Basic Interview Questions and Answers

Anytime you have a job interview it is important to prepare yourself regardless if you are applying for a part time job or a full time career. Never assume that you are going to do well at an interview without first preparing yourself. During an interview, there are common questions that you will be asked. If you haven’t taken the time to prepare for them, you will come off as less confident.

Strong Interview Answers

Whenever you are applying for employment with a company, you should research the company. This includes facts about how the company was started and the history of the business. Being able to share company knowledge will help you show the employer that you truly care about the employer. Caring for the company you are applying for employment with and by showing respect for the job by educating yourself, you’ll be better positioning yourself in the hiring process.

Check over your resume and application that you completed prior to your interview in order to refresh your memory on past employment. Your interviewer will have a copy of your resume with them during your interview in order to ask you questions about past employment. Within your resume, be sure that you have included your dates of employment and the last salary you earned.

Upon arriving for your interview, you need to be dressed appropriately and arrive at your interview 30 minutes early. You may even consider arriving five to ten minutes early to your interview. Shake the hand of your interviewer and refer to them by name and make sure to thank them for their time. Show enthusiasm and be positive during your interview.

You will also want to review questions that your interviewer may choose to ask you. Preparing yourself ahead of time will serve you well.

Common Interview Questions About Your Past Jobs and Experiences

1. What were your responsibilities in your past job?

It is imperative that you are honest when you answer this question, and all questions. Your interviewer not only has your resume, but they also have a way of contacting your previous employer to ask about you. Be descriptive when going over your specific tasks that you were responsible for. This way you can show your interviewer that you are well qualified.

2. What was your best accomplishment/worst failure in your past job?

When being asked this question it is due to your interviewer trying to determine what you perceive as a success and a failure and they want to know what you accomplished in your previous employment. Take the time to think about how you will answer this question and be sure that you can answer in a way that can be tied into the position you are interviewing for. If you don’t feel you failed at anything in your previous employment it is perfectly okay to state as such. However, you may want to consider using this as an opportunity to turn a minor occurrence into something positive.

3. What did you like and dislike about your past job?

You will want to focus on you rather than anything specific you did not like or did like at your previous job. You do not want to come off in a negative way or make negative statements about your previous company. You want to avoid your interviewer from thinking you would do the same about their company. However, you can discuss how you got along with coworkers and how you did with specific tasks that were enjoyable. A good way to answer what you disliked about your previous job would be to say you felt you weren’t being challenged enough.

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4. Have you ever had problems working with a manager?

You also want to exercise caution when you answer this question. You do not want to come off as complaining about a manager or make it seem as though you are difficult to manage. You never know you may be interviewing with the person who would be your manager. It is best to look for a situation where you can turn it into a positive. Such as being able to work through a problem with a manager and you were successfully able to resolve the issue.

5. Why are you leaving/did you leave your present job?

This is another situation where you will want to be honest in your answer. If you were let go from your previous job then you will want to describe why it was a positive change and what you have learned from the experience. If you chose to leave then you will want to explain why you chose to do so and try to remain positive. You will also want to explain why it was beneficial for you to leave your previous company and try to relate back to why you are applying for the current position and how you will receive better benefits and be an asset to this new company.

Common Interview Questions about the Job and Company You Are Applying For

1. Why do you want this job?

You will need to explain to your interviewer why this job was made for you and be descriptive in your explanation as to why your qualifications and background make you the ideal candidate. Be upbeat when explaining the benefits you have to offer the company you are applying at.

2. What do you know about the company?

This is a very important question that the interviewer is asking you. They are looking to see how much time you have put into researching their company and what you already know about the company. Before your interview you should have set aside some time to research the company and be able to provide facts about the company and your knowledge of it. This will allow you to make a good first impression.

3. What do you consider to be good customer service?

There are essentially two parts when it comes to answering this question. First you will want to describe what your idea of customer service is and how that ties in with the company you are applying for and then you will want to explain how you would go about providing that customer service.

4. What experiences do you have that qualifies you for this position?

It is important that you are specific when answering this question. You will want to take this opportunity to go over your previous job responsibilities and why they will be able to help you complete your new job tasks.

5. How long will you expect to work here, if hired?

The majority of companies are looking to hire employees that will work with the company for a long time. If you answer that you plan on being there for a short time then you will not impress your interviewer even though you are answering them honestly unless you are applying for a temporary position. If you feel this is a position you will be with for a long time then explain to your interviewer why you feel you will be there for a long period of time.

Common Interview Questions about the Future

1. What are you looking for in your next job?

The interviewer is asking you this question in order to determine if your goals will be a match for the open position they are trying to fill. It is crucial that you have understanding of the position you have applied for and make sure that the response provide coincides with the tasks you would be completing if you are hired.

2. Where do you see yourself in the next five or ten years?

This is one of the most common questions you will be asked during an interview. It is best to tie this in with the job you are applying for and not any personal goals.

3. What are your career goals?

When you are asked this question it is because your potential employer is trying to determine whether you have specific goals in mind to work on or if you are just looking to jump on any new opportunities that come your way. The best way to go about answering this question is to describe your career path and how you chose to make the decision you made. You want to show that you are able to stay focused to achieve your goals you have set for yourself.

4. Tips for Concluding the Interview

Once your interviewer has asked you everything they need to, they will ask if you have questions for them. It will be beneficial to have a few questions you have already thought of to ask them. Be sure these are not obvious answers that could have been answered already by researching the company. The questions you choose to ask should reflect the position you are applying for and what the interviewer likes about the company.

After a first interview you will want to avoid asking questions about drug testing, background checks and if they are going to be contacting your previous employers. These types of questions make it seem as though you may be hiding something. If they choose to do drug testing or background checks then the interviewer will make you aware of this without you having to ask.

Also avoid asking questions in regards to benefits and salary compensation. These details will also be shared with you by the interviewer. Asking about this might make it appear that you are only interested in the benefits you would be receiving. You can find more advanced tips when going on an interview here.

Make sure you make it clear that you are interested in the position, shake your interviewers hand and let them know you look forward to speaking with them again soon. If you do not hear back from the company within several days or weeks from your interview then follow up with them in order to show you are still interested and this also gives them time to do whatever other interviews they had scheduled.