Job Interview – What Questions Will Be Asked?

Being prepared for a job interview involves not only choosing the right suit and learning about the company. It also requires mentally preparing for the main event of the interview: the exchanging of questions and answers.

Chances are you will be asked some of the questions listed on the following pages. Read the questions and write out your ideal responses. Next, see if you can include a personal example illustrating each response. In the process, try to paint a picture for your interviewer that creates an image of competence and devotion to the prospective position. Avoid negativity in any of your responses.

Condense your answers and underline the key words. This is a time-consuming task you should complete well in advance of your interview. Review the questions and key words a few hours prior to the interview. Using the key words as prompts, rather than memorizing lines, will keep your answers sounding fresh and unrehearsed. With enough preparation, you will sound confident and at ease. Having the ability to focus on the interview without distraction will certainly increase your chances of success.

There are some questions you should be aware of, however, that are off-limits. Interviewers cannot legally inquire about your specific age, race, national origin, religion, medical history, marital status, or sexual preference. Federal and state laws forbid employers from discriminating against people based on these personal attributes. However, these laws don’t always keep interviewers from either accidentally or intentionally asking these questions.

What do you do if you’re faced with an inappropriate question? First, try to determine if it was asked as an honest mistake or intentionally as a way to uncover reasons to reject you as a candidate. If you feel the interviewer is genuinely sincere and just wants to know more about you as a person, the best advice is to answer the question honestly and then redirect the questioning back to more job-related ones. For example, to tactfully answer the interviewer’s question as to whether or not you are married, you might want to say: “I recently got married and let me tell you what a lesson I learned about being organized! There is as much to do when planning a big wedding as there was at my last job.

I really had to juggle a lot of responsibilities, but I feel I can bring those skills to this position and…” Remember, try to turn every question into a positive and a way to emphasize you’re the right person to fulfill the position. There really is no sense in becoming overly confrontational when presented with an innocent mistake on the part of the interviewer. Of course, only you can judge what the limits are to this line of questioning, and you have every right to politely request that he or she refrain from asking you illegal personal questions if you feel at all uncomfortable answering them.

If you do feel you may have been discriminated against through the use of illegal questions, you may want to seek out the advice of a lawyer or, at the very least, register a complaint with the company’s human resources department. They may be able to make arrangements for you to meet with another interviewer.

Questions You Might Be Asked in a First Interview
Questions You Might Be Asked in a Second Interview
Questions You Might Ask the Interviewer in Your First Interview
Questions You Might Ask the Interviewer in Your Second Interview


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