© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
The top job interview questions you need to prepare for as a jobseeker fall into two categories: the ones that you can predict being asked and the ones you can't predict. Naturally, the ones you should focus on preparing for are the ones you're likely to be asked. To do that, focus on some research and a bit of thinking before ahead of time. Your goal is to find out what the management needs from the new employee in current time and in the future with the company. Typically, there are two sets of needs: The official needs as described in the job advertisement and description and the unofficial needs that people familiar with the company can tell you about.
To prepare for top job interview questions you will be asked, get a clear idea of both sets of requirements. The official requirements can be located through research of the company's job boards, through print publications and on the Internet. The unofficial requirements are best accessed by using your social network of friends and business colleagues, or through discussion boards on the Web where people speak freely about jobs and employers. Once you know what the company is looking for––the experience requirements, the problem-solving expertise, the personality traits, education and so on––then you should be able to guess what questions the interviewer will ask.
Prepare for these top job interview questions you have identified by thinking of examples of times you have demonstrated what the interviewer is asking about. Make sure your answers refer back to specific incidents, initiatives, actions, projects and results from your present or former workplace that convince the listener of your integrity. These make a much better impression than general and vague statements about hypothetical situations or philosophical positions. A good format to use to organize your responses is to describe the situation in which you had to use a desired attribute. State the actions you took that led to a specific and positive result, and finally, how that outcome benefited the company where you worked.
If you can effectively respond to all the questions asked, you should be in good shape to answer any of the top interview questions you predicted. And more important, you'll have mastered a body of knowledge about your strengths and expertise which is highly relevant to the interviewer. Therefore, even if you're asked questions you weren't able to predict, you have a good pool of information at your fingertips to create an answer, using the situation, action and result format which will be effective in convincing the interviewer. In fact, as a part of answering the unexpected question, you can transition into one of the questions you prepared for. Since that information is of interest to the interviewer anyway, he or she will appreciate hearing it, as it may convey some unexpected but important information he or she can use to better judge your worthiness for the job.
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