your strengths?”
This is a popular interview question. They want to know what you think of yourself. Although this is a general question, there is a wrong and right answer. The wrong answer is a generic answer saying you are organized and friendly. Although it will not hurt you during the interview, it will certainly not help you either. Answer this question based on the type of job you are applying for.
“I believe my strongest trait is my attention to detail. This trait has helped me tremendously in this field of work.”
“I’ve always been a great team player. I’m good at keeping a team together and producing quality work in a team environment.”
“After having worked for a couple of years, I realized my strength is accomplishing a large amount of work within a short period of time. I get things done on time and my manager always appreciated it.”
“My strongest trait is in customer service. I listen and pay close attention to my customer’s needs and I make sure they are more than satisfied.”
Let’s say I am interviewing for a management position. You should mention traits that are important for managers.
“A couple strengths I have are planning and execution, and working with people. I’ve always been very good at planning and detailing all the steps. Even in college, I would spend time organizing my week and planning a strategy to tackle each class or assignment. Executing a plan has always come easy for me as well. I believe it’s due to proper planning. I also work with people very well in a way where I use the strengths of each individual in a team to produce the best results. Because of my easy going personality, I’ve been told by my directs that it’s easy to approach me.”
If you are applying for an accounting position, you should mention strong traits an accountant should have and claim them to be yours.
“I’m very detail oriented, good at managing time, and very honest. I always incorporate managing time and being detailed together. By nature I’ve been detail oriented, and that resulted in taking too much time on a particular task. After incorporating time management into the mix, I found that my work and efficiency increased dramatically. I plan better and produce higher quality work in a time constraint environment. Finally, I’m a very honest person. When I was working as a valet attendant during college, a lady gave me a twenty dollar bill to pay for the three dollar fee. She almost drove off the lot, but I stopped her and said here is your change. My co-workers said I should have considered the change as tip, but I know what I did was honest and right. You can fool other people, but you can’t fool yourself. That’s what I believe.”
The second example can seem a little wordy. But the power of an example is greater than any great words you can string together. Everyone can claim they are honest, but with an example, it is much more believable
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