Simple Interview questions part 1

Hello  all, this post will deal with a set of 64 simple interview question and how to answer it, each post will be added daily for continuous 8 days, read and enjoy.!!!!!

Part 1

Question 1          Tell me about yourself.
TRAPS:  Beware, about 80% of all interviews begin with
this “innocent” question. Many candidates, unprepared for the question, skewer
themselves by rambling, recapping their life story, delving into ancient work
history or personal matters.
BEST ANSWER:  Start with the present and tell why you are
well qualified for the position. Remember that the key to all successful
interviewing is to match your qualifications to what the interviewer is looking
for. In other words you must sell what
the buyer is buying. This is the single most important strategy in job hunting.
So, before you
answer this or any question it’s
imperative that you try to uncover your interviewer’s greatest need, want,
problem or goal.
To do so, make you
take these two steps:
  1. Do all the homework you can before the
    interview to uncover this person’s
    wants and needs (not the generalized needs of the industry or company)
  2. As early as you can in the interview,
    ask for a more complete description of what the position entails.  You might say: “I have a number of
    accomplishments I’d like to tell you about, but I want to make the best
    use of our time together and talk directly to your needs. To help me do,
    that, could you tell me more about the most important priorities of this position?
     All I know is what I (heard from
    the recruiter, read in the classified ad, etc.)”
Then, ALWAYS follow-up with a second and possibly,
third question
, to draw out his needs even more. Surprisingly, it’s usually
this second or third question that unearths what the interviewer is most looking for.
You might ask
simply, “And in addition to that?…” or, “Is there anything
else you see as essential to success in this position?:
This process will
not feel easy or natural at first, because it is easier simply to answer
questions, but only if you uncover the employer’s wants and needs will your
answers make the most sense. Practice asking these key questions before giving
your answers, the process will feel more natural and you will be light years ahead of the other job candidates you’re
competing with
After uncovering
what the employer is looking for, describe why the needs of this job bear
striking parallels to tasks you’ve succeeded at before. Be sure to illustrate
with specific examples of your responsibilities and especially your
achievements, all of which are geared to present yourself as a perfect match
for the needs he has just described.
Question 2          What are your greatest strengths?
TRAPS:  This question seems like a softball lob, but
be prepared. You don’t want to come across as egotistical or arrogant. Neither
is this a time to be humble.
BEST ANSWER:  You know that your key strategy is to first
uncover your interviewer’s greatest wants and needs before you answer
questions. And from Question 1, you know how to do this.
Prior to any
interview, you should have a list mentally prepared of your greatest strengths.
You should also have, a specific example or two, which illustrates each
strength, an example chosen from your most recent and most impressive
You should, have
this list of your greatest strengths and corresponding examples from your
achievements so well committed to memory that you can recite them cold after
being shaken awake at 2:30AM.
Then, once you
uncover your interviewer’s greatest wants and needs, you can choose those
achievements from your list that best match up.
As a general
guideline, the 10 most desirable traits that all employers love to see in their
employees are:
A proven
track record as an achiever…especially
if your achievements match up with the employer’s greatest wants and needs.
decent human being.
Good fit
with corporate culture…someone to feel comfortable with…a team player who
meshes well with interviewer’s team.
attitude…sense of humor.
communication skills.
to walk the extra mile to achieve excellence.
of purpose…clear goals.
level of motivation.
Question 3          What are your greatest weaknesses?
TRAPS:  Beware – this is an eliminator question,
designed to shorten the candidate list. Any admission of a weakness or fault
will earn you an “A” for honesty, but an “F” for the interview.
  Disguise a strength as a weakness.
