So you are looking for a job. This is going to be your first interview and you are a little nervous. This is natural, especially if you don’t have much of an idea what they will ask that might be embarrassing. Well, I have heard about some of these interviews, and it’s good to be prepared for what questions you might b asked. I’m going to give you some examples of questions that have been asked. You may never get questions like the ones I’m about to tell you, but it’s a good idea to be prepared.
I have a friend who came from El Salvador. She arrived in Los Angeles when she was 14 years old. Since young people lose most of their accent rather quickly, so did she. When she was in her twenties, she went on an interview for a job. She is a very smart young woman, graduated from college, and received very good grades. The interviewer asked where she was from. She told him that she was from El Salvador. He quickly responded, “Oh, I just remember that we have no openings currently.” She realized why he said this to her. He was afraid that she might be in this country illegally. This is a good reason to be aware that if anyone applying for a job and is from another country, bring in your citizenship documents if you have one.
Once when I went on an interview, the person interviewing me asked if I get along with assertive people. I’m rather a mild mannered person, so I guess that was the reason why he asked me this question several times during the interview. I realized that the boss must be rather domineering, so I just answered, “I know how to get around them. I get along with most people.” Believe it or not, I got the job. It’s a good idea if the interviewer hints about an aggressive boss, and if you don’t mind that type of person, let this be known. On the other hand, if aggressive bosses “turn you off,” then you know what to answer.
Sometimes an interviewer may ask how you felt about your last employer or the people on your last job No matter how negative you felt about these people, don’t say anything negative. Some people love to gossip on their job, and the interviewer may be testing to see if the potential employee is a gossiper.
According to Steven Roy Goodman an educational consultant and career strategist in Washington D.C., his advice to his clients is: “Answer inappropriate interview questions by politely saying, That question makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. Would you mind if we talked about how specifically I might be able to work with department X of company Y?”
Terry Henley, director of compensation services at Employees Resources Association recommends that “Although candidates have little to no control over what questions an interviewer chooses to ask, they do have the power to discuss why you’re the best person for the job.”
Sometimes there is a panel who interviews a person for a job rather than just one person. According to Greg Karanastasis, director of talent management for The McGraw-Hill Companies, “Different interviewers will each focus on different matters, depending on their own experiences.”
When there is a panel interview, each interviewer hears the same answer. This is good because all of the interviewers will be on the “same page” when discussing the candidate.
In this situation, it is important for the person being interviewed to build a rapport with each person. It is wise to make eye contact with each individual on the panel.
It is also a good idea to send each interviewer an individual thank-you note via e-mail. This helps to establish a personal connection. A job seeker can also mention how he/she can have an impact on the company in a certain way.
Sources: Steven Ray Goodman, educational consultant and career strategist, Washington D.C., Terry Henley, director of compensation services at Employees Resources Association, Greg Karanastasis, director talent management for McGraw Hill