Prepare for that Job Interview – Part 3 / Questions About the New Job and the Company

Job Interview Questions Part 3Job interviews are always stressful – even for job seekers who have gone on countless interviews. The best way to reduce the stress is to be prepared. Take the time to review the “standard” interview questions you will most likely be asked. Also review sample answers to these typical interview questions.

In addition to reviewing general interview questions, also review job specific interview questions that are designed to assess whether you have the skills required to do the job.

Then take the time to research the company. That way you’ll be ready with knowledgeable answers for the job interview questions that specifically relate to the company you are interviewing with.

In Part 3 of our “Prepare for that Job Interview” Blog, we are reviewing some questions you might get asked “About the New Job and the Company”.  For example:

What interests you about this job?

When you’re asked what interests you about the position you are interviewing for, the best way to respond is to describe the qualifications listed in the job posting, then connect them to your skills and experience. That way, the employer will see that you know about the job you’re interviewing for (not everyone does) and that you have the qualifications necessary to do the job.

For example, if you were interviewing for a Human Resources Manager job where you would be responsible for recruiting, orientation, and training, you will want to discuss how you were responsible for these functions in your past positions, and why you are interested in continuing to develop your expertise in Human Resources management.

Another example would be if you were interviewing for a Programmer / Analyst position. In that case, you would mention your interest in learning and excelling at new technologies, your experience in programming new applications, and your interest in and your ability to problem solve.

In all cases, you will want to convey your enthusiasm for the opportunity to interview, along with your solid ability to do the job.

Why do you want this job?

Why do you want this job? Are you prepared to answer this question in an interview? Career expert and author, Joyce Lain Kennedy, shares her best job interview answers to the question “Why do you want this job?”

Keep in mind that you can customize these answers to fit your particular circumstances and the job you are applying for.

Joyce Lain Kennedy’s sample answers to the interview question “Why do you want this job?”

  • This is not only a fine opportunity, but this company is a place where my qualifications can make a difference. As a finance executive well versed in the new stock options law, I see this position as made to order. It contains the challenge to keep me on my toes. That’s the kind of job I like to anticipate every morning.
  • I want this job because it seems tailored to my competencies, which include sales and marketing. As I said earlier, in a previous position I created an annual growth rate of 22 percent in a flat industry. Additionally, the team I would work with looks terrific.
  • I well understand that this is a company on the way up. Your Web site says the launch of several new products is imminent. I want be a part of this business as it grows.
  • Having worked through a college business major building decks and porches for neighbors, this entry-level job for the area’s most respected home builder has my name on it.As a dedicated technician, I like doing essential research. Being part of a breakthrough team is an experience I’d love to repeat.
  • This job is a good fit for what I’ve been interested in throughout my career. It offers a nice mix of short- and long-term activities. My short-term achievements keep me cranked up and the long-term accomplishments make me feel like a billion bucks.
  • I want this job selling theater tickets because I’d be good at it. I’m good at speaking to people and handling cash. I would like a job with regular hours and I’m always on time.
  • Although some companies are replacing Americans with imported low-wage workers, you are standing tall. This company’s successful strategies, good reputation and values make it heads and shoulders above its competition.
  • I’d fit right in as a counter clerk in your fine dry-cleaners. I have observed that the counter clerk position requires competence at handling several activities in quick order — customer service, payments, bagging and phones. I like multitasking and, as a homemaker, I have a lot of practice in keeping all the balls in the air.
  • The work I find most stimulating allows me to use both my creative and research skills. The buzz on this company is that it rewards people who deliver solutions to substantial problems.

What applicable attributes / experience do you have?

When you are asked questions related to the experience that qualifies you for the job, it’s important to be very specific about your skills and experience.

The best way to respond is to describe your responsibilities in detail and to connect them to the job you are interviewing for. Tie your responsibilities in with those listed in the job description for the new position. That way, the employer will see that you have the qualifications necessary to do the job. Focus most on your responsibilities that are directly related to the new job’s requirements.

It’s also important to be honest and accurate. Don’t embellish your job, because you don’t know who the hiring manager will be checking with when they check your references.

Are you overqualified for this job?

Are you overqualified for this job? Are you prepared to respond when an interviewer asks if you’re overqualified? Career expert and author, Joyce Lain Kennedy, shares her best job interview answers to the question “Are you overqualified for this job?”

Keep in mind that you can customize these answers to fit your particular circumstances and the job you are applying for.

Joyce Lain Kennedy’s sample answers to the interview question “Are you overqualified for this job?”

