By Shane Slavik, special to the News
We have all been in interviews and have at some point wondered what the interviewer may ask.
Naturally, different questions will be asked given the position you are trying to obtain. An interview for a retail position is going to be different than one for a construction worker or other types of positions.
There are, however, similarities in interview questions for those in vastly different career paths. If the candidate can anticipate some of these questions, it will make the interview go smoothly.
The first common question is, “Tell me about yourself”.
Many job seekers I speak with ask me why the employer does not simply read the resume to find the answer.
In fact, the employer has read your resume thoroughly; the qualifications you list got you in the door for the interview. By asking this question, the employer is testing whether you can organize your thoughts and re-confirm why you are suitable for the position.
If hired, you will also be spending a great deal of time with your boss and co-workers. Therefore, the interviewer is also starting to assess whether you are a good “fit” in the company culture.
Job seekers should never respond with, “What about me do you want to know”? The employer will want you to have already chosen what you think he or she should know about you, and be prepared to say it in an organized fashion.
Your answer to this question should be approximately 45 to 90 seconds in length. This should be long enough to cover enough information about you, but short enough that you retain the employer’s attention. (I once asked a job-seeker to tell me about himself. I had to cut him off at the seven-minute mark of his answer.)
While answering this question you should include remarks about your education and experience as they relate to the job. You could tell the interviewer about specific courses you took, what duties you have performed and what skills you have to offer.
As noted earlier, employers are looking for a good fit in the company. Answering the dreaded “Tell me about yourself” question should include something about your personal interests. Interviewers do not need to know about your religious beliefs or anything too personal. An employer is simply wondering about the person he/she could potentially be spending a significant amount of time with every week. In your answer, it is a good idea to include information on any hobby interests you have.
This is only one of the many common interview questions. With some practice, this question will be easier to answer when it comes time for a real interview.
Shane Slavik is an independent employment consultant. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335 or email email@example.com to discuss.