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Job Interview Questions

So, I have a job interview this afternoon - my first interview in 3 months (though, to be honest, I haven't been looking as much as I should have been). I think this job might be a really good one, and I really REALLY want the interview to go well. I'm going to be meeting with 4 different people for a half hour each. I know many of us here have been job hunting within the past few months, so I have a few interview-related questions:

1) What did you wear?

2) How did you prepare for your interview(s)?

3) Most common questions you were asked?

4) Toughest question you were asked?

5) What questions did you ask the interviewer?


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Re: Job Interview Questions

  • 1) What did you wear? My last interview was last year (?) and it was internal so I wore my work uniform which looks like a business suit. Before working here, and looking for jobs, my mom took me to Macy's and bought me a ton of business suits, like good quality stuff, but stylist, not like shoulder pads and shit, which is what I wore to job interviews.

    2) How did you prepare for your interview(s)? A shot of vodka. Just kidding, I researched the company, I made a list of questions to ask and just prepared answers to potential questions that were going to be asked.

    3) Most common questions you were asked? How do you think you'll benefit this organization? What past experiences make you think you'll be able to handle this role? What was your hardest day at work? What was your most rewarding day at work? What do you like to do in your free time?

    4) Toughest question you were asked? Probably the hardest day at work question. I think it totally bombed my last interview. In my old position, I had someone threaten to kill me, security got involved, EVERYONE in the department knew about it, and I DIDN'T talk about that day in my last interview. I mean technically, it was a hard day at work, but not the worse day ever.

    5) What questions did you ask the interviewer? What are the daily operations of this position? How many people will I be reporting to/reporting to me? Do you promote growth? How do you do that (promote growth) If I know I'm close to the getting the job, I ask about benefits.
     
    GOOD LUCK TODAY!!!!!!

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  • Oooo I like this - back in college I had a teacher who gave us a list of questions to potentially ask in an interview... I will paste them below in my answers.

    1) What did you wear? I wore a sweater, black pants, and heels - no suit, since I was coming from another office, but still dressy.

    2) How did you prepare for your interview(s)? Researched the company online through various websites, and read their website for more info.

    3) Most common questions you were asked? Describe yourself (I hate that), Can you work well under deadlines, Can you handle multitasking, Strengths and weaknesses

    4) Toughest question you were asked? Describe how you turned a weakness into a strength, Where do you expect to see yourself in 5 years (I hate this because I feel you have to basically lie and say you will be growing within the company, otherwise you look like someone who is going to up and leave them right away).

    5) What questions did you ask the interviewer? 
    • Why is this position open?
    • What are the difficulties I might encounter in this job? 
    • What kind of support system would I have to help handle those difficulties? 
    • What are direct managers managing styles (micro, macro)?
    • What kind of advancement opportunities are there, and is there training available? 
    • How/when do evaluations work? 
    • Are there any skills or qualifications you think are essential to succeed in this role?
    Good luck!!!

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  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    1) What did you wear? I wore my black suit and either black flats or some black shoe that was easy to walk in. I usually would wear a tank top under my suit instead of a button down shirt, but I'd also wear my ridiculously grown-up pearl necklace.

    2) How did you prepare for your interview(s)? I wish I had prepared more for most of them. I would try to look up the person interviewing me (I work in science), and I would think about the ways I was qualified for the position before I went in.

    3) Most common questions you were asked? I would have to describe the work I had been doing. For grad school, a lot of people wanted to know why I was interested in getting my PhD.

    4) Toughest question you were asked? Basically, anything relating to why I wanted to work at that company/institute, or why I wanted to be in a particular program at a particular school. Research those places!!

    5) What questions did you ask the interviewer? Since everything was science, I'd ask about the research being done in that person's lab. 
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  • @phira I felt so out of place at my science grad school interviews for those very reasons! I was a chemistry major interviewing for biochem positions without a ton of bio knowledge (for instance I ended up in a micro lab with zero previous micro experience)

    Once I moved on to teaching my interviews were and are completely different. They often involve giving a teaching demonstration and usually some sort of way to prove my obscure knowledge (someone once asked me to describe the person the Krebs cycle was named after...uh yea no). In math high school interviews, they always ask me about student engagement and math manipulatives (hands on stuff)

    I guess what I'm saying is sometimes the interview depends on the job.

    I find one of my things I try to remind myself of during interviews is that it is okay if I take a moment to collect myself before answering a question. That gives me some time to organize my thoughts so I sound like a person that is actually interested and not just flustering
    I guess, to tell you the truth, I've never had much of a desire to grow facial hair. I think I've managed to play quarterback just fine without a mustache. - Peyton
  • Hummingbird125Hummingbird125 New York member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    Thanks! These are all such helpful things to think about. I'm trying to come up with good answers to all of these potential questions....
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  • The only interview I've been on since starting grad school was for the fellowship that I'm doing that begins in January. So take whatever I say with a grain of salt from someone who didn't have to do it many times . . 

