Six questions employers may ask at the interview

There will be interview questions which are not on any application or resume. Employers ask questions seeking information which helps them pick the best applicant. These questions fall into the following categories:

  • Personal life
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Accomplishments
  • Motivation
  • Goals

Personal Life

There are laws which employers must follow when asking interview questions, there are also ways around these laws. Some example questions employers can ask are:

  • Employers can't ask your age, but can ask when you graduated
  • Employers can't ask if you have ever committed a crime, but can ask if you have been convicted of a felony
  • Employers can't ask what you did during a period of unemployment, but can ask why you have a gap in employment
  • Employers can't ask about child care, but can ask the age of the children if the topic is brought up
  • Employers can't ask about religion, but can ask if you require certain days or hours off

Education

Among the interview questions will be questions from employers about your education. Questions about education should be expected. The reasons behind these questions are to gauge the following about an applicant:

  • Intelligence
  • Goals
  • Decision making
  • Tenacity

If you did not finish college, this may raise a concern you will need to address. If you do not have a high school diploma, this must be offset by your obtaining a GED instead. Interview questions about education are to see if you are smart enough for the position.

Work Experience

There are two main questions an employer will ask with experience:

  • Do you have any experience
  • Is your experience relevant to this job
  • If you have experience in the field you are applying to, mention it. If your experience is in another field, or you have held various jobs, discuss how experiences and behaviors tie the jobs together. If you have no experience, discuss any volunteer work or other voluntary duties you had that will answer the employer's questions.

    Accomplishments

    When interview questions turn to accomplishments, this is your time to sell your positive skills and strengths. Some employer questions you might answer here include the following:

    • Your greatest strengths
    • Your greatest weakness
    • What you do well and what you enjoy doing
    • What you do poorly and what you hate doing
    • What you would improve about yourself and what improvements you have made

    Always be ready for the following employer question almost immediately after each of the above - why?

    Here are some tips which may help with these interview questions:

    • Present your greatest skills and strengths as they relate to the employer
    • Present your greatest weakness and dislikes as minor objects unrelated to the job
    • If a poor piece of your background emerges, present the positive improvement you have made, or are making, which offsets this and benefits the employer

    Motivation

    A main concern employers have is finding self-motivated employees who are job-centered rather than self-centered. Interview questions about this topic can range along this line:

    • What you learned from previous jobs
    • Why you left previous employers
    • Why you want this job as well as why you want to work for the employer's company
    • Why should the employer hire you

    The employer is seeking is what makes you stand out from all other applicants for this job. Answers to these employer questions must show that you have the following abilities:

    • Self-motivated
    • Can function with limited supervision
    • Can produce acceptable work consistently

    Goals

    Many people balk at being asked what they see themselves doing in five or ten years. This interview question is asked not as a trick, but as a way for the employer to see if you have goals and are willing to stick with the job for more than a few months or a year.

    Having an idea of what your answers will be to these interview questions will take you far during the interview process. These employer questions are geared not only to provide information, but also to allow you to pitch yourself as a worthwhile employee.