Top Interview Questions

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Top interview questions comprise those a job applicant is likely to ask as well as those likely to be asked. "Top" should mean "best", not necessarily "most frequently asked", since, in the absence of hard data, the latter may include some really dumb questions, such as, "How many coffee breaks do we get?"

Likewise, the more common the interviewer question is, the likelier it is to be regarded as cliched and unimaginative. On the other hand, many questions are "top" questions because they are important, e.g., "What are your career goals?"

Just because a question is cliched is no reason to give an equally cliched answer-for example, "Why should we hire you?" doesn't require the worn-out "team player", "positive attitude", "self-starter", blah-blah buzzwords. If you want to be remembered and remembered positively, try to say something that is interesting, intelligent, exciting and, of course, true.

One of the most successful methods in preparing for an interview is to rehearse top interview questions in an interview-simulation environment. However, it can be difficult to predict the type of approach an interviewer will take and what types of prepared answers you should review in advance of the interview. While the precise form that an interview question will take is hard to tell, the general information most employers wish to elicit is well known.

A common request made of an interviewee is for a self-description. It is best to avoid personal information such as religious or political beliefs, sexuality, personal relationships and other non-relevant information. Stick to an overview of your education and professional experience and goals. It's okay to briefly summarize your resume for this request.

Another classic interview question is something similar to "Why do you want to work here?" The frequency of this question is proportional to its importance. Due to its importance it is best to address this question with an enthusiastic and well-defined response. Express your interest in the company, your knowledge of the job and industry, and how you plan to benefit the company. Never express selfish reasons such as money or prestige, as your priorities and dedication may be questioned.

Not only is an employer looking for reasons to hire you, but also for reasons not to hire you. In this vein, you may be asked a question such as, "What is your greatest weakness?" The obvious answer here is not the best one. Don't simply make a list of your perceived weaknesses. Instead, try to turn a confessed weakness into a strength, preferably one with an upside, e.g., one that causes you to work hard or even harder to get your job done well, such as being "too much" of a perfectionist.

You may be asked what your future goals include. This top interview question is geared towards determining whether your plans coincide with the goals of the company. It is important to let the interviewer know that you are willing to grow with the company and improve yourself. Be clear on how you plan to meet your goals and how that plans works within the company.

In any event, your responses (and your own questions) should serve to clearly demarcate who you are from who you aren't, making it unambiguously clear why hiring you would be such a great idea.
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