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An interview is a dialogue and provides an opportunity for you and the interviewer to learn more about each other. You will probably be observed on how you react to certain questions and how you are able to “think on your feet” when answering. Preparation is essential to answer the common questions listed below. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39.

Tell me about yourself. How do you know about this job and this organization? What kind of work do you want to do? How do you plan your time? Give me a specific example of a time you displayed exceptional customer service. What kinds of obstacles to completing assignments on time do you most frequently encounter at work? Tell me about a time you dealt with an angry customer. What strategies have you devised to handle such obstacles? How will you handle the least interesting or least pleasant tasks of this job? Tell me about a time you sold someone a product, service or idea. What goals have you set for yourself and how are you planning to achieve them? Give me an example of a time that you worked long hours or put in the extra effort. How do you know you are doing a good job? What was the most useful criticism you ever received? Describe a time when you had to do many things all at once. Have you ever had to work with a manager who was unfair to you, or was just plain hard to work with? What are your expectations of your future employer? Tell me about a time when you worked closely with others to accomplish a goal or objective. Have you learned more from your mistakes or your successes? Give me an example of an aggressive goal you set for yourself. You want to go swimming in a pool. The water is a little colder than comfortable. Are you the type of person who jumps in or do you wade in? Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision without all the information you needed. How did you handle it? Why? Were you happy with the outcome? What do you think makes a good employee? What was the best idea you came up with during your professional or college career? How did you apply it? What is something unique you offer that you don’t think others can? Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem. What did you do? What was your thought process? What was the outcome? What do you wish you had done differently? How do you define success? Tell me about a team project when you had to take the lead or take charge of the project? What did you do? How did you do it? What was the result? Do you feel that you are a leader? Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas. What did you do? Who do you consider a mentor and why? Tell me about a time you motivated others to accomplish a goal or task. What defines a leader? Tell me about a time when you had to adjust to a classmate’s or colleague’s working style in order to complete a project or achieve your objectives. What position of your work experience have you enjoyed the most and why? Tell me about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What things did you fail to do? What were the repercussions? What did you learn? Do you perform better on your own or in a team? Why? What role do you often play? Give an example of a policy you conformed to with which you did not agree. Why? What will motivate you to do well in your career?

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How do you prioritize projects and tasks when scheduling your time? Give me some examples. What other companies are you interviewing with? How many blue cars are there in the US? Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person that did not like you (or vice versa). What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses? Describe a time when you put your needs aside to help a co-worker understand a task. How did you assist them? What was the result? What do you see yourself doing five years from now? What are the most important rewards you expect in your business career? Tell me about a goal that you set that you did not reach. What steps did you take? What obstacles did you encounter? How did it make you feel? In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our company? Tell me about a difficult situation where it was important for you to keep a positive attitude. Describe a time you were able to build team spirit in an environment of low morale. Tell me about a time you weren’t pleased with your performance. What did you do about it? How would you describe your work style? What personal development strategies have you used to overcome any of your weaknesses? Tell me about a time when you experienced a loss for doing what is right. Did you work while going to school? In what positions? What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work? Give me a specific example of a time when you persuaded your supervisor or professor to accept your idea or concept? How did you proceed? What was the result? Are you willing to travel? Relocate? Why should we hire you?

Tips for Answering Interview Questions • • • • • •

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Be yourself. Demonstrate a sincere interest in the position. Project energy and enthusiasm. Be natural in your answers and avoid memorizing your responses. Listen carefully and respond accordingly. Give specific examples, brief and to the point, and avoid being overly general. Treat the interview as if it were a conversation. Picture yourself speaking with someone you’ve known for years, not a total stranger you just met. Keep answers focused on skills needed for the position. Avoid personal or irrelevant information. When answering behavior-based questions, use the STAR method: S – Situation, T – Task, A – Action you took, R – Result of your actions. Don’t try to bluff your way through a question. Ask for clarification if you are unsure of a question. If you still do not have an answer, explain that you have not experienced this exact situation, then substitute a similar and related experience. Never criticize a previous employer. Keep all explanations professional in nature. Be confident and comfortable talking about yourself. It may be hard at first, but talk about yourself the way your grandmother might talk about you. Don’t toot your own horn too much. Avoid bragging and coming across as too cocky. Avoid “fillers” (ex. Um, so, hm, uh, like, you know, etc.) by taking a moment to collect your thoughts before responding. Use language that puts you on their team: “As a member of your team, I would…” Answer questions with a completed structure. That is, an introductory statement, the body of the answer and a strong concluding statement that summarizes your response. Work-related examples are always best when answering questions. However, if relevant, valuable experience gained in other areas or activities can be substituted. Think internships, organization involvement, leadership roles, team projects, team athletics, part-time jobs and volunteer work. Place a positive spin on potentially negative questions.

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What Will They Ask  

SFA Careers, interview success