Don’t Forget Your Interview Questions: Prepare to Answer Common Questions

by Adriana Hall

Job seekers often invest a great deal of time and effort in preparing high-quality resumes and cover letters.  I am sure you already understand the importance of these documents; however, it is only during an interview that you will be able to convince prospective employers of your unique value.

Your interview performance will most certainly be shaped by how well you’ve prepared yourself for that interview.  That preparation involves selecting common interview questions and practicing your answers.  As a powerful resume can get you an interview, once you are granted that opportunity, great interviewing preparation can lead to powerful interview performances and results.  Be ready to talk about your accomplishments in a way that convinces the employer that you are the right person for the job.

Being right for the job involves more than just having good skill sets; you must understand interviewing approaches and the questions you may face.  Hiring managers use a wide array of interview techniques.  Some organizations will include not only behavioral-type questions but also technical questions based on your degree and the position for which you are applying.  Many companies will include assessment tools as part of the interview process to evaluate your aptitude in various disciplines such as math, reading comprehension and general skills related to your area of study.

Below are some of the most common interview questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Tell us about a time you dealt with conflict in a team.
  • Tell me/us about a time where you failed.  How did you overcome that situation?
  • How would your best friend describe you?
  • What classes do you like the most and why?  What classes do you dislike the most and why?
  • Tell me/us about a technical project you have been involved in.
  • What do you do for fun?
  • Tell me/us about a time when you had to take initiative for something. What was the situation and what were the results?
  • What is your GPA?
  • What motivates you?
  • Define leadership. Tell me/us a time when you have been a leader.

Here are some more experienced-level interview questions:

  • How have your past professional experiences prepared you for this position?
  • From a technical or professional standpoint, what is the most difficult problem you had to solve? How did you solve it? And what was the outcome?
  • What have you done the past xx years for self-improvement in your profession?
  • What type of performance problems have you encountered in people who report to you, and how did you motivate them to improve?
  • As a professional, how would your peers describe you?
  • Is there anything that you want to say that could help us decide that you are the candidate for the position?

Last but not least, being prepared to ask questions at the interview is just as important as being prepared to answer the interviewer’s questions.  This can be your opportunity to gain further information into the requirements for the position and to re-enforce that you are the right candidate.  Asking questions can subtly communicate to the interviewers that you are truly interested in the organization.

Remember, being polished and prepared for common interview questions is an important part of the entire job search process.  This preparation can result in a solid interview performance, garnering you the job you want.

Adriana Hall has a Bachelor of Arts in Languages (Spanish-English) from Colombia-South America and a Master of Science in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  She has been with ERAU for 9 years. Adriana worked for the Department of State in Colombia at the United States Embassy before moving to the U.S.

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