Job Interview Questions

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Getting ready for a job interview? It's important to research typical interview questions and practice your original answers well before the interview. The interviewing process is, of course, also an examination of the employer: be sure to get your questions answered and ensure that you feel comfortable with the job function and workplace culture.

Employers will find that the right interview questions can make all the difference in the assessment of employees. Rather than use stock questions, make sure to try out different interview techniques and see what works best for your individual company culture and skill requirements. A properly done interview will give both parties a good idea of both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the potential match. The major types of interviewing include behavioral, stress, testing, committee and screening, with each having its own sets of appropriate question formats.

Some of the most common questions asked in job interviews are those regarding motivation for applying for the job and how the candidate plans to best benefit the company. Usually, an interviewer will want what amounts to a self-portrait. The answers should consist of a concise description of education, relevant achievements, goals, and qualifications. If you are being interviewed, approach this question by summarizing your resume and key highlights, focusing on how you can add value to the company.

If you are interviewing, consider using a "top-down" pattern of questioning-asking a general question first, followed by questions about specifics, e.g., "Have you had to cope with almost impossible deadlines?", "How did you deal with the most challenging one?"

Other common questions are aimed at determining how well an applicant's plans and interests coincide with those of the company. The questions are also aimed at weeding out those applicants who lack sincere interest in the job. Acing an interview is a matter of conveying an air of confidence and enthusiasm for the job along with quick and sure answers to whatever questions may be asked.

A vital question that must be answered with enthusiasm is "Why do you want to work here?" To answer this question sufficiently it is important to address one's interest in the company and in the industry. Expressing an understanding of the job requirements and explaining how one's personal qualifications will benefit the company are important elements of a well-executed interview.

The interviewer will typically want to know how a candidate perceives his or her own abilities. In order to do this, the candidate may be asked to describe personal strengths, skills and biggest weaknesses. The replies should focus on those skills that are most suitable for and highly valued by the company. It is effective to share experiences involving skills have been successfully tested. Likewise, consideration should be given to portraying weaknesses in a positive light and indicating that awareness of any weakness motivates working harder to overcome them.
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