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Typical Job Interview Questions - Part 2 of 3 - The Back Story

Updated on November 21, 2015

In preparing for an interview, the one item that is helpful is having all the answers. How can you have the answers IF you don't know the questions? This is where we can help. In this series of communications articles, we will review different questions. Take heart, review the questions and review your answers carefully. Like sailing, if we trim our sail just slightly, we will have the upper edge. So too, with job interviews. This is a second is a series of three articles that focus around being prepared for those difficult questions. The questions are broken down into three categories: I.) Reason for the Job Change II.) Job Qualifications and III.) Preparation for the Job Search.   Take your time, study each one, visualize YOUR answer.  Remember, both your words and your non-verbal behavior must exude self-confidence.  Enthusiasm always wins.  If you are prepared, it is much easier to be enthused.  Hold your head high, you will be great!

Preparation by Will Smith

I've always considered myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous insane obsessiveness for practice and preparation.

~Will Smith

Leroy Neiman
Leroy Neiman
Leroy Neiman
Leroy Neiman

Pre-Interview Questions

This section of questions explores a variety of areas like, why are you considering a change? What is desired in a new job or organization? What process is being used for the job search and how important do consider attendance? All of these questions and others are selected and asked so that the interviewer can pick and choose questions that are appropriate for a specific situation.

Questions like these will be asked early in the process and will also be used to complete the interview. These questions are often used to gain a final perspective on you. Employers will be listening for the maturity of thought as well as your ability to articulate ideas clearly. Many of these questions are not easy to answer and the interviewer will have to resist the temptation to jump in and speak if you appear to be stuck.

Remember that most interviewers will ask all applicants the same set of questions when interviewing for the same position. This will help them compare you to others. If their non-discrimination practices are ever challenged, having asked the same questions, utilizing a “patterned” interview will often help their case.

Skilled interviewers will wait until the end of the interview to ask if you have any questions. They do this because they don’t want to give clues or influence you in answering subsequent questions. Many job seekers are looking for the opportunity to take advantage of inexperienced interviewers. They will wait until they have gathered the information they want before revealing details of the job or the organization.

I. Reason for Change/Job History

  1. How long were you with your last or present company?
  2. What were your 3 most important responsibilities in your last or present job?
  3. What have been your job titles?
  4. Would you prefer to be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond?
  5. If I offered you this job, how long would it take you to make a decision?
  6. What other day to day activities were you involved in that we haven’t discussed?
  7. Have you ever been passed over for a promotion? Explain.
  8. We all miss opportunities. What opportunities did you miss in your last job?
  9. If you joined our organization, how long do you think you would stay?
  10. How do you manage to get away for interviews when you are still employed?

II. Qualifications for the Job

  1. What have you done in the past to prepare yourself for success?
  2. What is your level of interest in this job?
  3. What else should I know about your qualifications for this position?
  4. If you had a choice of any job and company, what would you do and where would you go?
  5. Knowing what you know about our organization, what would you change?
  6. What do you feel is a satisfactory attendance record?
  7. How can you best contribute to our organization?
  8. Why do you feel you are qualified for this position?
  9. Are you seeking employment in a company of a certain size?
  10. What 3 things are the most important considerations to you in a new job?
  11. Are there any additional aspects of your qualifications that I have not covered?
  12. What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you want to work?
  13. Do you have geographical preference? If so, where?
  14. Of all the things you’ve done in your career, when have you been the most successful?
  15. If you joined our organization, when would you expect a promotion?
  16. How much money are you looking for? What would be the least you would be willing to accept as a starting salary/wage?
  17. Tell me about a program that you introduced to improve morale.
  18. Is there anything that would prevent you from getting to work on time?

Preparation - Job Interview Questions and Answers

Morgan Freeman on Work and Sailing

If you live a life of make-believe, your life isn't worth anything until you do something that does challenge your reality. And to me, sailing the open ocean is a real challenge, because it's life or death.

~Morgan Freeman

III. Job Search Process

  1. How did you find out about this job opening?
  2. What do you know about our organization?
  3. What other companies are you considering?
  4. What do you see as the advantages of working for another company?
  5. What two questions do you not want to ask me?
  6. Is there anything that would prevent you from accepting an offer from our company?
  7. How long have you been looking for a job?
  8. Are you considering any job offers at this time?
  9. How did you prepare for this job interview?
  10. May I check your references?
  11. Do you have any questions?

Top 10 Job Interview Questions and Answers

Know Your Port

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.

~Lucius Annaeus Seneca

3 Take A Ways for Trimming Your Sail In Interview Preparation


Preparation will give you polish and self-confidence


Reviewing a list of possible questions is beyond a helpful exercise, it is a necessary step in this process.  Look for the 3 different listings of interview questions.


Practice, Practice, Practice!

Preparation and Success by Confucius

Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.


© 2010 Ken Kline


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