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truebluemeandyouHow to Answer the Top 35 Asked Interview Questions. Reblogging one of my most popular posts with clearer images. Go to the link for the highest resolution.

How to Answer the Top 35 Asked Interview Questions from The Undercover Recruiter here. Posted for friends looking for jobs this summer. Unfortunately you may also be asked illegal questions and these are two pretty good articles here and here.

The most important how to you’ll ever read…well, maybe not, but it’s really, really valuable if you ever want to get a job.

I was asked a number of these in my interviews for the job I have now, and I want to share a few of the answers I gave since I pretty much think I nailed the interviews.

#4: What is your weakness?

The response here works, truly. Always make it something simple that is nonthreatening. My answer was “My body needs a lot of sleep to function at my best, so I’ve had to learn to manage my schedule so that I can leave enough time for the sleep I need.” This is a truthful thing, although it’s not my greatest weakness (which is probably “apathy”), but in explaining it I highlighted a particular strength I had which is time management. 

#5: What are your strengths?

My best response was “I’m a quick learner”. I listed a few other things like, “I work well in teams” and “I get things started early”, but the quick learner was what really sold it to them. This was because I didn’t have some of the skills and knowledge that this office regularly works with, but being a quick learner, I assured them I could pick it up fast and get up to speed. 

#16: What position do you prefer on a team working on a project?

Here, I said that I am happy to take any part on a project, as long as I can see how my puzzle piece fits into the project as a whole. I turned this question into talking about my own strength at seeing how a project breaks down into component parts, and how it really makes me happy to see everything come together and be able to articulate exactly how I helped this thing get done. 

#27: How do you see yourself five years from now?

Here, I laughed and made a joke, “Knowing a LOT more about this topic than I do right now!” But then, seriously, I said that I really don’t know what opportunities will become available to me in having this job and that I’m always open to new paths and new possibilities, although I certainly wished to stay in [the city in which I live / the job was] and wanted to be more involved in [company’s mission] than I am currently. 

#31: Do you have questions for me?

Yes, I had a million questions. Would there be an opportunity to further my education in this job, either by taking classes or attending workshops related to the job? How much travel is involved (I love to travel)? Will I be able to attend [professional conference]? How much could I get involved in outreach for company’s services? How does company’s social media work (although you should already stalk your employer’s social media feed before the job, this office didn’t have one)?

#35: What are your activities and interests outside of work?

This is about the culture of the office here, to see if you’ll fit in. Before I went in, I researched this office like crazy and knew that they were part of the IT department. I was interviewing for a scholarly publishing job, so I made part of this about things related to scholarly activities and books and writing. I talked about how I am a researcher and I still continue to work with my research projects from graduate school, looking for new outlets to share my work and data. I told them that I love to read, and while I prefer science fiction I also enjoy most genres of fiction and even the classics going back to the Ancient Greek plays and philosophies. (This made the couple of folks in the publishing department think well of me, especially the one who reads Chaucer and the like in her spare time.) But then, knowing I was going to be housed in an IT department, I briefly mentioned my affinity for gaming, mentioning that I have been a gamer all my life and enjoy playing video games and tabletop games in my free time. (This, ultimately, was what won most of them over about me — this is an office full of gamers, and I guessed rightly about that, so they were totally interested in having another gamer in the office with whom to chat about their favorite games.)

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