Your One Chance to Make a Good Impression

Interview Tips

1. Which job on your resume was your favorite?

This question says a lot about your values and your approach to work. Which was your favorite job, and why. Ideally, you want to talk about the job that’s most similar to the one for which you are interviewing. This suggests that you would fit in at the new company. One follow-up question was, “why don’t you go back to that job?” Talk about what you’re looking for in a new job and the interviewer will get a better idea of how you fit.

2. How do you feel your job progression matches that of your peers?

Don’t let this question bring out your competitive streak! If you brag about how you’ve left everyone else in the dust, you may seem arrogant. Similarly, if you think you’re doing worse than your peers, you may seem unfocused and unsettled. In general, try to avoid comparing yourself to others, even if you are directly invited to do so. Instead, talk about how your career progression matches up against your own career goals, and whether you feel like you’re on the right path.

3. How did you choose your major?

If you were fully engaged during your studies, this should be an easy question to answer. Talk about what drives you and what you hope to accomplish. If your qualification is related to the job, you can talk about the things that interest you and the kind of work you hope to do. Otherwise, talk about your major and then try to explain why you made a career leap in the direction you’ve taken. Make it clear that you feel that you are now on the right path.

4. With regards to your previous employers, how do you feel you helped them succeed?

The real question here is how are you going to help your new employer. Why should they give you a salary and benefits? What will you get out of it. Not every employee has to bring in customers and drive revenues. You can also help by being efficient and keeping down costs. You also contribute by living the company’s values and goals. Even being a friendly face and promoting a positive culture can be a big contribution.

5. Do you think you would ever go back to an old employer?

Many employees wouldn’t boomerang back to an old employer, so it’s okay to say this. In fact, it may be easier to say no than to suggest that you might leave and head back to your old job. Just remember to say no for the right reasons. Perhaps you feel that you need to keep seeking new challenges and new opportunities. Avoid saying anything negative. Don’t make it sound like you burn bridges when you leave a place.

6. What’s your least favorite trait in other people?

Proceed carefully when asked a negative question like this. You must remain upbeat and positive throughout the interview. Focus on traits that are related to business: inconsistency, lateness, failure to meet expectations. Then talk about how you try to avoid those traits in yourself. If you dislike people who are always late, what steps do you take to ensure that you are punctual?