  • Overqualified? Some would say that I’m not overqualified but fully qualified. With due respect, could you explain the problem with someone doing the job better than expected?
  • Fortunately, I’ve lived enough years to have developed the judgment that allows me to focus on the future. Before we speak of past years, past titles and past salaries, can we look at my strengths and abilities and how I’ve stayed on the cutting edge of my career field, including its technology?
  • I hope you’re not concerned that hiring someone with my solid experience and competencies would look like age bias if once on the job you decided you’d made a mistake and I had to go. Can I present a creative idea? Why don’t I work on a trial basis for a month — no strings — which would give you a chance to view me up close? This immediately solves your staffing problem at no risk to you. I can hit the floor running and require less supervision than a less experienced worker. When can I start?
  • I was proud to be a charge nurse but I really like getting back to working with patients.
  • I’m flattered that you think I’m headhunter bait and will leap to another job when an offer appears. Not really. This job is so attractive to me that I’m willing to sign a contract committing to stay for a minimum of 12 months. There’s no obligation on your part. How else can I convince you that I’m the best person for this position?
  • I’m here because this is a company on the move and I want to move up with you. With more than the minimal experience to just skim by, I offer immediate returns on your investment. Don’t you want a winner with the skill sets and attitudes to do just that?
  • My family’s grown. And I am no longer concerned with title and salary — I like to keep busy. A reference check will show I do my work on time, and do it well as a team member. I’m sure we can agree on a salary that fits your budget. When can we make my time your time?
  • Downsizings have left generational memory gaps in the workforce and knowledge doesn’t always get passed on to the people coming up. I could be an anchor or mentor — calm, stable, reliable and providing day-to-day continuity to the younger team. For my last employer, I provided the history of a failed product launch to a new marketing manager, who then avoided making the same mistakes.
  • As you note, I’ve worked at a higher level but this position is exactly what I’m looking for. You offer opportunity to achieve the magic word: balance. I’m scouting for something challenging but a little less intense so I can spend more time with my family.
  • Salary is not my top priority. Not that I have a trust fund but I will work for less money, will take direction from managers of any age, will continue to stay current on technology and will not leave you in the lurch if Hollywood calls to make me a star. And I don’t insist that it’s my way or the highway.

What can you do for this company?

A typical interview question to discover what assets you have that are specific to the company’s goals is “What can you do for this company?”

First of all, be sure to have researched the company prior to the interview, so you are familiar with the company’s mission. Respond by giving examples why your education, skills, accomplishments, and experience will make you an asset for the employer.

Take a few moments to compare your goals with objectives of the company and the position, as well as mentioning what you have accomplished in your other jobs. Be positive and reiterate your interest in the company, as well as the job.

Why should we hire you?

A typical interview question, asked to get your opinion, or to validate the interviewer’s opinion, on why you would be the best candidate for the position, is “Why should we hire you?”

The best way to respond is to give concrete examples of why your skills and accomplishments make you the best candidate for the job. Take a few moments to compare the job description with your abilities, as well as mentioning what you have accomplished in your other positions. Be positive and reiterate your interest in the company and the position.

Why are you the best person for the job?

A typical interview question, asked to get your opinion, or to validate the interviewer’s opinion, on why you would be the best candidate for the position, is “Why should we hire you?”

The best way to respond is to give concrete examples of why your skills and accomplishments make you the best candidate for the job. Take a few moments to compare the job description with your abilities, as well as mentioning what you have accomplished in your other positions. Be positive and reiterate your interest in the company and the position.

What do you know about this company?

A typical job interview question, asked to find out how much company research you have conducted, is “What do you know about this company?”

Prepare in advance, and in a word, research, so, you can provide relevant and current information about your prospective employer to the interviewer. Start by researching the company online. Review the “About Us” section of the company web site. Google the company, read blogs that mention it, and check Discussion Boards and social networking sites.

If you’re a college graduate check with the Career Office at your school to see if you can get a list of alumni who work for the company. That’s an ideal way to get an insider’s view of the employer, and to get information that might not be available elsewhere.

Use the information you have gathered to create a bullet-ed list of relevant information that you can easily remember during the interview. Taking the time to research will help you make a good impression with how much you know about the company.

Why do you want to work here?

A typical interview question, asked to ensure that you are seriously interested in the job and the company, and to find out how much you know about the company, is “Why do you want to work here?”

The best way to answer this question is, first of all, to be prepared and knowledgeable about the company. Spend some time researching the company (the About Us section of the web site is a good place to start) so you can talk about the benefits of working for this employer.

Compare your goals with objectives of the company and the position, then reiterate why you would be an asset to the employer. Let the interviewer know what you can do for the company, if you get a job offer.

Even though the question is about why you want to work here, you still need to convince the interviewer that hiring you will benefit the company.

Here are sample answers you can use to frame your own response:

  • This company is internationally known for its (widgets), and my experience in the (marketing/planning/production/etc.) of (widgets) has me intrigued by the opportunity this position presents.
  • The businesses in this area are known for their commitment to the community, and I would like the opportunity to participate in making this a better place to live.
  • I am a (widget) connoisseur, and would love the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for (widgets) with customers.

