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Tough Job Interview Questions – Be Prepared

Monday, February 14, 2011
Interview questions can make the strongest weak at the knees.

Many stumble when asked basic questions such as:

What position are you looking for?

Tell me about yourself?  - or -  What skill set do you “bring to the table”?

Job interview answers should be natural and spontaneous Choose one to three career options based on your experience and interests and write out and practice a Summary Statement, 30 – 45 second paragraph to talk about your work experience.


“My best fit will be as a production supervisor but I also have great interest in positions where I can use my process engineering and maintenance knowledge”.

“I have seven years as experience as a production supervisor in high speed pharmaceutical packaging and have managed groups from 10 to 25 people. I am presently enrolled in an industrial engineering night school course at Cambridge College and have had the opportunity to become more involved in the maintenance and process side over the past two years and I am looking for an opportunity where I can apply these skills and assume more responsibility”.

Golden Interview Tip: Keep it short, to the point, work related and professional.

Interview Questions

There are two basic types of questions – standard open ended and behavioural.

Standard Interview Questions  

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • Where do you want to be in five years?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What are you greatest weaknesses?
  • Why are you looking for a new position?
  • What do you know about our company – the position?
  • What is the biggest mistake you have made?
  • What is the biggest challenge you have had?
  • What did you learn from that?
  • What comments did you receive in your last review?
  • What is the most difficult job you have had and why?
  • Which job did you enjoy the most and why?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What do you wish you could have done again?
  • What salary are you looking for?

Behavioural Interview Questions

  • Can you give an example of a conflict situation or disagreement involving a co-worker or supervisor and how you handled it?
  • When a team member is not pulling their weight, what do you do about it?
  • Give an example of how you handle a quality issue with the customer?
  • When projects are backing up with deadlines approaching what do you do?
  • Give a specific example of a production problem you have faced and the steps you took to resolve it?

Golden Interview Tip 1: Listen to the question. If not sure, ask for clarification. Answer only the question you are asked and then be quiet. Do not embellish. Do not brag.

Golden Interview Tip 2: Practice answering each of these questions out loud. Then ask a family member or friend to take you through each question. It can really help.

Golden Interview Tip 3: Join a local International Toastmasters Club. It is reasonably priced, friendly and supportive and a great place to practice answering impromptu questions and public speaking.

Remember: You never get a second chance to make that first impression.

Latest Blog Posts

  1. What we do not want to see on your resume Simon Bull 07-Mar-2015
  2. If only I knew what they wanted to see on my resume Simon Bull 21-Feb-2015
  3. Tough Job Interview Questions – Be Prepared Tyson Tredger 14-Feb-2011
  4. Job Interview Hints and Tips – The Interview Tyson Tredger 11-Feb-2011
  5. Job Interview Hints and Tips – Before the Interview Tyson Tredger 10-Feb-2011

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