© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
Preparing for typical job interview questions is more than anything else a process of guessing what the interviewer is going to say. A good way to go about that process is to start preparing yourself for the least job specific questions and then moving into the most job specific topics and subjects. At the end of the least job related spectrum, some typical interview questions include such old standbys as "What would you say your strong points are?" and "What are your weak points?" Further along the scale are questions like "Where do you see yourself in five years?" and "What do you like about this job?"
Typical job interview questions that are job specific include those that ask you to relive your job experiences. You may be asked to talk about a specific problem you faced in the workplace and how you handled it. Another type might lay out a hypothetical job issue or problem and ask you what you would do to handle that in the future. In both cases, the interviewer is usually looking for a sense of how you behave, with the expectation that you will continue to act like that in the future. All of these job interview questions are challenging in their own ways, but at the same time extremely simple to prepare for if you are willing to do a little extra work.
The most effective answers to these typical job interview questions are the answers that most convincingly convey that you have the experience, skill, characteristics and personality the target position requires. What's more, you can find these skills, characteristics, experiences and personality traits for yourself with a little bit of research. After all, companies aren't keeping their profile of the ideal candidate secret. On the contrary. They are shouting from the mountaintops exactly what kind of person they are looking for, in the hope that that individual hears them and applies for the job. A good starting point is the job advertisement and job description.
The typical job interview questions that you will encounter will likely come from that job description in some form or other. For instance, if the job description says the employee is responsible for leading teams of sales professionals, you can bet that you will be asked about your experience doing just that. Consequently, the best way to prepare for typical job interview questions is to create a list of the desired skills, characteristics and experiences and create a matching list of examples from your work life that demonstrates those qualities. Then when you undergo your job interview you simply wait for the opportunity to relate your experience and tell your relevant story or example. Being prepared to talk about such things will also help you remain calm and collected during the interview process.
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