Job Search & Readiness Training

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How you answer the interview questions will tell the employer a lot about you. You need to be confident, clear, and concise. Many people go into an interview without preparing, and it always shows. Practicing is the best way to deal with the difficult questions that you will be expected to answer. The more you practice, the more confident you will be, and the more likely you will be to impress the interviewer.

Here are some ways to answer the six most common types of questions that you will face. Memorize the steps so that you can answer all parts of the questions, and you will stand out from the other people being interviewed who have not practiced.

 

Type of Questions

Hint / Examples

1. Simple Yes & No Questions
Never answer just yes or no. Make sure that you give some kind of an explanation. This is a two part answer:
Answer Yes or No
Explain why.
Question:
Are you reliable?
Answer:
Yes, I take pride in making sure I can be counted on.
2. Definition Questions
Most employers who are asking definition questions are doing it because these are the qualities they want in their employees. This is a two part answer:
Define the word
Tell how you have this quality.
Question:
What does flexibility mean to you?
Answer:
Flexibility means being able to work whenever I am needed, and doing whatever activities are needed. I am a very flexible person and will do whatever you need me to do, whenever you need me to do it.
3. Biggest Strength/Best Attribute/Best Quality/Why should we hire you/What do you have to offer the company Questions
This is an opportunity to tell how wonderful you are! Be prepared and tell them how great you are, and be prepared to stop as soon as you can tell that the interviewer is done listening.

 Question:
What is your best attribute?
Answer:
I am a hard worker who can operate a forklift, do basic computer functions.... (and so on)

 

4. Biggest Weakness Questions

There are two different types of interviewers. One that wants you to admit that you have weaknesses and one that doesn't. To make both types of people happy, use a three step answer:
Tell what weakness you had.
Tell what you have done to improve it.
Tell why it is not a weakness anymore.

Question:

What is your biggest weakness?
Answer:
I used to be very shy, so I made a goal to talk to at least two new people a day. I did that until I wasn't afraid to talk to new people anymore. So now, it's not a problem like it used to be.

5. Prior Conflict/Problem Questions
The way you answer this shows how you handle interpersonal problems. This is a three step answer:
Define the situation/problem.
Tell what you did to improve it.
Tell how your actions made the situation/problem better.
Question:
Tell me about a time when you had a problem with people you worked with?
Answer:
Some of the people I worked with would get together and talk bad about other people we worked with. One day at lunch, several of the people started this gossiping. I told them that I didn't think it was professional, and that I had a hard time respecting anyone who did this. I told them that if I were to hear any more then I would tell the supervisor. Because I did this, the group stopped talking about other people around me.

 6. Situational Questions
Employers ask these questions to see if you can handle situations that are common in the type of work they do.

 The best way to prepare for this type of question, is to talk to other people who are doing the kind of work you are interviewing for, and get their feedback.

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