8 Job Interview Questions And Answers That Job Seekers Should Know

In any normal job interview situation, as a job seeker, you will find that there is NO set format for the way an interview happens. What you will find, however is that there are some questions that you can guarantee will be asked when you are sitting in that room opposite your interviewer. And it is your job to know not only what they are, but how to answer them. Here then, for you is the secret of how to pass that Q & A session. These are 8 key questions that you will be asked during your job interview. And I provide the proper answers to them. Are you sitting comfortably? Lets begin.

1. What are your strengths? A fair question. You pick the three most important attributes that you feel will get you the job, state them, and give examples of how you have used these strengths in a work situation. Once you can show and illustrate how you used these attributes, you are taking a step closer to that paycheck.

2. What are your weaknesses? Ok, a dreaded question we all fear in any interview. How you handle this is to pick something in your life or work acumen that you have made positive steps to repair or redress. Care should be taken in picking this weakness. It should not be a current Achilles’ Heel, or a thing that might eliminate you from getting the job - but something from your past that was redressed. Showing the ability to overcome a weakness is a better answer.

8 job interview questions and answers a jobseeker should know.
8 job interview questions and answers a jobseeker should know. | Source

3. Why should we hire you? So what this question is really asking is what makes you special and where do your major strengths lie? Some people struggle from memory to dig out the answers to this, but in fact the answer lies right in the description of the job you are applying for. Problem solving skills and ability listed in there - Check. Ability to work to deadlines and delegate if necessary – check. Exactness and attention to detail required – check. Read the Job Description, as this is so important. Memorize your answer to this question, and practice the answer in your head or in front of a mirror if you need to. Because you ARE getting that job.

Job Interview Questions about Goals

4. What are your goals? Which goals? This should consist of two parts and even though it’s not stated in the question, you should talk about your short and long term goals. So talk to your interviewer about the kind of job you would eventually like to do, and then the various steps you will need to take to get there. These are what ought to constitute your goals. This is the joined up thinking they want to see. And it should be as close to honest as possible.

5. Why do you want to work here? Hey! The money is so good! No! Think. If you have prepared for this job interview properly, then you should have a good inside knowledge of the company’s values. Don’t go any further here till you know what they are. All companies have them. A Bank has them. A public utility has them. A Union has them. Every organization works around certain values, so get to know them. There are always values, and do's and don'ts. Ask around – ask someone who works there if need be.

You should also know the company’s mission statement, development plans and products. Homework is essential here. This is yet another question masquerading as a big question - "just how much do you know about our company and the business we do?" If you cannot answer that, then you must endeavor to learn. The job candidates who bother to discover and know this information have the upper hand over those who do not know it.

6. What are the three positive things your last boss would say about you? Cool! This question is your chance to brag about yourself through someone else’s words. Don’t get too cocky and don’t be smug. Sometimes the occasional interviewer throws in the “what are your weaknesses” question after this, so have another peek at my question 2 again. (if you are asked to list three, only list ONE, saying that’s all you have.)

You may well ask yourself, will they check up on those positives? In most cases, they certainly will, so it again pays to be simply honest. Businesses are wary of job applicants who make false claims about some information, and we know live in a world where company officials can easily check things out from a previous employer.

There is another side to this, and should be handled with care. Some candidates mention positives that they wish their old bosses had thanked them for, but for some reason they didn't. Whether you think you ought to go down the road of mentioning unofficial positives is problematic. Mentioning your achievements can actually be tricky, and might reveal things like personality differences between you and a former colleague or whatever. You could also hit some obstacles with other false positives. So perhaps it is best to stay with the official positives.

I once received praise for one particular contract our business had successfully managed and won. Instead of a bonus, I asked for a thank you / appreciation letter instead. After some shrugging of shoulders and gentle "haggling", my old boss agreed. It was very interesting seeing that letter being read during my job interview for my current job. It can be hard to be so forward thinking. Having positives to mention in answer to this important question is important, - it is even better when it is in writing, and unexpected. Those positives can make a difference.

7. What is the salary you are seeking? Ok, some jobs require this to be answered, while some positions don’t have salaries that are negotiable, sadly. So - do your best here not to give any figures in the heat of the moment. Why would I say this? It could put you in a weak position when negotiating later on, This question is a tricky area, and so I have decided to make a separate hub that deals with Salary and Benefits. The link is at the end of this hub.

