Your goal with an interview is to market yourself as the best candidate for the job and for you to determine if the position and the organization is a good fit for you. Some things to keep in mind when answering interview questions are:
- Related work experience
- Interpersonal skills
- Creativity and intelligence
- Positive attitude toward work
- Proficiency in field of study
- Written and oral communication skills
- Critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Strong work ethic
- Initiative and motivation
- Leadership potential
- Education and Extracurricular Activities
It is completely understandable for you to be nervous, most people are. The best way to decrease nerves is to be prepared and practice interview questions ahead of time. The Career Hub can help you market your potential. Preparation builds confidence which leads to successful interviewing.
The Career Hub can help you:
- Practice Common Questions: Contact us a few days prior to your interview and we will do our best to set up a Mock Interview and prepare you for frequently asked interview questions.
- Develop Self Knowledge: Confidence stems from knowing your strengths, skills and qualifications. We can help you identify transferable skills as they relate to each job and find ways to best communicate them with potential employers.
- Answer Behavioral Questions: Examples are hard to think of on the spot. Learn how to properly use the S.T.A.R. method to easily answer behavioral questions and to set yourself apart from the rest of the candidates.
Sample interview questions
Tell me about yourself.
Begin by explaining to the employer what you are presently doing that’s relevant to the position or industry. You can elaborate on what you’re studying at TMCC or how your current employment relates to the position you’re interviewing for. Then continue to describe relevant positions you’ve held in the past or skills you’ve demonstrated that contribute to the position at hand. Finally, mention how this current position or company plays an important role in your future goals.
Now, what’s the rule? Keep everything relevant.
This is not the time to inform them about your family or weekend activities. Make sure that all of the information you share can be tied back to the benefits of hiring you for the position.
"Well, I’m currently an administrative assistant at Widgets USA, where I schedule appointments, answer phone calls, input client information and other administrative functions for 5 office managers. Before that, I worked at a company where I was the customer service manager leading a team of 8. And while I really enjoyed the work that I did, I’d love the chance to dig in much deeper with one specific company, which is why I’m so excited about this opportunity with Sprocket Center."
What interests you about this job?
Relate what is stated in the job description with your previous experiences and skills. That way, the employer will see that you know about the job you're interviewing for and that you have the qualifications necessary to do the job. Also, use this time to flatter the company and state something positive about the organization.
“I’ve previously held a receptionist position for 3 years and feel that I have the skills needed to succeed in this position. I am able to type 60 words per minute and have worked with Microsoft Office regularly for the last 10 years. I like to keep busy, so multi-tasking comes easily to me. I have worked as a legal assistant for over 3 attorneys at once so I am familiar with working in a busy environment.”
What are your future goals?
Employers want to know that you plan on sticking around. It takes time to train new employees and they want to invest that time in an employee who will stay with them for a while. If you are unsure of your timeline with the company, keep your answer short.
“My current goals are to complete my Business degree at TMCC and then to obtain my Bachelor’s degree from UNR while developing my professional skills and growing with your company.”
Do you prefer to work independently or in a team?
Depending on the position, employers are interested in whether you prefer to work alone and whether or not you’re able to work collaboratively when needed. You don’t want to specifically choose one over the other because you want employers to believe you are flexible and willing to adapt to any environment.
“I am familiar with both and am willing to work either independently or as part of a team. I appreciate working collaboratively because everyone contributes something different and has different viewpoints to improve the project or goal, however, I have worked alone on many projects and know that I am capable of excelling on my own as well.”
More job-specific interview questions are available online. Simply Google “Interview questions” with the job or industry you are applying for and links with more specific questions will be available. If you need assistance with this, the Career Hub can help you.