    1) What did you wear?
    They strongly suggested "business professional" attire. It was a two day interview. Day one I wore a BR black wool pant suit with a blue patterned blouse underneath, stud earrings, engagement and wedding rings, minimal makeup, hair in a sleek low pony tail, and classic black pumps. Day two I wore the same suit jacket with a white blouse underneath, grey plaid pencil skirt, nude stockings, same shoes, hair, jewelry and makeup. All this stuff was brand new since I wear jeans to the lab everyday now. HA!

    2) How did you prepare for your interview(s)?
    I read up on the program and thought about why I wanted to do it. Read over and came up with answers to "common" interview questions I found via google search. Came up with a framework for my personal philosophy about the field. Read over my resume and the personal statement I had to submit for the fellowship. 

    3) Most common questions you were asked?
    A lot of it was super specific to the field I'm in, so not generally applicable. I did get asked what my hobbies are. What I would do in an ethically challenging situation. What my biggest strength and weakness are. 

    4) Toughest question you were asked?
    Who my worst supervisor was and what traits they have that made them that way. It was actually kind of easy because I have a great example, but was tough because it is my current graduate adviser and one of the people interviewing me knows him. Luckily he agreed with everything I said and of course won't be telling my adviser any of it.

    5) What questions did you ask the interviewer?
    What the opportunities for placement after the fellowship are (sorta like asking what opportunities for advancement in a regular job would be). How did they get into the field. What is life like for a fellow in the program. 

  • cu97tigercu97tiger member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited November 2013
    1) What did you wear?
    A suit. Always a suit unless you are SURE that it is an environment where a nice dress/slacks would suffice.

    2) How did you prepare for your interview(s)?
    Read every word on their website, practically memorized the job posting, made a table of what they required/preferred matched up with my previous experience, came up with answers to the most commonly asked questions, got a manicure, made sure my suit fit me (it didn't for this job, so I had to run out the night before the interview and buy a new one!)

    3) Most common questions you were asked?
    Tell us a little about yourself.
    Why do you want this job?
    Why did you leave/why are you leaving your last job?

    4) Toughest question you were asked?
    I was asked what I liked most and least about my last job. By some dumb stroke of luck, I had come across that on an internet search of typical interview questions, so I already had it answered. Otherwise, I think it would have been tough to come up with on the fly.

    Also, why you left your last job. This one is tricky, because what you say says a lot about you. If you bash your last position, they are going to worry you would do the same to them.

    5) What questions did you ask the interviewer?
    I always ask about corporate culture - is it a family atmosphere? Do people arrive at 8a on the dot and leave at 5p? I also ask about the dress code. And I try to get a sense of whether they want to tell me how to do the job or if they are looking for some level of entrepreneurship in the role.

    ETA: GOOD LUCK!!!
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  • These ladies have some great answers...I just wanted to say "Good Luck!"

  • Hummingbird125Hummingbird125 New York member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    Thank you! These have been really helpful! I've typed up responses to most of these questions, because once I write or type something out I always seem to remember it better. 
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  • 1) What did you wear?
    I always wear a pantsuit. My current suit is black, but my old one (different size) was gray. And a colorful blouse, low black heels, simple jewelry and natural makeup. 

    2) How did you prepare for your interview(s)?
    My last interview was at a place I worked already, so I didn't need to research the company. I always use the interview questions on www.quintcareers.com to practice. In my last professional training, they also suggested thinking of 3-5 projects that demonstrate your strengths to use as examples in your answers. I always try to think how I'd answer questions about my biggest successes and my biggest challenges. It's especially important to practice how you might address anything negative because you don't want to bad mouth anyone.

    3) Most common questions you were asked?
    What's your professional experience? Why would you be a good fit for this position? How do you work with people in different departments? Why are you leaving your previous position?

    4) Toughest question you were asked?
    Why are you leaving your previous position? I was in a really shitty work environment and it was hard to be forward-looking and positive without being really brief. I pretty much just said, "I'm looking for a position with more responsibility."

    5) What questions did you ask the interviewer?
    What does the person in this position do day-to-day (or why did you create this position)? How do people in your organization work together? What opportunities do people in your organization have for professional development? 

    My favorite question when you can't think of anything is: Why did you get into this field? People LOVE to talk about themselves and you can learn a lot if you listen carefully.

    GOOD LUCK!
  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    edited November 2013
    If I'm not too late:
    1) What did you wear?  Business suit (pants, cami, heels -- I did wear a 3in heel which I guess is 'against' the rules, but I'm short and my pants would have dragged otherwise!)

