In my previous post, I listed off some good questions to ask a potential employer in a job interview. While it is very important to ask questions to show interest, the majority of the interview will be spent answering questions. Many questions are going to be specific to the position, however, there are a lot of question many employers use when interview candidates. None of these questions are meant to be trick questions, but the answers can make the difference between being hired and not.

1. Tell me/us about Yourself
     What To Say:

  • Background relevant to the position
  • Education background
  • Activities one was involved in while in school
  • Previous positions and how they relate to the current position one is applying for
  • Interests and hobbies

     What Not To Say:

  • Brag about achievements/one’s self
  • Go one about oneself for a long time
  • Criminal background or any illegal activities

2. Where do You See Yourself in five years. 
     What To Say:

  • I want to grow within an organization
  • Moving up the ranks with in a company

     What Not To Say:

  • Move from job to job for more money
  • Implying one won’t stay loyal to an individual company and jumping from job to job
  • Acting like it is all about the money

3. What are Your Strengths? 
     What To Say:

  • Something relevant to the job
  • A strength that would impress the interviewer
  • Use word and/or phrases from the job description

     What Not To Say:

  • Something irrelevant to the position i.e.. good cook
  • “I don’t know, I have so many”
  • Brag about strengths

4. What Are Your Weaknesses? 
     What To Say:

  • Something not directly relevant to position
  • Mention how one overcomes their weakness

     What Not To Say:

  • None
  • Something that is directly related to the positions

5. Describe a time when you had a difficult time with a manager?
     What To Say:

  • Explain the issue and how one overcame it with their manager
  • Don’t point blame
  • Explain how one resolved the issue and remained professional afterwards

     What Not To Say:

  • Point blame
  • Seem bitter about the argument

6. Do you have any technical certifications?
     What To Say:

  • If one does, say which ones and how they are relevant to the position.
  • If not, say none yet but tell the interview one would get them if they are necessary for the position

     What Not To Say:

  • Simply: “No I don’t”
  • Say you have no interest in getting certifications

7. What do you read to keep up with technology news?
     What To Say:

  • Explain how one consumes news
  • List some of the sources

     What Not To Say:

  • Say you don’t read technology news
  • Not explaining one’s method
  • Don’t mention less reputable sources

8. Would you rather work as a part of a team or by yourself?
     What To Say:

  • Explain experiences where both have worked well
  • Know whether the position would be involved  as a part or a team and answer accordingly
  • Explain how one works well as both a team

     What Not To Say:

  • How much one dislikes being part of a team or working by oneself

9. Tell me about a technical problem you solved recently?
     What To Say:

  • A story relevant to the position one is applying
  • A time one impressed their supervisor

     What Not To Say:

  • An issue you caused
  • An issue you failed to resolve
  • A major disaster
  • Anything that blames the failure on others

10. Do you have any questions for us?
     What To Ask: 

  • Questions about the company, position or the business that show interest
  • Finding out more about the position

     What Not To Say:

  • No, Nope or I’m good- asking questions shows interest in a company and a job.
  • Asking about salary, days off, benefits, or other inappropriate questions
  • Anything that can be found with basic research

About the Author

MikeMike Gdovin has been blogging about technology since 2006 on his blog, He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Media from Kutztown University with a minor in Journalism, Public Relations and Business. In addition to blogging about technology, Mike is a video producer, technology consultant and social media expert.