What challenges are you looking for in a position?

A typical interview question to determine what you are looking for your in next job, and whether you would be a good fit for the position being hired for, is “What challenges are you looking for in a position?”

The best way to answer questions about the challenges you are seeking is to discuss how you would like to be able to effectively utilize your skills and experience if you were hired for the job.

You can also mention that you are motivated by challenges, have the ability to effectively meet challenges, and have the flexibility and skills necessary to handle a challenging job.

You can continue by describing specific examples of challenges you have met and goals you have achieved in the past.

What can you contribute to this company?

A typical interview question to discover how hiring you would benefit the company is “What can you contribute to this company?”

The best way to answer questions about your contributions to the company is to give examples of what you have accomplished in the past, and to relate them to what you can achieve in the future.

Describe specific examples of how effective you have been in your other positions, change you have implemented, and goals you have achieved. Talk about the depth and breadth of related experience that you have.

Also, relate your abilities to the employer’s goals. You will want to let the interviewer know that you have the skills necessary to do the job they are hiring for, the ability effectively meet challenges, and the flexibility and diplomacy to work well with other employees and with management.

Sample Answers:

  • I’m a hard worker with the experience to get things done efficiently.
  • I can contribute my organizational skills and my ability to work well in a group.
  • I have the experience, contacts, and knowledge to contribute to the rapid growth of this business.
  • Vision. I am experienced in the areas this company needs to grow, and my ability to plan ahead will help facilitate that growth.

Are you willing to travel?

When you are asked about your willingness to travel during an interview, be honest. There’s no point in saying “yes” if you would prefer to be home five nights a week.

It is perfectly acceptable to ask how much travel is involved. That way, you can weigh how much you would need to be on the road and make an educated decision as to whether the amount of travel required fits in with your lifestyle.

What’s most important is to get a good understanding of what’s involved before you are offered the job, rather than being (unpleasantly) surprised after you have already been hired.

What is good customer service?

When you are applying for a retail or customer service position a typical job interview question is “What is good customer service?” The interviewer wants to know what you consider quality customer service and how you would be willing to provide it to customers.

Here is a selection of sample answers you can use to respond to questions about good customer service:

  • Good customer service means having thorough knowledge of your inventory, experience with your products, and being able to help customers make the best choices for them.
  • Good customer service is treating customers with a friendly, helpful attitude.
  • Good customer service means helping customers efficiently, in a friendly manner. It’s one of the things that can set your business apart from the others of it’s kind.

How long do you expect to remain employed with this company?

Review sample answers to the interview question “How long do you expect to remain employed with this company?” When you respond, be sure to frame your response so that it’s positive.

I’ve heard applicants say that they only want the job for a short amount of time or are planning to relocate or go back to school. Responses like that aren’t going to impress the hiring manager who is looking to hire a long-term employee.

Sample Answers:

  • I believe that this company has the capacity to offer me a rich and satisfying career, and I would like to remain employed here for as long as I am having a positive impact.
  • I would like to pursue my career here for as long as I have the opportunity to.
  • I would like to remain employed here for as long as my services are needed.

Is there anything I haven’t told you about the job or company that you would like to know?

It’s your turn! As the interview comes to a close, one of the final questions you may be asked is “What can I answer for you?” Have interview questions of your own ready to ask. You aren’t simply trying to get this job – you are also interviewing the employer to assess whether this company and the position are a good fit for you.

Here are questions to ask the interviewer so you can ensure the company is a good match for your qualifications and interests.

Interview Questions to Ask the Employer:

  • How would you describe the responsibilities of the position?
  • How would you describe a typical week/day in this position?
  • Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?
  • What is the company’s management style?
  • Who does this position report to? If I am offered the position, can I meet him/her?
  • How many people work in this office/department?
  • How much travel is expected?
  • Is relocation a possibility?
  • What is the typical work week? Is overtime expected?
  • What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
  • How does one advance in the company?
  • Are there any examples?
  • What do you like about working here?
  • What don’t you like about working here and what would you change?
  • Would you like a list of references?
  • If I am extended a job offer, how soon would you like me to start?
  • What can I tell you about my qualifications?
  • When can I expect to hear from you?
  • Are there any other questions I can answer for you?

Interview Questions NOT to Ask

  • What does this company do? (Do your research ahead of time!)
  • If I get the job when can I take time off for vacation? (Wait until you get the offer to mention prior commitments)
  • Can I change my schedule if I get the job? (If you need to figure out the logistics of getting to work don’t mention it now…)
  • Did I get the job? (Don’t be impatient. They’ll let you know.)
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About E. White
Website Developer / IT Support Specialist • Professional Website Designs • Custom WordPress Themes • Flash Banners / Portfolios • Full Web Development Solution Provider Also, Support Windows Based Network Environments. 20 Plus Years of Experience. • Located in Los Angeles / Orange Co, CA

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