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General Questions

“Tell me about yourself”

Impossible to answer fully! Select strengths, skills, achievements and particularly benefits to other employers’ which your research shows will be of greatest interest to them. State very briefly your background and positions held. Do not speak for longer than a few minutes. Keep eye contact with your interviewer, and be sure that you have their interest.

“What can you offer us?”

Be sure you know something about the situation you have in mind before you try to answer. Then you can relate some of your past experiences where you have succeeded in solving problems that appear similar to those of your prospective employer. You can also mention an achievement that you think will impress.

“What are your strengths?

You should be able to list and concisely explain 3 or 4 essential strengths that are relevant to their needs. A couple of examples of benefits to previous employers will substantiate this.

“What have you accomplished?”

Try to pick out accomplishments that bear on the challenge you may have been discussing. Stay away from ancient times. Again substantiate with examples of savings or improvements by past employers you have worked for.

“What are your limitations?”

Respond with a strength which, if over-done can get in your way and becomes a weakness. For example, you might say, "My ambition to get the job done sometimes causes me to press a little too hard on staff or my organisation, but I am aware of the problem and believe that I have it under control". Alternatively, deal with your need for further training in some new aspect. Do not claim to be faultless.

“What are your ambitious for the future?”

Indicate your desire to concentrate on doing the immediate job well - you're confident that the future will take care of itself. You do not want to convey the idea that you have no desire to progress, but you need to avoid statements that might indicate you put your personal career before doing a good job.

“What do you know about our company?”

If you have already done your homework, you can honestly state that you have studied published information and are thus aware of the basic facts. However, you might also state that you would like to know more - and then be prepared to ask some intelligent questions. Do not try to show off and recite all you have learned, but merely let your knowledge flow in a brief concise manner.

“Why do you want to be selected for this job?”

Indicate that, from the study of their company, many activities and problems would give you a clear chance to contribute to the company - through experience and skills. If you can honestly say so, explain your admiration for the company and what it is that impresses you.

“What do you look for from your employer?”

Keep your answer opportunity orientated. Talk about the chance you would have to perform and get recognition. How your contribution in helping to solve problems is rewarding to you.

“Do you feel you might be over qualified or too important for a small company like ours?”

A good company needs good people with the appropriate experience. Explain that you are willing to bet that your accomplishments in other companies can be repeated here.

“What is your management style?”

If you have not thought about this one...time you did. Talk about your expertise and experience. Say how you get the best out of your team, say how you enjoy helping to ensure your boss achieves his/her objectives.

“Why do you feel that you have a good potential to be picked for this job?”

Keep your answer orientated towards your past achievements and the task to be done. Explain how you go about getting work done. Be proud of your own record. BE POSITIVE.

“What do you see as the most difficult task in being successful?”

Getting things done, and planned on time within the budget. Ensuring the customer gets the best possible service. Stress how important customer satisfaction is to you.

“In your last company what were the things that you liked most and least?”

Be careful here. Emphasise the positive and do not carry on at length about the negatives.

“Describe a situation in which your work was criticised?”

Be specific and brief - avoid getting emotional and defensive about it. Keep to criticism from your boss - never a customer.

“How do you hold up under pressure of deadlines?”

"I can handle it; it is a way of life in the business world".

“What sort of reading do you do?”

Be honest; mention some of the things you read in order to keep yourself up-to-date in your professional field. However, it is fitting to show balanced interests by your recreational reading too.

“Do you consider yourself a creative person?”

YES (and be prepared to give a couple of examples where you have solved problems).

“How would you describe your own personality?”

Balanced and human. Mention two or three useful traits i.e. self-motivation, honest, hard working, totally reliable, integrity etc.

“What are your strongest points?”

Be ready to present at least three - preferably in a way that relates them to the potential employers needs.

“What sort of relationship do you have with your associates within your last company, both at the same level and above you?”

This is a very important question, and you can well afford to take your time and answer in steps. When talking about your relationships with associates, be prepared to state your philosophy of co-operation, particularly how specialists are available to help you with complex problems. Concerning bosses, indicate your keen interest in understanding the expectations of your boss, so that you and your organisation can build your goals in a way that will support his/her goals. You may also want to talk about how you would go about keeping your boss informed. How your boss was supportive and understanding which helped you to give ongoing support to him and the team.

“What are some of your activities outside of work?”

Your answer should show that you lead a balanced life. Avoid throwing in so many outside activities that it casts some doubt on how much time you have left for your job. Remember too, that your hobbies and recreations can be quite revealing as to your own personality.

“Are you continuing your professional training?”

If you are not actually attending or planning to attend formal classes, be ready to explain what sort of outside reading (of books or magazines) or attendance at professional seminars you undertake in order to keep yourself up to date with developments in the world of IT.

“There are five other candidates waiting to be interviewed for this job. Why should I give it to you?”

A good way to respond to this is to say very clearly that you are capable of doing the job well. You might like to add that your last employer thought highly of you. This is an ideal point at which to emphasize your strengths, skills and achievements.

Remember: THINK POSITIVE - it is not what you have not got, but what you have that the company will be interested in. Best prepared applicant usually gets the job.


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