10 Interview Questions You Must Prep For

By Dan Donohue

These 10 “trick questions” are from Allan Telio’s advice talk on interviews. I have experienced many of these questions before in real interviews and mock interviews so it is definitely worth reviewing them and strategically preparing for them before they catch you off guard.

1. Tell me about our company?

Thoroughly research the company beforehand and take notes in a notebook. When you bring a notebook full of questions and facts in the company, it shows genuine interest as well as preparation and organizational skills.

2. Why are you interested?

Number one way to avoid failing this question is to pursue companies you are actually interested in working for. If you aren’t actually interested in the job, then why would you be there? Go do something you want to do.

I know many times it comes down to “I’m applying for this job because I need money”, but if you like video games, apply to a Gamestop, not a pizza place, and if you like fitness, become a personal trainer, don’t apply to be a phone receptionist.

3. Tell me about your dream job?

This ties in to the question above. As Allan put it, “If your dream is digging ditches, then why are you applying to flip burgers? Go dig ditches.”

4. Tell me a time when you failed.

You want your answer to prove growth and maturity after the failure. Don’t just tell them how you failed (or dwell on how bad it was)… follow it up with how you learned from your mistake, continued on, then did something better as a result of the failure.

5. Give me some feedback on my interview style so I may improve.

They want to learn how you give feedback to others. Don’t be a dick! Choose something small, like the phrasing of a question, and suggest a gentle alternative. Use phrasing like “I may have changed xyz” or “perhaps you could try this…”.

6. Why did you leave your last job?

Use this question to prove you are passionate about the current employer you are approaching. Make a list of personal values before going into the interview, then, during the interview, explain how the position at hand aligns with those values and your pursuits to become a better person.

Don’t mention how your last job sucked because your boss was mean and you wanted more money.

7. What have you been doing since your last job?

No one wants to hear how you have been a bum for the last 6 months. Provide an answer that shows you were productive with your time and accomplished some sort of goal.

i.e. “While on the job search I was able to get in the best shape of my life. I worked out everyday and recently participated in a race.” or “I set a goal to read as many blogs as possible to stay aware of X industry and even began my own blog.”

8. What do you read on a regular basis?

Prove to the recruiter that you are actually up-to-date on current affairs. I recommend signing up for free at Feedly.com and subscribing to a handful of interesting blogs. For example, if you are applying for a web design job, the employer may want to hear that you follow Smashing Magazine, CSS Tricks, and Behance.

9. What’s some critical feedback you’ve gotten recently?

They want to see how you receive and perceive feedback. Don’t make the feedback sound negative, rather, make it sound like you were very receptive, and how it made you collaborate better with the person giving the feedback. Also, how you were able to address the feedback and make a personal change to be more productive.

10. What other roles are you interviewing for?

The recruiter is looking for consistency. They don’t want to see you scattered across several different types of jobs because they won’t be able to tell if you want to actually do what they are asking for or if you are desperate to get any job possible.

For more posts from Dan, check out his blog!