Interview preparation doesn't have to feel vague or intimidating. Just like studying for a test or rehearsing for a play yields the best results, the surest way to ace your next job interview is to research a comprehensive list of interview questions and answers.
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For that reason, I've collected 50 interview questions you're likely to face in your next interview. Over the course of a three-part series, we'll be exploring how to answer each one. This is the third and final part. Check out part one and part two!
33. What Motivates You?
Here, your interviewer is asking about your professional motivation, not your personal motivation. Keep your answer centered on the value you hope to offer to the organization.
34. What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
Don't try to deny that you have weaknesses. Be honest, but mention how you've successfully worked to overcome your greatest weakness.
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34. Are You Willing to Travel or Relocate for This Position?
If you say yes simply to get the job and then refuse to travel or relocate, it will create a black mark on your reputation. You will have a hard time securing positive references to show your next potential employer – so be truthful.
35. If You Secure This Position, How Will You Know You're Doing a Good Job?
Create 30-, 60-, and 90-day employment action plans so that you can show your interviewer how you plan to succeed in the role.
36. Do You Have Any Professional Blind Spots?
This question can be hard to answer because, of course, we cannot see our own blind spots. Say that you don't have any that you're aware of, but if one should become clear to you, you would work to overcome it. If you have an example of how you overcame a previous blind spot, share it.
37. What Matters More to You: the Interests of the Organization or Your Own Interests?
While this question may sound complicated, what your employer is really asking is whether you plan to be loyal to the organization or whether you would, for example, simply leave if a higher-paying position came along. Just say that the interests of the organization matter foremost.
38. Describe Your Management Style
Avoid the use of catchy, hackneyed buzzwords. Instead, use real-world anecdotes that demonstrate how you've effectively managed employees in challenging situations. Ultimately, you want to show your interviewer that you have no one absolute management style; instead, you can adapt your style to fit the needs of the situation.
39. How Have You Learned From Your Past Mistakes?
Pick an example of a mistake that casts you in as positive a light as possible (for example, that you once worked ahead of your teammates and disrupted the coordination of a project), and then explain what you learned from the experience.
40. Describe Yourself in Three Words
Pick three words that reflect traits valuable to the position you're applying for.
41. If You Were Hiring for This Position, What Qualities Would You Look for?
Show that you have researched the position by listing the qualities most relevant to it, rather than just listing your own positive qualities verbatim.
42. Do You Think You Are Overqualified for This Job?
Even if you are overqualified, it's best not to say so directly and risk looking conceited. Instead, simply tell your interviewer that you feel you are fully qualified and believe you can perform excellently.
43. How Many Cars Are There in the United States? (Or a Similar 'Trivia' Question)
It's becoming increasingly common for interviewers to throw in trivia questions and brainteasers that ask you to produce seemingly random facts such as the one above. Don't worry: Your interviewer doesn't really expect you to know the exact answer. Instead, they want to see if you will give up, blurt a random answer, or demonstrate logic and problem-solving skills while trying to figure it out. Obviously, you want to do the latter.
44. What Do You Look for in a Boss?
Unless you have managed to find out the exact qualities of the person you will be working for if hired, keep your answer general. Use "safe" terms like fair, knowledgeable, etc.
45. Tell Me About a Time When You Helped Resolve a Dispute at Work
This should be relatively easy to answer. Just make sure that you focus not on the personal nature of the dispute, but on the specifics of how you solved it.
46. What Position Do You Prefer When Working With a Team?
Be honest about which role you prefer. If you get the job, you may well find yourself working in the role you mention.
47. Describe Your Work Ethic
Talk about how you achieve results, making sure that your answer aligns with company goals.
48. What Has Been Your Biggest Professional Disappointment?
Try to mention an incident that was outside of your control and thus not your fault. Make sure to state that you have no hard feelings and that you learned a valuable lesson while coping with adversity.
49. Tell Me About the Most Fun You've Ever Had While on the Job
Don't talk about a particularly enjoyable company event (e.g., a picnic or barbeque). Keep your answer professional by highlighting a project or task that you found uniquely engaging.
50. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?
This is almost always the final question in any job interview. Ask questions that are relevant to your industry and the organization's current actions within it. At all costs, avoid asking questions that could be answered by looking at the company's website. Also avoid generic inquiries like, "When would I start working?" Prepare a list of 10-15 insightful questions that will impress a hiring manager and help you stand out as the best candidate for the position.
While there's no magic formula for how to ace an interview, having well-researched, engaging, and confident answers to the 50 questions outlined in this series will be critical to landing your dream job. Just make sure that you apply the age-old wisdom of "practice makes perfect" when preparing for your interview.
Robert Moment is the "Get Hired Expert and Interview Coach" at www.HowtoInterviewTips.com.