Starting Your Career
Preparing for an Interview
One of the most effective ways to prepare for an interview is to anticipate the questions employers might ask and have questions of your own ready. Below are 1) a set of professional and personal characteristics that employers often try to assess, 2) questions people may ask you during the interview, and 3) questions you can ask during the interview to show your interest in the position.
Employers are looking for the best team and company fit. And most employers are looking for the same things. Consider the following traits. Be ready when the interviewer says, “Tell us about yourself.” You should offer examples of personal experiences to illustrate your answers.
- Ambition and drive
- Analytical ability
- Business philosophy and work ethic
- Characteristics and traits
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Job performance
- Learning ability
- Organizational skills
- Planning skills
- Preferred style and type of work
Here are some common questions you might be asked:
- Can you tell us a little about yourself?
- What’s the most difficult adjustment you’ve ever had to make?
- How would you describe your work style?
- If you had a dispute with a co-worker, how would you handle it?
- What are your career goals for the next three to five years?
- What factors most influence your willingness to take a risk?
- What examples can you give me that reflect your ability to apply good judgment in a challenging situation?
- What has been your experience in working as a part of a team?
- In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of working as a part of a team? Why?
- Give me an example of something you had to learn that was difficult.
- On a scale from one to five, how do you rate your communication skills?
- If you found out that one of your co-workers was doing something dishonest, what would you do?
- What’s your personal definition of success?
- What are your plans for self-improvement and personal development?
- How do you go about organizing yourself to accomplish goals?
- What’s your process for establishing priorities?
- What’s one thing about yourself that you’d most like to change?
- Which of your personal characteristics do you feel enhances your effectiveness in communicating with others?
- Why do you think you’re a good fit for this position?
- If you had an opportunity to develop a basic set of values and beliefs that would serve as a company’s foundation for success, what would be on your list?
- If I had three people here who know you well, how would they describe you?
- What are one or two areas in which you think you could improve your performance?
- Of what accomplishments in your life are you most proud?
Usually an interviewer will ask if you have any questions. Or you might want to ask some questions on your own. Here are some ideas:
- What does a regular day look like for this department/business?
- How many people are on staff in this department/business?
- Does this department work closely with any other internal departments?
- What’s the customer service philosophy of your company?
- What’s your favorite thing about working here?
- What’s the career growth potential for this position?
- What’s your time frame for filling this position?