8. If you were to be an animal, which one would you want to be? I remember being asked this question once, I thought I was being offered a part of a character in a Tim Burton Movie! Yes, it is weird, but actually – interviewers use this type of psychological question to see if you can think quickly, and it is a coy way of profiling you as a job prospect. So the key here is – just what type of personality will it take to get the job done? The Beaver (No Mel Gibson jokes please!) is a firm favorite, since he toils hard and builds and builds! Yes it does sound crazy and funny. Imagine how I felt when I got asked this. But maybe now you have found a better one?

I hope these answers have been of some benefit, and I hope you find success in finding that job you want and that salary you hope to earn. We all want things like that in life. All through this hub, you will see that honesty is the best policy, even though it can be tough being honest in a job interview. They say “information is power”, so hopefully you will have a better idea of how to pass that all important job interview. I wish you the Very Best of Luck.

Feel free to rate this hub. Click here if you’d like to proceed to the Salary Hub. Check this hub for 6 ways to get your CV noticed.

Copyright 2010 to 2014 Cassy Mantis. All rights reserved. Why not join up and be part of HubPages? Be with writers.


Comments 32 comments

SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 7 years ago from NJ, USA

Hmmm nice questions - never tried question 8 - that's an interesting one! One I always ask is 'Describeone project you failed on and what you learned from the failure'.

As for question 7 - we're not allowed to disucss salaries - that's all negotiated after we have chosen our candidate by HR!

Good advice and questions though!

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

@ SimeyC: Hy SimeyC! Wow! You must have run a lot of red traffic lights getting here, that was superfast commenting, literally a minute after it was published! I am impressed! Yes, in the UK, they seem to style the questions a bit different, and I agree - it makes sense to leave salary till after the candidate is chosen. But some firms bring it up in the interview, at the end. Some will talk about salary at a later stage, but I also raised the issue because it links to the other hub so I can deal with it in more detail, if people want to go and read it.

Thankyou for your comments, my friend! Cheers!

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

good advices and they are all valid points, thanks my Cheeky girl, Maita

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

@ prettydarkhorse: Cheers, Maita! Lovely to get so many comments from you today! Yes, they are valid, I made sure they were. Enjoy your weekend, my good friend! By the way, my name is Cassandra, or Cassy or even just Cass. Take care! : )

RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

Excellent article - I used to help prep people for job interviews, and you certainly outlined the major points well. Nice work!

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

@ RefElf: Cheers, my friend. I'm glad to be making a difference here!

TattoGuy 6 years ago

Really helpful hub, I gotta say I love beaver myself lol and you deff make a difference x

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

@ TattoGuy: Oooh you! You would say that! LOL! Well the beaver is a hard working animal renowned for its labour, just to clarify for everyone else. *trying to keep a straight face* You deff make a difference too, moi friend! Always good to see you in my hubs! XX ; )

Astra Nomik profile image

Astra Nomik 6 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

Hahahaha! Trust you TattoGuy!

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Yes, leave him alone! He's ok! Haven't you got some new hubs to write, Cathy? I'm looking forward to seeing your rank and rating up there in neon lights.

Karina S. profile image

Karina S. 6 years ago from USA

Cheeky girl, what a nice hub, good tips. I am expecting job intervew soon, so i find you hub very helpful. Need to prepare answer for Q number 8 , just in case. Thanks. I liked you hub and rated up.

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Karina S.: Thankyou for the nice comments! I wish you the best of luck in that important interview. And best of luck with Q.8. It's a fun question. You are very kind to rate my hub! Take care! : )

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

This is very informative. We should concern about these when doing job interview. good work.

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy prasetio: It's always nice to see your comments here! Thanks for this! Well, the concerns affect everyone who is either looking for work, or thinking of changing employment. Job seekers hopefully will find these useful! That's my hope. Thankyou for your jind comments!

infonolan profile image

infonolan 6 years ago from Australia

Question 5 can be a hard one to answer at the best of times ;)

I also find it hard to identify weaknesses within myself! I suppose you've had lots of experience with a variety of different jobs, so I guess I'm no expert but it does seem as though managers and bosses try to assess your 'on the spot' thinking skills quite frequently in interviews. Often has been unclear during interview process as to whether the interviewer likes one or not...