    2) How did you prepare for your interview(s)?  Reviewed the company's profile.

    3) Most common questions you were asked? Past experiences and hobbies.  Why I was looking for a new job.

    4) Toughest question you were asked? I always hate the weakness/strengths questions!!  What can you bring to the company?  I hate that question too because without working there you don't have a true sense of the culture and the background of their current employees.

    5) What questions did you ask the interviewer?
    Ask about the work environment - what's a typical day
    I love asking "Describe your ideal candidate' -- this way in my 'Thank You' letter/email I can reinforce how I would fit into the roll.  If possible - get emails/names/business cards so you can do the 'Thank You' letter, with one job I had it was between me and another person - I did the thank you letter the other candidate did not - that put me over the top

    Edit:  Just wanted to remind you - an interview goes BOTH ways, they're not just interviewing you - you're interviewing them.  You want to make sure you feel it's a good fit for you!  I've turned down jobs because I was a good fit for the company/position but it was not a good fit for me (mainly my work/life balance).


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  • 1) What did you wear?

    For 1st rounds, I usually wore a well-fitting black pants suit, black patent leather wedge heels with tassels on the front, a colorful silk shell, and simple jewelry.  I usually wore my hair down and straightened and my makeup professional and simple.  I avoided perfumes, since some people are sensitive to them.

    2) How did you prepare for your interview(s)?

    I researched the company website.  As much of it as I could.  And I took notes to review on my way to the interview.  I would sometimes look at the interviewers' LinkedIn profiles and performed Google searches on them/the company.  I also looked on Glassdoor.com to learn about their salary ranges and interview questions.

    3) Most common questions you were asked?

    "Tell me about yourself."
    "Where do you see yourself professionally in 3-5 years?"
    "What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?"  (Over time, I learned to answer the strengths question differently.  Instead of talking about character strengths, I listed tangible strengths, like efficiency and computer skills.)
    "Why do you want to work for our company?"
    "Why did you leave your last position?"

    4) Toughest question you were asked?

    "Don't you think you're overqualified for this job?"
    "What does the name of our company mean?"  (They wanted the Gaelic definition.  No, I'm not kidding.)
    "What is the name of the other candidate's dog?"  (It was mentioned in small talk.)
    "What is the name of the receptionist?"

    5) What questions did you ask the interviewer?

    "How would success be measured in this role, and what could someone in this role do to exceed expectations?"

    "What would an average day in the role look like?"

    "Could you describe the structure of the team I would be joining?  How does this team interact with other teams within the organization?"

    "What concerns, if any, do you have about my candidacy?  And how could I address them for you?"


  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    1) What did you wear?
    A suit. There are differing opinions as to whether a skirt or pantsuit is better. I personally don't think it matters as long as you look professional and put together.

    2) How did you prepare for your interview(s)?
    I happened to be interning at a talent management consulting firm when I was job searching. Since my boss specialized in career transitions, I got interview coaching for free. We went over my resume, the job description, etc. and prepared answers to some of the standard questions. Then he sat me in front of a camera and made me answer questions, and we watched the video and critiqued my performance. I think it really helped. If you can do this with a laptop, it’s definitely worth it. Being aware of your body language is important.

    3) Most common questions you were asked?
    Tell me about yourself, what do you know about the company, would you be good for this position, how is your experience relevant.

    4) Toughest question you were asked?
    Strengths and weaknesses.

    5) What questions did you ask the interviewer?
    General questions to understand the work, the clients (if applicable), the business cycle, and specific requirements of the job. After all that has been answered, I asked if there was anything I could do to improve my standing in the selection process. I got some useful feedback.
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  • No good advice, I've only ever had two interviews in my entire life! But, I wanted to say good luck! Let us know how it goes!

  • @hummingbird125, for your questions to ask, feel free to bring that in your portfolio/binder/whatever along with your resume - people always are impressed when you already have questions written down to ask :)

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  • Hummingbird125Hummingbird125 New York member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    Thanks for all the suggestions! I think it went well, but each of the 4 people I met with seemed to do most of the talking - they actually didn't ask me too many questions and spent most of the time explaining the duties of the position to me. Thus, I have no idea how well I did. I think I answered the questions that were asked very well, but there weren't really a lot of opportunities to impress anyone. It's possible they already made up their minds about myself or someone else they interviewed, and were just going through the paces. No idea. Either way, it was good to interview again, and even if I don't get this position I feel more prepared for future interviews. We'll see!
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  • @Hummingbird125 - I'm sure you did fine.  I've interviewed a lot of people and I honestly feel like the ones I talk to more, I relate to more.  Fingers crossed for you.
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