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Job Interview

Questions & Answers:

Know What to Expect
and What to Say



To do this, you must:

(1) Anticipate likely questions;
(2) Develop excellent answers;
(3) Practice!

Be enthusiastic and confident

when responding to questions.
Don't rush your answers, but
don't ramble on and on, either.
Try to avoid, using unnecessary
words like, right? And um,
repeating yourself or annoying
phrases like, you know?

A good technique is to write out

your answers to the questions
you anticipate, then edit them to
make them more concise. Then
practice your polished answers
out loud, over and over. If you
can have someone help you do a
"mock interview," that would be
the best way to do this.

"Tell me a little about yourself."

When responding to this request, you should
focus on both your personal and professional
values. Always be honest, but talk about your
best traits only, especially those that relate to
the position for which you are applying.
Highlight experiences and accomplishments
you are most proud of. Here's an example:
1. "I'm an experienced communications
specialist with extensive knowledge of public
information tools and techniques.

I've developed comprehensive communication plans for
major public events, written dozens of articles accepted
by worldwide publications, and created specialized
educational programs for adults and students.
I am always eager to learn new methods and
procedures, and have implemented continuous
improvement techniques in my past positions that
saved money and increased productivity. I like working
with people and enjoy group projects, but am also a
self-starter who doesn't mind working on my own. I'm
a volunteer with the local chapter of Special Olympics
and enjoy participating in community events. My goals
are to complete my Master's Degree and broaden my
experiences with community relations."

2. All right. My name is Agus Prasetyo. My
friends usually call me Bagus. Thats my
nickname. I am from Yogyakarta,but
actually I was born in Surabaya and grew
up in Malang. My father was an airforce
officer so he moved from one city to the
other city. Now I live with my parents in

Im a fresh graduate of Gajah Mada
University. I studied economics there. I am
a hard-working and creative person who
possesses leadership and managerial skill
as well as technical writing skill. Being
able to speak English and French fluently
will surely benefit me much to carry out my
work later

I heard that your company is offering a
position as a staff for Human Resources
Development department. So, I am here
now to apply for the position as I believe
that I have the skills and qualifications.

"What is your greatest strength?"

This is a great chance to highlight your best skills.
Don't pick just one, focus on your top three or four.
Some examples are: leadership skills, teambuilding skills, and organizational skills. Determine
which strengths would fit best with the position for
which you are applying.
For example, if the job announcement stresses
the ability to handle multiple tasks, you could say:
"I'm good at organizational skills, prioritization
and time management. But my greatest strength is my
ability to effectively handle multiple projects and

"What is your greatest weakness?"

Be careful with this one. Most
interview guides will tell you to
answer it with a positive trait
disguised as a weakness. For
"I tend to expect others to work
as hard as I do," or "I'm a bit of
a perfectionist."

" Interviewers have heard these "canned" answers
over and over again. To stand out, be more original
For example: "I've had trouble delegating
and state
true weakness,
to a
because Ibut
I could
do things
has sometimes
become a
what you've
to overcome
boomerang because I'd end up with more than
I could handle and the quality of my work
would suffer. But I've taken courses in time
management and learned effective delegation
techniques, and I feel I've overcome this

What did you learn during your

time at university?
My Economics degree was practical, and
there were many elements of the degree
that could be applied to business world. I
had a number of challenging assignments,
which often had to be completed within a
short period of time. This helped me to
develop prioritising skills and ability to
work to tight deadlines.

"Why are you the best person for this job?"

Don't try to say you are the best qualified
person, because you don't know the
qualifications of the other applicants. Instead,
emphasize several reasons why you should
be hired.
For example: "I've got extensive experience
in [name the appropriate field] and have
the specific skills you are looking for.
I'm a fast learner who adapts quickly to
change and will hit the ground running.


I'm dedicated and enthusiastic about

helping your company meet its goals,
and will provide top-quality results with
minimal oversite. I'm an outstanding
performer who takes pride in my work.
You won't have any regrets when you
hire me."

If offered to you, how long do you plan to stay

in this role?
I approach every new job with a long-term view. I
would like to think that I can make a positive
contribution to XYZ Corp for the foreseeable
future. Advice from the Interview Specialist:
Recruiting, hiring and training a new employee is
an expensive process and represents a major
investment by an employer. The interviewer
wants to ensure that your goals are compatible
with the firm's investment.

What kind of salary are you seeking?

Sample Answer 1:
I would expect a salary which reflects the experience and
qualifications that I bring to the role. What range do you have in
Sample Answer 2:
I've got a strong background in this industry and my skills are a
perfect match for this role. I would expect my compensation to be at
the upper end of the position's salary band. Can you tell me what
that salary band is?
Sample Answer 3:
Based on the information I have about the position, a salary in the
range 28,000-32,000 would reflect the experience and expertise that
I would bring to the role.

What do you think it takes to be

successful in an organization like this?
Sample Answer:
I think that determination, a willingness to work
hard and a desire to excel in everything you do
are key attributes for a successful employee in a
company like XYZ Corp. A successful employee
would also need to handle pressure well, be a
great communicator and an excellent team
member. These are attributes that have helped
me succeed in my past positions and ones that I
would like to apply in XYZ

What do you know about this organization?

Sample Answer:
I know that XYZ Corp. has been in existence for
four years. It was founded by John Rush in his
garage and he has built it into the third largest
office supplies firm in the state with aspirations
to make it number one within two years. It's
renowned as an ambitious and highly
progressive company and I believe it has a very
bright future. I also like the fact that XYZ Corp
isn't a company that rests on its laurels.

What do you know about the position

you've applied for?

