Job Interviewers are Prepared…are YOU?

What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Why do you want to work for our company? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Although some interviewers will ask some “wacky” questions, it is still most likely that they will ask and spend more time on the more traditional interview questions such as these. So be prepared to answer them!

There are a lot of articles out there are on how to prepare for interviews, but How to Ace the 50 Most Common Job Interview Questions – Forbes is one of my favorites and includes 50 of these common interview questions and provides valuable tips on answering at least seven of them.

In addition, the article lists ways that you can be prepared beyond the interview questions. A few examples:

  • Have you done your homework? In other words, what do you know about the company? They will likely ask you, “what questions do you have for us?” Doing your homework will provide you with knowledge and help you to have a better understanding of what the company’s mission or vision is, what services they offer, and perhaps even the types of individuals they hire. This will help you to ask more meaningful questions. Instead of asking them something you could have already found on their website (if they have one), you could ask them to expand or tell you more details about what is on their website about something specific (e.g., “I saw on your website that you all offer X; I would like to know more about what my role in that would be if I were hired.”). Additionally, during the interview they may mention something about the company and saying, “Yes, I read that on your website” shows that you can take initiative and cared enough about the position enough to research what they were about.
  • Have you Googled yourself? As you are doing YOUR homework, the company or agency in which you are applying is likely doing their homework too. What will they find when they do a search for you? Hopefully nothing about your personal life, that your professional profiles (e.g., on Linked In) are up to date, and that you have been honest with them on your application, in the cover letter or on the resume.
  • Be positive in the interview. Sometimes it’s not even what you say…it is how you say it. No one wants to work with a Debbie Downer, so smile and speak about experiences, previous work, or former bosses optimistically.

Read more tips for being prepared in the full article: How to Ace the 50 Most Common Job Interview Questions – Forbes

About Jill Bowers

Jill is a certified family life educator (CFLE), certified family and consumer scientist (CFCS-HDFS), and a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Human and Community Development at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She developed the idea for this project when she was working on a research project where she interviewed emerging adults (18-20 year olds). Work and career related content was something about which the emerging adults were most interested in learning more, and many of the issues that were at the center of their daily concerns were those surrounding their career plans and navigating the job market. Although some of the emerging adults in the study were aware of the fact that they could find information on the Internet to answer their questions or that there were resources available through their college or University, most of them could not recall being required to participate in any professional development courses that helped them with career-related skills and most of them suffered from “information overload” related to their Internet searches for information that would help them with their career paths. For example, some of them had been told about the importance of networking (e.g., at Career Fairs), but they did not really understand what this was or how to do it. Therefore, as a result of her experiences working with emerging adults, Jill initiated this project to help FCS students by providing them with information that will help ensure their success as they navigate the job market.

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