1. "What can you tell me about yourself?" This is not an invitation to give your life history. The interviewer is looking for clues about your character, qualifications, ambitions, and motivations. The following is a good example of a positive response. "In high school I was involved in competitive sports and I always tried to improve in each sport I participated in. As a college student, I worked in a clothing store part-time and found that I could sell things easily. The sale was important, but for me, it was even more important to make sure that the customer was satisfied. It was not long before customers came back to the store and specifically asked for me to help them. I'm very competitive and it means a lot to me to be the best."
2. "Why do you want to work for us? This is an obvious question and, if you have done your research on the company, you should be able to give a good reason. 0rganize your reasons into several short sentences that clearly spell out your interest. "You are a leader in the field of electronics. Your company is a Fortune 5O0 company. Your management is very progressive."
3. "Why should I hire you?" Once again, you should not be long winded, but you should provide a summary of your qualifications. Be positive and show that you are capable of doing the job. Based on the internships that I have participated in and the related part-time experiences I have had, I can do the job.
4. "How do you feel about your progress to date?" Never apologize for what you have done. "I think I did well in school. In fact, in a number of courses I received the highest exam scores in the class." "As an intern for the X Company, I received some of the highest evaluations that had been given in years.
5. "What would you like to be doing five years from now?" Know what you can realistically accomplish. You can find out by talking to others about what they accomplished in their first five years with a particular company. "I hope to be the best I can be at my job and because many in this line of work are promoted to area manager, I am planning on that also."
6. "What is your greatest weakness?" You cannot avoid this question by saying that you do not have any, everyone has weaknesses. The best approach is to admit your weakness but show that you are working on it and have a plan to overcome it. If possible, cite a weakness that will work to the company's advantage. "I' m such a perfectionist that I won't stop until a job is well done.
7. "What is your greatest strength"?" This is a real opportunity to toot your own horn. Do not brag or get too egotistical, but let the employer know that you believe in yourself and that you know your strengths. "I feel that my strongest asset is my ability to stick to things to get them done. I feel a real sense of accomplishment when I finish a job and it turns out just as I'd planned. I've set some high goals for myself. For example, I want to graduate with highest distinction. And even though I had a slow start in my freshman year, I made up for it by doing an honor's thesis."
8. "What goals have you set and how did you meet them?" This question examines your ability to plan ahead and meet your plan with specific actions. "Last year, during a magazine drive to raise money for our band trip, I set my goal at raising 20 percent more than I had the year before. I knew the drive was going to begin in September, so I started contacting people in August. I asked each of my customers from last year to give me the names of one or two new people who might also buy a magazine. I not only met my goal, but I also was the top salesperson on the drive." No matter what question you are asked, answer it honestly and succinctly. Most interviewers are looking for positive statements, well-expressed ideas, persuasiveness, and clear thinking under pressure.
Always maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Show that you are confident by looking straight at the person. Eye contact may not get you the job, but lack of eye contact can reduce your chances dramatically. Most interviewers greet the applicant with a handshake. Make sure that your clasp is firm. Being jittery about the interview can result in cold, clammy hands, which create a negative impression. Therefore, make sure your hands are warm and dry. Before leaving, try to find out exactly what action will follow the interview and when it will happen. A shake hands as you say good-bye and thank the interviewer for spending time with you.