1. Tell me about yourself. Know your resume details and state them concisely.
2. Why do you want to work for us? Do any research possible ahead of time to be ready for this question. Explain that you were impressed by the company’s policies, reputation, working conditions, etc.
3. Why should I hire you? What are your strengths? Take a personal inventory; take time to think about events in your life. Think about ways in which you’ve saved your company money, how you’ve reorganized and raised productivity, how you get along with your boss and co-workers, how you developed new systems or improved old ones.
Put together a list of your strengths: leadership, work ethic, ambition, loyalty, determination, dependability, efficiency, ability to work under pressure, to cope, to get along with people, steady work history, extraordinary abilities. Use qualities that would be beneficial to the employer for this job.
If you have limited work experience, think about how you’ve organized your life: how you’ve managed on a limited budget and how you made decisions for major purchases or important life choices. Perhaps you’re a mother who organized a playgroup for the preschoolers in your neighborhood, or maybe you volunteer for Big Brothers.
4. What are your weaknesses? Proceed cautiously with this question. Either turn a weakness into a positive or talk about a personal weakness rather than business or work-related.
5. What did you like most/least about your last job? What you like most should fit the job for which you are applying – if you are applying with a conservative company, don’t answer, “a casual environment.” Be careful that negative feedback about your manager, your boss, or your co-workers may send a message about your interpersonal skills so be prepared to explain further..
6. Why did you leave your prior job? Be honest, be brief, but be diplomatic. Keep it simple; don’t get overly detailed or ramble. Don’t make excuses for yourself. If you were fired say so – they will find out eventually. Try to keep things positive. Don’t talk negatively about your past employer.
7. Where do you see yourself five years from now? This can be translated as “are you going to be around for the long haul?” A company is looking for stability. Keep it realistic and tie it into their company.
8. Where do you see yourself 10 to 20 years from now? Companies like to see people with a plan of action. Again, keep it simple and realistic. It is safe to say that you expect promotions and salary increases in line with productivity.
9. What are your salary requirements? Always give a range – go low and go high. “I’m interviewing in the range between ___ and ___.” Don’t negotiate until they are going to make you the offer. Wait until you have put some substance behind your background and the company is actively interested. That might mean waiting until the second or third interview. Remember – stablish value and then talk price.
10. When are you available to start? If you’re not working, immediately. If you are working, it is important you give two weeks notice – more if you are in a management or supervisory position.