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can deal with daily petty problems. Make sure you address your common sense, perseverance, and patience in these situa- tions. Have a relevant example you can cite. Use one that highlights how you used your unique persona to solve the issue.

6. “Our company has to deal with ‘X;’ how would you handle this situation?” Don’t offer a complete solution. In-

stead talk about the process you would go through to get to the solution. Hypotheti- cal questions are often trick questions. The employer often knows the answer be- cause the situation may be real rather than fictional, and it’s something the organiza- tion has been through. You are at a disad- vantage in this situation as you don’t know the details of the problem, how the culture works and what options have failed. If you launch into a solution that the em- ployer already rejected, you don’t look smart; you look naïve and unprepared. You also don’t want to give too much away. Let them offer you the job if they want the full solution.

7. “So what makes you think you are qualified for this position? You

don’t seem to be?” This question is designed to provoke a

response. The response the interviewer is looking for is not the answer but how you react to confrontation and conflict. Pick two or three main aspects about the job, and about yourself, and connect them. Target the skills directly related to the po- sition and then provide a brief story to show your success in past similar situa- tions. Don’t get combative with the em- ployer, but prove your value.

8. “Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?” On a beach in Mexico ... no, just kid-

ding. Make your goals realistic. Too much ambition does not look good in an inter-


view. Promotions usually come in one to three years, so work with that reality. Don’t talk about your dreams that don’t relate to work, thus giving the interviewer the impression you are not committed or planning to stay (Example: A desire to start your own business).

9. “Why should we hire you for this position?”

Summarize your skills in a way that is

directly relevant to what you have learned about the position in the interview. Be thoughtful, be organized, and be genuine. The unspoken part of this question is “Why should we hire you [over all the other candidates] for this position?” Be prepared to describe how you can do the job better than anyone else.

10. “Is there anything you would like to know about the company?” This question is often the last one

asked. Have a few questions prepared re- garding the position and the potential for growth. Having researched vacation time, pay, and other benefits with HR, the re-


cruiter, and colleagues in the industry, leave questions about vacation time and pay raises at home. You want to get of- fered the job before you get into specifics. Also refrain from asking questions that can easily be answered through research, such as on the employer’s Website.

Final Thoughts While the foregoing questions are

asked in many interviews, every interview is different, and the variety of questions you could be asked is vast. See many more interview questions and sample responses in Quintessential Careers’ Job Interview Questions Database for Job-Seekers. Questions about some of the terminol-

ogy used in this article? Get more infor- mation (definitions and links) on key col- lege, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms. Career Coach David Couper is author

of Outsiders on the Inside: Creating A Winning Career... Even When You Don’t Fit In.

Copyright by Quintessential Careers. The original article can be found at: interview_questions.html. Reprinted with permission.


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