A job interview is stressful enough without having to worry about questions the interviewer might ask. Having some answers ready for common questions are a good way to show the interviewer that you have prepared for the interview. Below is list of familiar questions and explanations on interviewer’s motive that may come up throughout the interview.

Question 1: Why is there such a gap between jobs?

Interviewer is looking for: Employers want an idea of what kind of pattern you follow in a job. They do not want to hire someone they cannot rely on for an extended amount of time. If there is a specific reason why there are gaps such as being pregnant or being ill explain this to the interviewer. If there are not any specific reasons and you simply have been out of work explain to the person giving the interview that you have not come across anything that matches your schedule and your experience.

Question 2: What can you offer our company?

Interviewer is looking for: Employers want to know what good qualities you have to offer. This question is always tricky because you do want to sell yourself but you do not want to oversell yourself. Mention a few good points such as being loyal, creative and dependable and leave it at that.

Question 3: What is the reason for leaving your last job?

Interviewer is looking for: The employer will want an idea of how you handled leaving a different job and why you left so they can get to know your work ethic better. The important thing is to always be honest. If you were fired from your last job be honest but be short and to the point. If you were fired for a negative reason say something along the lines of I was let go for something I did when I was at a different place in my life but now I am committed to being a better employee. If you quit your last job be sure to give your reasons why without bashing another company.

Question 4: Why are you asking for that salary?

Interviewer is looking for:  Employers want to know what they are paying for. Money is a touchy issue for a lot of people. Employers do not want to feel like they are over paying but employees want to feel they are being paid what they deserve. When asked why you are requesting a certain amount of money be sure to have your answers ready. Describe different talents and skills that are relative to the job that you can do. If you went to college or have experience in the field for which you are applying this is a good time to point it out. Often pay goes hand in hand with experience and knowledge.

Question 5: Are you available on the weekend, nights or other “odd hours”?

Interviewer is looking for:  Employers want an idea of how commited you are and how much time you can offer. When applying for a job it is always best to be fully open to any hours for at least the first few months on a job. Of course there are always exceptions though such as not being able to work overnights or not being able to work on holidays. Should an employer ask you to work hours in which you are unable to the most important thing is be honest. Accepting hours in the hiring process then trying to change them once you are hired is a bad way to start a new job. Inform the interviewer that you are not able to work those particular but you are willing to have some flexibility

Question 6: Explain what being a team member means to you?

Interviewer is looking for:  Companies prosper by employees working together to better the business so they will want to see how you would be working on a team. Being a team member is lending a hand, going the extra mile to better a task, doing things without having to be asked when you know something has to be done. The most important thing is to work together with employees.

Question 7: What are your weaknesses?

Interviewer is looking for:  The interviewer will ask this to learn more about you and your habits. This is always a tough question because you have to expose a “negative” quality about yourself. The best policy is to always be honest. Avoid phrases such as I am such a hard worker or I am such a perfectionist. Contrary to popular belief those are strengths not weaknesses in a job. Try to give the most honest answer without being to negative. Something along the lines of I tend to talk to much but I try to always have creative and useful ideas.

Question 8: What are some of your accomplishments?

Interviewer is looking for: Employers want an idea of how hard you are willing to work. This is a great time to point out any interesting things you have done. Employers want creative minds who are open and willing to learn. If you spent two years learning a second language or obtaining a new development certificate mention those things as your accomplishments. Employers want to see a passion for completing things.

Question 9: What are some of your favorite hobbies?

Interviewer is looking for:  Asking about hobbies and interests is a great way to get to know a person personality. Now is a good time to show your creative side. If you enjoy visiting vintage shops on the weekends or making scrapbooks for friends let the interviewer know. Even simple things provides a positive aspects of experience.

Question 10: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Interviewer is looking for:  Employers want to know that you are committed to bigger and better things and are willing to work for them. The key to this question is to involve the company in your plan. Mention that you see yourself moving up the ladder from position to position bettering yourself and the company as you move up. You may also want to mention something slightly personal such as I see myself getting going back to school to finish my degree.


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