Example: “I sometimes push my people too hard.  I like to work with a sense of urgency and
everyone is not always on the same wavelength.”
Drawback:  This strategy is better than
admitting a flaw, but it’s so widely used, it is transparent to any experienced
BEST ANSWER:  (and another reason it’s so important to get a
thorough description of your interviewer’s needs before you answer questions): Assure the interviewer that you can
think of nothing that would stand in the way of your performing in this
position with excellence. Then, quickly review you strongest qualifications.
Example:  “Nobody’s perfect, but based on
what you’ve told me about this position, I believe I’ d make an outstanding
 I know that when I hire people, I look for two things most of all. Do
they have the qualifications to do
the job well, and the motivation to
do it well?  Everything in my background
shows I have both the qualifications and a strong desire to achieve excellence
in whatever I take on. So I can say in all honesty that I see nothing that
would cause you even a small concern about my ability or my strong desire to
perform this job with excellence.”
Alternate strategy (if you don’t yet know enough about the
position to talk about such a perfect fit):
Instead of confessing a weakness, describe what you like most and like least,
making sure that what you like most matches up with the most important
qualification for success in the position, and what you like least is not
Example:  Let’s say you’re applying for a
teaching position. “If given a choice, I like to spend as much time as possible
in front of my prospects selling, as opposed to shuffling paperwork back at the
office.  Of course, I long ago learned
the importance of filing paperwork properly, and I do it conscientiously. But
what I really love to do is sell (if your interviewer were a sales manager, this
should be music to his ears.)
Question 4          Tell me about something you did – or failed to do – that you now feel a
little ashamed of.
TRAPS:  There are some questions your interviewer
has no business asking, and this is one. 
But while you may feel like answering, “none of your business,” naturally you can’t.  Some interviewers ask this question on the
chance you admit to something, but if not, at least they’ll see how you think
on your feet.
Some unprepared candidates, flustered by this question,
unburden themselves of guilt from their personal life or career, perhaps expressing
regrets regarding a parent, spouse, child, etc. 
All such answers can be disastrous.
BEST ANSWER:  As with faults and weaknesses, never confess a regret.  But don’t seem as if you’re stonewalling
Best strategy:  Say you harbor no regrets, then add a
principle or habit you practice regularly for healthy human relations.
Example:  Pause for reflection, as if the question
never occurred to you.  Then say, “You
know, I really can’t think of anything.” 
(Pause again, then add): “I would add that as a general management
principle, I’ve found that the best way to avoid regrets is to avoid causing
them in the first place.  I practice one
habit that helps me a great deal in this regard. 
At the end of each day, I mentally review the
day’s events and conversations to take a second look at the people and
developments I’m involved with and do a doublecheck of what they’re likely to
be feeling.  Sometimes I’ll see things
that do need more follow-up, whether a pat on the back, or maybe a five minute
chat in someone’s office to make sure we’re clear on things…whatever.”
“I also like to make each person feel like a member of an
elite team, like the Boston Celtics or LA Lakers in their prime.  I’ve found that if you let each team member
know you expect excellence in their performance…if you work hard to set an
example yourself…and if you let people know you appreciate and respect their
feelings, you wind up with a highly motivated group, a team that’s having fun
at work because they’re striving for excellence rather than brooding over
slights or regrets.”
Question 5          Why are you leaving (or did you leave) this position?
TRAPS:  Never badmouth your previous industry,
company, board, boss, staff, employees or customers.  This rule is inviolable:  never
be negative.
  Any mud you hurl will
only soil your suit.
Especially avoid words like “personality clash”, “didn’t get
along”, or others which cast a shadow on your competence, integrity, or temperament.
                                                         (If you have a job

