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amoreno06's avatar

How do you respond to questions at job interviews?

Asked by amoreno06 (352points) May 13th, 2009

i was just wondering what kind of answers people have for the following during job interviews..

1)what are your hobbies?
2)something you accomplished at your last job
3)weaknesses?
4)strong traits?

or do you have any questinions that have been asked that you’ve had to think about for a while before you answered?

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11 Answers

Fyrius's avatar

Disclaimer: I’ve never been in a job interview. I’ve heard some job interview tips though, and some of these I can answer with just common sense.
Don’t take my word for it, though.

1) Preferably some pastime related to the job, or at least something constructive, I guess. “Reading Stephen Hawking” would be a good idea, “watching TV” not so.
2) That would hinge on the things you have accomplished at your last job. Protip: Pick the greatest achievements.
3) I’ve been told you’d do best even at this step to be a bit braggy about it, coming up with a weakness that’s actually kind of a good thing, like “I’m obsessed with being on time” or “I tend to work too hard”. Personally I despise that kind of truth-bending, but yeah. It seems to work.
4) Self-explanatory, isn’t it? Bragging time. Do try to emphasise relevant virtues, though – if you’re going to mention how awesome you are at first person shooters, save it for last.

arnbev959's avatar

This is why I will never have a legitimate job. I can’t / refuse to answer that kind of question.

oratio's avatar

answer with name and rank only

charliecompany34's avatar

just try not to say “um” or “uh.” it works for the president, but not you. think before you answer. smile or look serious as question dictates. be honest and look professional. presentation goes a long way. the package should be impressive.

based on your prospective employer, have answers ready to questions you feel they will ask outright. what can you bring to the company? where do you see yourself five years from now? why should we hire you? etc…

shake hands firmly and warmly and smile. no fist or elbow bumps. no cell phone on. no distractions. stay focused and eat smart foods that spark memory. have mints will travel.

J0E's avatar

I’ve only had one real job interview. All I did was just answer everything as honestly as I could. The technique must have worked because I was hired on the spot.

mbubbles's avatar

I’ve never been at a job interview but if I had, i would say this: be sincere, professional, and answer all the questions. Don’t try to avoid them.

RedPowerLady's avatar

Don’t have questions where you have to think too long. I used to face this problem. Then I started preparing. I compiled a list of about 100–200 common interview questions and made sure I had an answer to each one. I had fantastic interview success after doing that and felt much more confident leaving the interview. I would suggest you do the same.

1) Hobbies: They want to see you are active in the community or that you know how to relax when not at work. Many jobs are worried about burn-out and they need to see that you know how to take care of yourself. Obviously you don’t want to say party or drink a good brew. You could talk about fishing or sports. Or dancing and music. Or potlucks and going to the movies. Whatever it is that you do and enjoy.

2)Accomplished. I say something I accomplished… LOL. You can always talk up a little accomplishment if you don’t have any big ones. But think of any time that you contributed to the team or gained a new skill.

3)Weaknesses. This one is complicated. They want the truth. It can’t be something horrible. But they also want to know you are working on your weakness. So one answer I give is that I am learning how to use my down time appropriately. I tend to fill it with meaningless work when I could be using it to take a breather and assess my work so far so that I will be prepared when I am hit hard with it. Once you come up with a good one stick with it. Seriously look at what your weaknesses are. Perhaps you don’t access your supervisor enough for support, perhaps you get overly tired around 3pm, perhaps you keep a messy workspace, etc… Saying you are late is not a good one. Keep the really bad ones to yourself :)

4) Strengths. It is good to have a few of these in mind. They will vary based on what type of job you are applying for. Good all around strengths are the ability to stay calm in the presence of stress and frustration, the ability to deal with angry customers/clients, a love and skill for customer service, a love and skill for contributing to your community, fantastic writing skills, ability to multi-task, etc… What do you find yourself being good at or what praise have you got in the past? If you can think of specific praise it is best to use that. This way you can say something like “one of my predominant strengths is picking my nose, in fact just the other day my boss commented about….”.

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve never been asked any of those questions. I’ve never asked any of them. I think if I was asked such a stupid question, I’d laugh. People who ask questions like this are following a formula, which means they have no idea what they really need. They don’t know how to assess the answers. So the answers actually matter very little. The only thing they can see is confidence or lack thereof. If you want to work for people who don’t know who they want, the @RedPowerLady‘s answer is dead on. Myself, I prefer to work with people who think for themselves.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@daloon I agree the questions are quite typical, formulated, and annoying.
That said about 70% of interviews follow that formula, well of the ones i’ve been to anyhow. Of course the ones who didn’t follow that formula did turn out to be wonderful employers.

steve6's avatar

Don’t be afraid to lie.

Jack79's avatar

I’m generally honest about everything, not just at job interviews. It’s the best policy for two reasons:
1) you don’t have to remember what lie you told to whom and then cover it up with new lies
2) if you get a job because you told them you can programme in CZX-32L and speak Swahili, then you’ll have to learn both before the end of the week. Worse still, you told them you’re athletic in order to impress them, and they have you hauling huge boxes for the rest of your career.

1. I say “board games” which is true, I just don’t mention D&D, because if the interviewer knows what I’m talking about, he’ll get out his d20 and start a session on the spot, and if not, I’ll have to spend the rest of the interview explaining what it is.
2. Whatever it was. In my last job as a teacher, all of my students passed their exams I prepared them for.
3. Depends on what relevant weaknesses are. Generally, I am crap at selling stuff (as in persuading people to buy something they don’t need). If it was a job as a teacher, I’d say I’m pretty strong everywhere. I get the job done.
4. Again, depends on what is relevant to the job. I have a nice voice, but that won’t matter much if I’m stuck behind a computer typing. If it was secretarial work, I’d tell them how fast I type (and then they’d give me stuff to type all the time).

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