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Top 3 Interview Questions

When preparing for an interview there a certain questions that you can guarantee will be asked and there’s no reason not to have an answer ready.  Not only is it a good idea to have an answer prepared to these top 3 interview questions, but make sure you are comfortable giving your response.  Practice your response in front of the mirror until you feel at ease.

1. Tell me a little about yourself.

This is commonly one of the first things discussed in an interview.  If you aren’t prepared for this one it can set a negative tone for the rest of the interview.  This is your first impression and way for you to convey the kind of person you are.  Think about your response this way – if this was your only chance to speak directly to the interviewer, what would you most want them to know? You should mention both personal and professional values.  Always be honest, but definitely focus on your best traits and accomplishments.  It’s always a good idea to study the job announcement integrate their desired skills or experience into your response.

2. What is your typical way of dealing with conflict or stressful situations?

The best way to answer this question is with an honest example.  If you handled a situation poorly in the past, you could give that example, focusing on what you learned from it and skills you now use to handle stress.  It’s great to incorporate desired skills such as time management, decision making, and problem solving abilities into your response.  In addition to specifics on handling stressful situations, talk about how you keep stress at bay, such as working out regularly.  Be aware that some interviewers are may even create stress in the interview to see how candidates respond.

3. What are your short and long term goals?

In this question, the interviewer wants to see how you plan and think about the future – if at all.  If you don’t have a response ready they may assume you do not plan ahead.  Short term goals should consist of things that can be accomplished within a 1 month-3 month span, while long term goals are 6 months or longer.  Good responses should include both professional and personal goals to demonstrate a good work/life balance.  While you do want to be honest, try to keep the company’s goals in mind as well.  While you may want to earn your MBA and run your own company someday, that signals to the employer you don’t plan to stick around long.

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