If you’re not yet 100% committed to leaving your present post, don’t be
afraid to say so.  Since you have a job,
you are in a stronger position than someone who does not.  But don’t be coy either.  State honestly what you’d be hoping to find
in a new spot.  Of course, as stated often
before, you answer will all the stronger if you have already uncovered what
this position is all about and you match your desires to it.
                                                 (If you do not
presently have a job.)

Never lie about having been fired. 
It’s unethical – and too easily checked.  But do try to deflect the reason from you
personally.  If your firing was the
result of a takeover, merger, division wide layoff, etc., so much the better.
But you should also do something totally unnatural that will
demonstrate consummate professionalism. 
Even if it hurts , describe
your own firing – candidly, succinctly and without a trace of bitterness – from
the company’s point-of-view,
indicating that you could understand why it happened and you might have made
the same decision yourself.
Your stature will rise immensely and, most important of all,
you will show you are healed from the wounds inflicted by the firing.  You will enhance your image as first-class
management material and stand head and shoulders above the legions of firing
victims who, at the slightest provocation, zip open their shirts to expose
their battle scars and decry the unfairness of it all.
For all prior
Make sure you’ve prepared a brief reason for leaving.  Best
  more money, opportunity,
responsibility or growth.
Question 6          The “Silent Treatment”
TRAPS:  Beware
– if you are unprepared for this question, you will probably not handle it
right and possibly blow the interview. 
Thank goodness most interviewers don’t employ it.  It’s normally used by those determined to see
how you respond under stress.  Here’s how
it works:
You answer an interviewer’s question and then, instead of
asking another, he just stares at you in a deafening silence.
You wait, growing a bit uneasy, and there he sits, silent as
Mt. Rushmore, as if he doesn’t believe what
you’ve just said, or perhaps making you feel that you’ve unwittingly violated
some cardinal rule of interview etiquette.
When you get this silent treatment after answering a
particularly difficult question , such as “tell me about your weaknesses”, its
intimidating effect can be most disquieting, even to polished job hunters.
Most unprepared candidates rush in to fill the void of
silence, viewing prolonged, uncomfortable silences as an invitation to clear up
the previous answer which has obviously caused some problem.   
And that’s what they do – ramble on,
sputtering more and more information, sometimes irrelevant and often damaging,
because they are suddenly playing the role of someone who’s goofed and is now
trying to recoup.  But since the
candidate doesn’t know where or how he goofed, he just keeps talking, showing
how flustered and confused he is by the interviewer’s unmovable silence.
BEST ANSWER:  Like a primitive tribal mask, the Silent
Treatment loses all it power to frighten you once you refuse to be
intimidated.  If your interviewer pulls
it, keep quiet yourself for a while and then ask, with sincere politeness and
not a trace of sarcasm, “Is there anything
else I can fill in on that point?”
That’s all there is to it.
Whatever you do, don’t let the Silent Treatment intimidate
you into talking a blue streak, because you could easily talk yourself out of
the position.
Question 7          Why should I hire you?
TRAPS:  Believe it or not, this is a killer question
because so many candidates are unprepared for it.  If you stammer or adlib you’ve blown it.
BEST ANSWER:  By now you can see how critical it is to
apply the overall strategy of uncovering the employer’s needs before you answer questions.  If you know the employer’s greatest needs and
desires, this question will give you a big leg up over other candidates because
you will give him better reasons for hiring you than anyone else is likely
to…reasons tied directly to his needs.
Whether your interviewer asks you this question explicitly or not, this is the most
important question of your interview because he must answer this question favorably in is own mind before you will
be hired.  So help him out!  Walk
through each of the position’s requirements as you understand them, and follow
each with a reason why you meet that requirement so well.
Example:  “As I understand your needs, you are first
and foremost looking for someone who can manage the sales and marketing of your
book publishing division.  As you’ve said
you need someone with a strong background in trade book sales.  This is where I’ve spent almost all of my
career, so I’ve chalked up 18 years of experience exactly in this area.  I believe that I know the right contacts,
methods, principles, and successful management techniques as well as any person
can in our industry.”
“You also need someone who can expand your book distribution
channels. In my prior post, my innovative promotional ideas doubled, then
tripled, the number of outlets selling our books.  I’m confident I can do the same for you.”
“You need someone to give a new shot in the arm to your mail
order sales, someone who knows how to sell in space and direct mail media.  Here, too, I believe I have exactly the
experience you need.  In the last five
years, I’ve increased our mail order book sales from $600,000 to $2,800,000,
and now we’re the country’s second leading marketer of scientific and medical
books by mail.”  Etc., etc., etc.,
Every one of these selling “couplets” (his need matched by
your qualifications) is a touchdown that runs up your score.  IT is your best opportunity to outsell your
Question 8          Aren’t you overqualified for this position?
TRAPS:  The employer may be concerned that you’ll
grow dissatisfied and leave.
BEST ANSWER:  As with any objection, don’t view this as a
sign of imminent defeat.  It’s an
invitation to teach the interviewer a new way to think about this situation,
seeing advantages instead of drawbacks.
Example:  “I recognize the job market for what it
is – a marketplace.  Like any
marketplace, it’s subject to the laws of supply and demand.  So ‘overqualified’ can be a relative term,
depending on how tight the job market is. 
And right now, it’s very tight.  I
understand and accept that.”
“I also believe that there could be very positive benefits
for both of us in this match.”
“Because of my unusually strong experience in
________________ , I could start to contribute right away, perhaps much faster
than someone who’d have to be brought along more slowly.”
“There’s also the value of all the training and years of
experience that other companies have invested tens of thousands of dollars to
give me.  You’d be getting all the value
of that without having to pay an extra dime for it.  With someone who has yet to acquire that
experience, he’d have to gain it on your
“I could also help you in many things they don’t teach at
the Harvard Business School.  For example…(how to hire, train, motivate,
etc.)  When it comes to knowing how to
work well with people and getting the most out of them, there’s just no
substitute for what you learn over many years of front-line experience.  You company would gain all this, too.”
“From my side, there are strong benefits, as well.   Right now, I am unemployed.  I want to work, very much, and the position you have here is exactly what I love to
do and am best at.  I’ll be happy doing
this work and that’s what matters most to me, a lot more that money or title.”
“Most important, I’m looking to make a long term commitment
in my career now. I’ve had enough of job-hunting and want a permanent spot at
this point in my career.  I also know
that if I perform this job with excellence, other opportunities cannot help but
open up for me right here.  In time, I’ll
find many other ways to help this company and in so doing, help myself. 
 I really am looking to make a long-term
NOTE:  The main
concern behind the “overqualified” question is that you will leave your new
employer as soon as something better comes your way.  Anything you can say to demonstrate the
sincerity of your commitment to the employer and reassure him that you’re
looking to stay for the long-term will help you overcome this objection.

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Jeffry is a Mechanical Engineer by education and an aspiring writer and blogger. After working hard for around 12 hours a day on his core job, he spends his remaining time in blogging and reading articles online. And he loves to make poor jokes, so be prepared.

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