Since the American Job Advocate is about helping other Americans who need a job or need help to save their job, we've created a top 10 list of job interview questions.  You can print out this top 10 job interview questions and take it with you.  If you have a few minutes to spare before your interview, read over this document.

When looking for a job in todays market, it is important to do your best in all steps of the process.  One of the most difficult parts of finding a job is the interview.  Remember, resumes get you interviews, and interviews get you jobs.  The best way to succeed in an interview is to prepare, be yourself, and be honest.  People can sense fakeness. 

By preparing for the interview, you will appear less nervous and therefore more trustworthy.  Employers and interviewers will want to make sure that you are trustworthy.  By going over the following list, you will become familiar with what to expect.  Just remember, don't sound like you've practised these questions.  Don't be robotic.  But make sure that you are comfortable answering them.  Don't studder or act shocked.  Just be honest and answer them calmly.

There's classic questions of course such as what you think your greatest weakness is.  Of course with a question like this, you can come right back with an answer that will impress the interviewer.   Honesty is the best answer here.  Something along the lines of you always thought that you were good at what you do, but would like to learn more about a related task, job, or field to see how that would fit in with yours.

Below are the top 10 job interview questions to open your eyes, get you relaxed with the common questions, and get your prepared.  Go over them a few times with friends and family.  You will have to tailer them to you, your job, and your history, but remember, you are doing this to make the interviewer feel good about you.  The interviewer wants you to sell them yourself, they want to hear what a great person that you are.  You should make yourself sound like the best ever.
  

1. Tell me about yourself. The top 10 job interview question!

     This open ended question is very common and the usual opener for the interview.  Top companies will ask it as your sit down for the interview.  What the interviewer is looking for here from you, the possible employee is a 2-3 minute version of how you will fit in with their company.  Don't spend 10 minutes! Just a few things off of the top of your head.

Some good suggestions here would be your education, work habits, a hobby or 2, and how working as a _____ is what you want to do.  At this point stop and ask if they would like to know anything in particular.

When they ask, Tell me about yourself, they are really asking "What makes you the better than anyone else that I'm interviewing"
  

2. Why should I hire you?

American Job Advocate thinks this question is important.  When this question is asked of you in the interview, off the top of your head comes, "Because I want and need this job!".  The problem here though is that the person is asking to be sold.  They want your best traits.  They want to know what makes you better than the rest of the candidates.

Don't be afraid to toot your own horn here.  The more interviews that you have, the more this will be at the top of your list.  "I feel strongly that I am a great candidate for the job.  I bring many skills to the table and look forward to adding to the team.  I am passionate and have always excelled during my career."  Then you should bring up examples as to why you are the best.

  

3. What is your long-range objective? Questions regarding your job energy.

OK, so we've sold them on our personality.  We've sold them on why we're better than the rest, now it's time to sell how you will meet and exceed their objectives in the future.  It's best to list a view objectives and how you will accomplish reaching those objectives.  Think of things that will happen in the next 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 5 year periods. 

Examples may be: I want to learn how the company operates.  I want to become the best XXXX that you've had.  I will become an expert doing this.  Becoming a source for others to rely upon is a long term goal for me.

4. How has your education and/or previous jobs prepared you for your career?

      The forth question in the top 10 list is a broad question and you need to focus on the behavioural examples of your schooling background which specifically align to the required skills for the career.

      An example: may be that you have learned the fundamentals of the career.  You've learned how working with others as a team is important.  You've learned that some times we must work under stress to get things done.  Focus on how teams are important, becoming part of the company culture is important, and how you want to become an asset that they can rely upong.

5. Are you a team player? A top 10 interview question.

The interviewer is not looking for a yes/no answer here.  The key is to give specific examples as to how you are a team player, and what being a team player means to you.

      A sample answer: I have taken the opportunity to hold off work meetings where we've built a set of rules to help everyones work be more uniform.  We've taken projects to the top of our company by doing this!

      Make sure you bring up past examples as well as your ability to work in diverse environments.  Speak of how teams are stronger than individuals.   The interviewer may use this topic as a lead-in to questions regarding how you handle conflict within a team, so be prepared.
  

6. Have you ever had a conflict with a co-worker? How was it resolved or what did you do to improve the situation?

      There's no getting around this one.  The top of employers list is are you a trouble maker, or will be you be at the top of their good interviews pile.  Everyone has something in their past where a conflict arose.  It's human nature.  So dig deep into your noggin and find a time when something happened that you found a way to fix it.  You didn't have to become best friends aftwards, but something where you learned each others boundaries and moved forward in a positive direction.  The interviewer may have then more questions for you.

An example is: I believe everyone has conflicts from time to time.  It's part of being a diverse culture.  I find when conflict happens, it helps to learn the other persons side.  I use that opportunity to do exactly that.  I recall one time when....

7. What is your greatest weakness?

Most articles and career counsellors will recommend you select a strength and present it as a weakness. Questions like this one can make you appear human and make your interview shine to the top.  An example would be: I work too much. I just work and work and work. I disagree.  You can set yourself up to fail if you do this.  Second, it's deceiving and may be read as such.  Also it misses the point of the question.  They are looking for problem solving here.  You are human and allowed to have weaknesses, and also may make you appear more approachable.  So try to come up with a weakness that you have or are working on overcoming.  Such as smoking, or working on learning more about an ancillary subject to your main job.
 

8. If I were to ask your boss to describe you, what would they say?

Question 8 of the top 10 job interview questions is about interviewers hinting that they actually may call your old boss here. Some companies actually do this; in fact the majority do. It's a good thing, prior to an interview, to ask any prior boss in advance what they will say if someone does ask.  If they will give you a positive referal, now is a good time to also ask for a letter of recomendation

Example response:  I think that they will say that I'm hard working and self motivated.  I'm results driven and one of their top workers.  As a matter of fact, I have with me a copy of a letter of recommendation here with me and I'd like to share it with you.

      So be prepared prior to the interview with your letters of recommendation.  Creating a top 10 list of your own things to be prepared for will help you get in the right frame of mind.
  

9. What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?

Managers should be good leaders, and also guide the company and it's employees in the right direction.  Your answer to this top 10 questions should reflect those.

      Here is a sample of how to respond: The key quality in a successful manager should be leadership--the ability to be the visionary for the people who are working under them. The person who can set the course and direction for subordinates. The highest calling of a true leader is inspiring others to reach the highest of their abilities. I'd like to tell you about a person whom I consider to be a true leader . . .

Afterwards, give an example how a previous manager of yours did this and how it affected you.

10. If you had to live your life over again, what one thing would you change?

     The last question in the top 10 Job Interview questions is a hard interview question. It may be one of the hardest questions you will answer in an interview.  What American Job Advocate recommends is focussing on a turning point in your life that turned into a positive, or possible a missed opportunity that light a fire under you and helped you at your job.

      For example: In general I am very happy with my life and current job.  However, the one aspect I likely would have changed would be to have focused earlier on my chosen career. While I've done well in my carerr and job over the years, I simply wish I would have focused here earlier. For example, I learned at my current job..... which showed me....

      Stay focused on positive direction in your life and back it up with examples.
 

These top 10 job interview questions are just samples of what will be asked in your interview.  Remember that some interviews are just to see how you interact with the interviewer.  It's important to be relaxed and be yourself.

Feel free to contact American Job Advocate if you have any questions.