There are literally thousands of possible interview questions. How do you prepare for them all? You can buy a book entitled something like “The 250 (or 500 or 700) Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions”, study the answers and pray that you get asked one of the questions you studied. Or, you can understand the basics and be prepared to answer any question you are asked.
Here are the basics of answering any interview question:
Avoid any possible negativity about anything. Being negative is the fastest way to turn off a hiring manager. Your last company did not go under because of stupid decisions; they were the victim of market forces. Your last boss was not inept she had unique approaches and different strategies. Your ride to the interview was fine even if you were stuck in traffic. You do not need to lie just avoid being negative put a positive or at least neutral spin on your answer.
It is not about you:
You are being considered based on the value you can bring to the company. All your answers should focus on what you will contribute rather than how the job will benefit you. Do not talk about a shorter commute, more money, or career advancement. Focus on answering question by talking about the benefits the company will derive from having you on board. Example, Question-“Where do you want to be in five years?” Answer-” I want to have gained experience in my position, taken on greater responsibility and be more of a contributor to the success of the company”.
Take your time:
There is almost a belief that an interview is a verbal test that is timed. The interviewer asks a question and you have five seconds to come up with the right answer, ie. the answer that pleases the interviewer. Take your time be thoughtful. There is no reason why you can’t say “let me think about that for a moment”. You can take 30-40 seconds to think and come up with a well reasoned answer. You don’t get extra credit for speed.
Whenever possible use examples and tell stories:
Every job candidate is hard working, a good team member, reliable, honest, multitasking, a leader, and dedicated; or so they all say. You have to prove it. You can prove it by giving an example or telling a story when you answer a question. “I am dedicated to getting a job done and here is an example of a time when I was dedicated…” Using an example or telling a story brings your answer to life and has more impact and validity.
So, get the books study the questions but keep the basics of answering any question in mind as you answer. Being able to answer any question in an interview will be one of your greatest interview strengths.