- What salary are you expecting?
You probably don't want to answer this one directly. Instead, deflect the
question back to the interviewer by saying something like: "I don't know. What
are you planning on paying the best candidate?" Let the employer make the
However, it is still important to know what the current salary range is for
the profession. Find salary surveys at the library or on the Internet, and
check the classifieds to see what comparable jobs in your area are paying.
This information can help you negotiate compensation once the employer makes
- "What are your hobbies?" and "Do you play any sports?"
The interviewer may be looking for evidence of your job skills outside of
your professional experience. For example, hobbies such as chess or bridge
demonstrate analytical skills. Reading, music, and painting are creative
hobbies. Individual sports show determination and stamina, while group sport
activities may indicate you are comfortable working as part of a team. Also,
the interviewer might simply be curious as to whether you have a life outside
of work. Employees who have creative or athletic outlets for their stress are
often healthier, happier and more productive.
- "What are your career goals?" or "What are your future plans?"
The interviewer wants to know if your plans and the company's goals are
compatible. Let him know that you are ambitious enough to plan ahead. Talk
about your desire to learn more and improve your performance, and be specific
as possible about how you will meet the goals you have set for yourself.
- Do you prefer to work by yourself or with others?
The ideal answer is one of flexibility. However, be honest. Give examples
describing how you have worked in both situations.
- What is your major weakness?
Be positive; turn a weakness into a strength. For example, you might say:
"I often worry too much over my work. Sometimes I work late to make sure the
job is done well."
- What are your best skills?
If you have sufficiently researched the organization, you should be able to
imagine what skills the company values. List them, then give examples where
you have demonstrated these skills.
- Why did you leave your last job?
The interviewer may want to know if you had any problems on your last job.
If you did not have any problems, simply give a reason, such as: relocated
away from job; company went out of business; laid off; temporary job; no
possibility of advancement; wanted a job better suited to your skills.
If you did have problems, be honest. Show that you can accept
responsibility and learn from your mistakes. You should explain any problems
you had (or still have) with an employer, but don't describe that employer in
negative terms. Demonstrate that it was a learning experience that will not
affect your future work.