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello again infonolan: nice to get you visiting moi hubs so often these days. Thanks - and on Q.5 - h'mm, you can add that the company in question stood out in your eyes, as a brand name and in terms of their pedigree. That's useful, it's a question that can help if, when replying, that you throw in a wee bit of flattery. But don't sound like you are sucking up to them. Follow the steps I pointed out about values - that is the key. It is a tough question. Candidates have a lot of trouble with this one, and some people handle it poorly. (Yes, I have had some experience in different jobs - but feel that in the times we currently are experiencing, that people need all the help and hubs they can get.)

Yes, bosses are testing the "thinking-on-the-spot" skills, but also checking to see if people are preparing for the interview. This question requires thinking before the question is ever asked, and one of the reasons I wrote this hub. I hope it helps. Best of luck!

Art of legend india.com 6 years ago

Very useful advice. nice hub!Thank you for sharing knowledge.

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello Art of legend india...: thanks for the comments. Always glad to share in the Hubs.

Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 6 years ago from California

All I know is, when they ask me those cliches I never get the job. By the way, they've never asked me which animal I'd want to be. That's the only question worth asking. Later!

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Kosmo: thanks for the comments you left me here and in the profile too! Yes, it would be nicer if they could just make it simpler. LOL! The Animal question is a good one, when it gets asked. Some of the answers can be hilarious. But I remember a girl who sweetly replied that she would love to be a Koala Bear. Everyone one in the room went - "Awwwwh!" And she got the darn job too! Just goes to show ya! :D

niceandcool profile image

niceandcool 6 years ago from Philippines

woooh! great hub! very useful... =) i remembered "the battle of the applicants" in our school, some of the questions were asked. i'm so sure, weeks from now,i could use those facts. thanks for your informative hub. :)

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello niceandcool: the battle of the applicants sounds kind of scary. Well, I hope the hub comes in useful for you. Jobseekers can benefit from the 8 job interview questions. The knowing of the answers can come in very handy. Glad you like the hub. Take care!

niceandcool profile image

niceandcool 6 years ago from Philippines

yeah, i like it, no doubt.in fact, am so excited to meet those things in my interview this week, wish me luck. lol. =)

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy niceandcool: I am glad you like the hub. Wow, you have an interview this week. I wish you the very best of luck. Yes, watch out for those unexpected questions. Happy to help out with my job-finding hubs. Best of luck getting the job! Cheers!

xixi12 profile image

xixi12 6 years ago from Everywhere but here. In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. You can never be truly free till you have the discipline to manage it.

Great hub, its always hard for jobseekers, you practice, you know the answers but you are then faced with the interviewers and then you develop cold feet. I always pray for friendly atmospheres and interviewers, that way am more relaxed and can open up. Thank goodness those days are over I now work for myself. lol

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy xix12: Oh those questions can be killer for those who get caught unawares, that's why I wrote this. The good interviewers will be friendly, well they should be. Unfriendly interviewers will not get people joining the firm, now will they. I actually know a student friend of mine, he stood up and walked out of an interview because he didn't like the frosty personality of his interviewer. My friend has a Bachelors Degree, and his attitude is - hell with that, life is too short.

You are happier now working for yourself. LOL! Cheers!

anonymous 3 years ago

Uncovered your content ralely appealing certainly. I ralely appreciated studying it and you make fairly some very good points. I will bookmark this internet site with the long term! Relly wonderful report.

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 3 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Thank you anonymous. I just hope the hubs help people finding work and give useful tips.

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 2 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

LetAcaba 5 days ago from Pasig

Tran-scripted from; LetAcaba 19th June 2014 -

"... Thanks Cheeky Girl, I also want to help others with what I did recently with my job interview, (aside from taking your advise) I got a gift from a good friend that really help me, do some twist for the interviewer to need me :D

Seriously! She got it from amazon, (Link snipped). It was really cool. I wish more people will help him too. Good luck to everyone!

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 2 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Good morning LetAcaba. Sorry for the snip on the comment link that was there, but it was suspicious and possibly spammy.

It actually is good to get advice on job interviews. Job Seekers can improve their chances by being coached on their interview style and approach. And yes even Amazon has great books and guides on how to win jobs. Cheers!

Salamat. :)

sanasiddiqui profile image

sanasiddiqui 15 months ago

Great hub for interview tips. tip number 8 is very interesting & not asked generally,so thanks for this informative content.

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 7 months ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

You are welcome, Sanasiddiqui.

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