Common Interviewer Questions (And Some Recommended Answers)

Employers and job descriptions can vary tremendously, requiring an emphasis on different skills and experience. So don’t hesitate to customize your resume whenever appropriate. You might want to create several different resumes as needed, and should save each version for later use.

Let’s consider some questions, and some answers that can work for you. Keep in mind that these are samples meant to help you get a feel for what to expect, and how to better prepare.

Q. “What type of position are you interested in?”
Here’s your chance to talk in detail about your strengths. Go beyond a simple job title, such as “Secretary,” or “Receptionist” – instead, try to talk in detail about what you do well, and any actual changes for the better that you brought to your previous employers. For example:

A. “I feel this wonderful opportunity at your company is just right for me, because I’d be able to apply my proven skills. Working for my previous employer, I saved our department hundreds of dollars in overtime, and allowed my boss to take some long overdue time off without having to worry about the office.”

Q. “Where do you see yourself five years from now?”
Showing the desire for promotion and advancement is a good sign, but if you’re too aggressive about it red lights might start to flash. Your interviewer might actually be the manager positioned directly above you if you got the job, so make sure you don’t set your sights on their gig! Remember that a good answer lies somewhere in between strategic humbleness and “go-getter” initiative:

A. “I always work at getting better and better at every job I do. With time, I see my responsibilities increasing to match my expanding skills.” To keep playing it safe while showing some spark, this might be an opportunity for you to ask some pointed questions, such as: “How do you see this position evolving? Are there additional tasks I can perform? Do you think the department has room for my skills and other interests?

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