What Will The Interviewer Ask?

 In Interviewing Strategies

Interviews can be nerve racking because of the unknown.  You don’t know ahead of time exactly what you will be asked, and that makes preparing for the interview more difficult.  But even though you don’t the exact questions that will be asked in any given interview, there are some ways that you can predict with a good degree of accuracy what types of questions will come up.

Here some categories of questions that you should prepare for:

Commonly asked questions

Practice your answers to commonly asked interview questions so that you come across as a well-prepared candidate.  Interviewers usually start with the statement, “Tell me about yourself,” so you should be prepared to speak about your qualifications as they relate to the position.  Let the interviewer know from the start that you are right for this position.

You can also anticipate questions such as:

What are your strengths?

What are your weaknesses?

How would your former boss/co-workers describe you?

What interests you most about this position?

What do you know about our company?

Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer.

Skills mentioned on the job announcement

You should also analyze the vacancy announcement carefully and anticipate questions that may be related to that announcement.  For example, if the vacancy announcement states as a requirement that you must have supervisory experience, it is reasonable to expect that you will be asked about your supervisory experience and your supervisory style.  Or, if you see on the announcement that you will need to able to manage a departmental budget, you should be prepared to discuss your budget management skills at the interview.

Your resume

Your resume is also a source of questions for the interviewer.  The interviewer may ask you about your work experience, your educational background, and any certifications or training that you have received.  Therefore you should review your resume thoroughly prior to the interview and be prepared to answer any questions related to it.

Behavioral questions related to the position

You can also expect the interviewer to ask you behavioral questions.  These are situational in nature, and they usually start with, “Tell me about a time when…” or What would you do if…”  It’s helpful if you think about questions that the interviewer is likely to ask that attempt to identify how you have acted in a previous situation or how you would act in a future situation.  For example, if you are in a customer-facing role, you the interviewer may say, “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer.”  Or if you are a manager, the interviewer might ask, “What steps would you take to handle an underperforming employee?”

By anticipating questions that the interviewer will probably ask you, you will be more prepared when you get to the actual interview.  This level of preparation will also decrease your nervousness because you have a better idea of what you will be asked.

Cheryl Palmer is a career expert who has regularly been quoted in The Ladders, the Wall Street Journal, CBS MoneyWatch, and CNN Money.  She is a career coach, resume writer, and LinkedIn expert.  Download 5 Master Strategies to Land a Job Through Social Media at www.calltocareer.com.

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