Prepare for the 10 Most Common Interview Questions

At Patrice & Associates, we are not only recruiters we are Career Coaches.  We help candidates be prepared for the tough questions they are likely to encounter during an interview.  Having a great background is what gets a you to the interview, answering questions and “selling” yourself is what gets you hired!

Below is a listing of frequently asked questions and suggestions on how to approach the answers. 

Many interview questions are to be expected. Study this list, plan your answers ahead of time and you’ll be ready to deliver them with confidence. 

What Are Your Weaknesses?This is the most dreaded question of all. Handle it by minimizing your weakness and emphasizing your strengths. Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on professional traits: “I am always working on improving my communication skills to be a more effective communicator.”  

Why Should We Hire You? 

Summarize your experiences: “With five years’ experience working in the restaurant industry and my proven record of training and developing, I could make a big difference in your company. I’m confident I would be a great addition to your team.”

 

Why Do You Want to Work Here?  

The interviewer is listening for an answer that indicates you’ve given this some thought and are not sending out resumes just because there is an opening. For example, “I’ve selected a key restaurant whose mission statements and culture are in line with my values, where I know I could be excited about the product we serve and the level of guest service provided. This company is very high on my list of desirable choices.”  

What Are Your Goals?  

Sometimes it’s best to talk about short-term and intermediate goals rather than locking yourself into the distant future. For example, “My immediate goal is to get a job in a growth-oriented company. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. I hope to eventually grow into a position of responsibility.”  

Why Did You Leave (Are You Leaving) Your Job? 

If you’re unemployed, state your reason for leaving in a positive context: “I managed to survive two rounds of corporate downsizing, but the third round was a 20 percent reduction in the workforce, which included me.” If you are employed, focus on what you want in your next job: “After two years, I made the decision to look for a company that is team-focused, where I can add my experience.”  

When Were You Most Satisfied in Your Job?  

The interviewer wants to know what motivates you. If you can relate an example of a job or project when you were excited, the interviewer will get an idea of your preferences. “I was very satisfied in my last job, because I worked directly with the guests and that is an important part of the job for me.”  

What Can You Do for Us That Other Candidates Can’t?  

What makes you unique? This will take an assessment of your experiences, skills and traits. Summarize concisely: “I have a unique combination of strong training skills, and the ability to build strong customer relationships. This allows me to use my knowledge of guest service to build lasting relations and build teams that mirror that level of guest service.”  

What Are Three Positive Things Your Last Boss Would Say About You?  

It’s time to pull out your old performance appraisals and boss’s quotes. This is a great way to brag about yourself through someone else’s words: “My boss has told me that I am the most dependable manager he has ever had. He knows he can rely on me, and he likes my passion for great guest service.”  

What Salary Are You Seeking? 

It is to your advantage if the employer tells you the range first. Prepare by knowing the going rate in your area, and your bottom line or walk-away point. One possible answer would be: “I am sure when the time comes, we can agree on a reasonable amount. In what range do you typically pay someone with my background?”  

If You Were an Animal, Which One Would You Want to Be?  

Interviewers use this type of psychological question to see if you can think quickly. If you answer “a bunny,” you will make a soft, passive impression. If you answer “a lion,” you will be seen as aggressive. What type of personality would it take to get the job done? What impression do you want to make? 

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