Sample Answer:
The Media Marketing Co-ordinator reports to the Marketing Director. Her
role is to co-ordinate all media advertising, particularly print, radio, and
television. The Co-ordinator works with Media agencies to profile advertising
opportunities, then, working within a strict budget, she organizes crossmedia advertising campaigns. An important aspect of the role is to
disseminate the customer response to the adverts in order to measure its
success and thus improve future campaigns.
At my last job in ABC & Co I worked closely with several different media
agencies, including some that specialized in new media platforms such as
the Internet. I also gained invaluable experience as a member of the team
that established ABC & Co as a national brand by launching ABC DooDaa
nationwide. I feel that I can bring this expertise to the Media Marketing Coordinator role and help XYZ Corp achieve it's goal of doubling it's customer
base every year for the next three years.

Why would you like to work for me?

Sample Answer:
I've been aware of your reputation for some time. You're regarded as
an innovator within the industry and beyond. I appreciate that your
team's success is due to a number of factors, not least of which is
hard work. I'm an excellent team player, I'm a very good problem
solver, and I work hard to get the job done. For these reasons, I'm
confident I'd be an asset to your group. I hope that my experience
shows I'm suitably qualified to fulfill the position.
I know that your position within this firm speaks for itself. My ideal
manager is someone that fosters excellence, innovation, and success,
as well as personal and professional growth. It's widely recognized
that XYZ Corp's strongest asset is its staff thanks to its strong belief in
training and development. For these reasons, this is a highly desirable

What challenges do you think you'll face in this

Sample Answer:
Having worked in a similar role at ABC & Co, I
expect that this job will present regular deadlines
to meet, strains on resource availability,
conflicting priorities, and budgetary concerns to
name but a few issues. These are challenges
that I've successfully tackled in the past and I'm
sure that record would continue here. I relish a
challenge and there's nothing that I've seen in
this job that intimidates me in any way.

How long would it take before you could contribute to

this company?

I'd need to get a better idea of the full

responsibilities associated with this job,
along with an idea of the complexities of

When would you expect your next

Sample Answer:
It's difficult to give an exact time without knowing
the personnel structure within XYZ Corp and
specifically the line of responsibility associated
with this position. However, I'm an ambitious
person and through hard work, dedication, and
with the guidance of a good manager, I aim to
gain my next promotion as soon as possible,
ideally ahead of 'normal' timeframes.

If you were offered this job, what factors will

dictate whether you accept it or not?
Sample Answer:
I'm at various stages of the interview process
with a number of firms at the moment. My
preferred position will be in a company that
offers a challenging environment, a prospect for
promotion, and a rewarding working experience.
It's important to me that I work for a company
with bright prospects and strong desire for
success. Obviously XYZ Corp is one of my
preferred companies.

If you were a tree (or animal) what kind of

tree (animal) would you be?
For either one, pick something strong
and/or intelligent like a tiger or lion and try
to relate the animal to the skills needed on
the job. - no snakes and nothing fluffy and
cuddly. For trees, pick an oak (strong and
long-lived) and not a weeping willow.

If you were a Star Trek [or Star Wars ]

character, which one would it be?
This is easy. There are a lot of fun and
"pop" quizzes based on sci-fi
personalities. Pick a character that is a
leader and a bit of a risk-taker. Captain
Kirk, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Spock,
Sarek, etc.

What is your favorite color?

There are some personality and workstyles quizzes based on colors.
You are invited to a large cocktail party at
a country club. When you arrive, the room
where the party is being held is already
over half full of people. How do they react
to you when you enter the room?
This question tests for self-confidence.

What is your favorite drink?

Personality my be a little like a drink, but
an answer to this question also may tell
your employer whether you drink alcohol
or not. In order to keep health insurance
costs low, the company may try to hire

What would I find in your refrigerator

right now?
This would show planning and personality

What is the last book you read?

Employers like employees who read the
newspaper and magazines related to their

If you could trade places with any other person for a

week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or
fictional. with whom would it be?

shows interests and creativity

How would you explain a database in three

sentences to your eight-year-old nephew?

This one shows creativity and your ability

to summarize a topic.

How many gas stations would you say

there are in the United States?
This one displays how you think about
solving a large problem. It's about
estimations vs. actual calculations and
sometimes you can do both.

If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire,
offered you any position on their planet, what would you want?

Who do you like best, you

mom or dad?
I'd be careful of this one and say I liked
them both. Don't indicate family problems
in an interview. Say something about what
each parent taught you that has helped
you become a success inlife.

What kind of people do you

Be careful with this one, because if you
name any minority class of individuals or
political party, you will be branded a bigot
or "one of them.". Say that there are no
particular people you dislike, although you
find some behaviors annoying - such as
not completing work assignments on time,
wasting the company's time gossiping,

What makes you angry?

Be careful about admitting to having
episodes of anger. Indicate that you
handle problems as they arise so that they
don't build up to the anger point.

How many close friends do

you have?
Most people do not have a lot of close
friends, so don't say you do if you don't.
Saying you have a lot of really close
friends may make you seem like a liar or a
shallow person if they are not close. Most
people have a handful of really close
friends, but many more casual friends.

In a small room you have a refridgerator, if you left the door

of the 'fridge open would the temp in the room fall or would
the temp in the 'fridge rise? Why?

Heat moves into less-heated areas

because heated electrons move faster
than cold ones, so the fridg temp would


Often the interviewer's last question is,

"Do you have any questions for me?"
Candidates who do not have questions
show a lack of initiative and give the
impression that they have minimal
interest in
the position.
Stand out from
those lazy job
seekers by asking

Have your questions ready in

advance. Relate them to the company
or its accomplishments/challenges
(your research of the company will
show and further impress the
Don't ask any question that shows
that you have not done your research
about the company.

Here are some sample generic

What do you enjoy most about working
Is there anything I've mentioned that
makes you think I'm not the best
candidate for this job?
When do you expect to make your final