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Be Ready to Answer the Top 10 Interview Questions

Great Interviews Get the Job

Even though your resume, attire, and likeability factor all play a part in an employer’s decision to hire someone, the answers that you provide to the questions during the interview will demonstrate what the employer is most interested in: your confidence, skills, and knowledge to successfully fulfill the responsibilities of the job.
The Top 10 Interview Questions
Your best weapon to mastering the job interview is to practice your answers to the most commonly asked questions by employers. 
1. Tell Me a Little Something About Yourself.
This question is a great opportunity for you to sell yourself to the employer. Talk about your key accomplishments and strengths and how these factors will benefit the employer in the desired position. Write down ahead of time what you plan to say; perfect it; then practice how to present the answer.
2.  Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Job?
Keep your answers to this question as positive as possible. Do not dwell on how much you dislike your current or past employers. 
3.  Are You Still Employed and If Not, Why Not?
If you are not currently employed, you can use your answer to this question to shine a light on your positive features. For example, if you were laid off or terminated, focus less on the actual termination and more on what you learned from the whole process.
4.  Do You Have Any Budgeting Experience?
If you haven’t, be honest; but you can answer in a way that shows that you have had some exposure to adhering to a budget, for example when working on a project. If you do have budgeting experience, demonstrate your knowledge by briefly explaining how you are familiar with how to assess revenues and expenses, such as payroll, marketing, FF&E, etc.  
5.  Have You Ever Managed Anyone?
This question is most important to those who are seeking a supervisory type of position. If you have managerial experience, elaborate on how many people you have supervised and what their positions were in the spectrum of the organizational chart. However, if you haven’t had direct managerial practice, talk up how much you were a part of the decision process of a team project, or how you worked with others on community or educational groups.
6.  What Are Your Strengths as an Employee?
To adequately answer this question, you need to be aware of the strengths you possess in the following areas: personality, experience, education and skills. Once that information is known, match your strengths to the requirements of the position for which you are interviewing.
7.   What Are Your Weaknesses?
Obviously, no one likes to admit that they have any weaknesses, especially in front of a potential employer. So you can provide ONE trait about yourself that is the least important to the position. Refrain from canned responses such as you are a perfectionist or a workaholic.
8.  Discuss How You Make Important Decisions.
If you are interviewing for a supervisory role, you definitely want to come across as someone who is able to ask for input from others, yet is comfortable making the final decisions. Also, consider the type of position and company. For example, is it a budgetary role at a financial institution? In that case, you probably will want to emphasize that you exercise great care and caution when making big decisions.
9.  Where Do You Want to Be Five Years From Now?
Keep your answers positive and simple, with ambition. Think along the lines of a “motivated” mentality who thrives in an environment which offers the opportunity to learn and assume more responsibility.
10.  What Have Been the Biggest Accomplishments of Your Career so Far?
Focus on accomplishments that directly relate to the open position. Discuss the challenges you have faced and how were able to overcome them. Did you streamline processes? Devise a way to increase customer satisfaction? Did you save money or generate more revenue? Were you recognized by management for your efforts? The way you answer this question will distinguish you from other applicants since your answer will require you to go beyond the basic job responsibilities.             
A Final Note
As you can see, the interview is more than just showing up on time in the right clothes. It is your best and only opportunity to convince an employer that he or she should hire you. If you were selected for an interview, consider yourself lucky because you are halfway to the finish line.  Make sure you are prepared with relevant and well-thought-out answers to bring in a home run interview.

Author Linda Matias is certified in all three areas of the job search - Certified Interview Coach (CIC), Job & Career Transition Coach (JCTC), and Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW).  She is a contributing writer to over 15 career-related books.