Preparing for a Job Interview (Part 1)

Target audience: Adults

Level: Advanced

Language Focus: General Knowledge

Practice Type: General Practice

Lesson Plan:

  1. Get to know 5 common interview questions
  2. Do a quiz on job interview
1. Get to know 5 common interview questions

For anyone applying for a job it’s important to be well aware of where he’s standing, in other words what his strengths and weaknesses are. During an interview for a job you’ll only have a short period of time during which you should not only impress a potential employer with your experiences, skills and competencies but also disguise your weak points or make them play on your side.

To help you go through such a challenging time with confidence we have selected some commonly asked questions and want to suggest possible answers and bad answers which you should avoid.

1. Why Should We Hire You?

When a hiring manager asks you, “Why should we hire you?” she is really asking, “What makes you the best fit for this position?” Your answer to this question should be a concise “sales pitch” that explains what you have to offer the employer. Remember that employers hire workers to solve a problem, whether it’s boosting sales or streamlining processes or building a brand. Your goal when making your pitch is to show that you’re the best person to solve that problem. The better you do that, the better your chances of landing the job.

Question 1
Good Answer
Bad Answer
Why should we hire you?
If you hire me, it will be a great platform to showcase my skills. I have the savvy, experience, and superior communication ability to be an asset to your company.
I don’t know. It sounds like a good job.
I’m sure this job will help me feel financial security.

.2. Reasons Behind Leaving Your Last Job?

Your reasons for leaving a job can say a lot about you and your fit for the new position. As you walk your interviewer through your resume, be prepared to address your reason for leaving each position. No matter if you were laid off or fired from a previous job, you should never put down your past company, employer or colleagues. Concentrate on your ambitions which you have fulfilled in your previous work and you are ready to move on.

Question 2
Good Answer
Bad Answer
Reasons behind leaving your last job?
I have loved my time at (name of the company) and am really proud of the successful work I’ve done. However, I think the time has come for a change. In order to enhance my skill set, I am looking for better opportunities.
Any answer involving downgrading the previous company.

3.Why Have You Been Unemployed For Such A Long Time?

You might have quit your job or lost it. Whatever the case is, an employer will most likely notice an unemployment gap in your CV. This gap will definitely raise the employer’s eyebrows and they will ask you to explain why you have been unemployed for so long. When responding to this question, you should attempt to remain positive while being honest with your answer. At the same time present honest answers in a positive light. If you suffered a loss or were unable to work due to mental stress or recovery, talk about reevaluating your career aspirations and preparing yourself to enter the workplace with more to contribute.If you were laid off, talk about how the company as a whole was affected. If you were fired, talk openly about weaknesses that led to the event and relate what you have learned from the experience and how you have worked to improve.

Question 3

Good Answer

Bad Answer

Why have you been out of work for such a long time?
I have taken some time to further my education and improve my skills in order to contribute more fully to the company I will work for.
I have been looking for jobs. Don’t complain about anything starting from unfair treatment in you last job or high unemployment rates. No one like nagging.

4. Tell Me About Your Ability To Work Under Pressure

Employers want to know if you’re able to work efficiently in a demanding and fast-paced environment and whether you’re prepared to go the extra mile. They want to know they’re hiring someone who can coolly evaluate situations, stay focused, take charge and simply get the job done. Answering this question it’s important to emphasize how you thrive under pressure and how your ability to take decisions is enhanced by pressing circumstances.

Question 4
Good Answer
Bad Answer
Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
I have loved my time at (name of the company) and am really proud of the successful work I’ve done. However, I think the time has come for a change. In order to enhance my skill set, I am looking for better opportunities.
Don’t say you never fell pressureв as you are not a super human. Don’t focus on how you put yourself in a stressful situation. Rather say how you dealt with it successfully.

5. What Are Your Expectations From Job?

When an interviewer asks you about your career expectations, he’s looking for insight into how you want to grow as a professional and how ambitious you are. He may be seeking someone who aspires to a management position, and letting him know you’re dedicated to working your way up the corporate ladder may inspire confidence in your ability to tackle increasing responsibility. When elaborating on your career expectations, frame your answer in a way that demonstrates your skills, your goals, and your commitment to the company

Question 5

Good Answer

Bad Answer

What are your expectations from job?
Professional advancement, good career prospects and sustainable future.
Don’t mention anything related to salary or money. In this question you are asked about your motivation and commitment to your job

2.Do a quiz on job interview

1. The best way to dress for success is to...

  • A. Dress comfortably
  • B. Wear a smart suit
  • C. Bring a sport coat, in case you need it
  • D. Be trendy

2. What is the one thing you don't want to do during the first interview?

  • A. Negotiate pay
  • B. Connect with the interviewer
  • C. Communicate why you are a good fit
  • D. Close by arranging the next interview

3. How long does it normally take for the interviewer to determine whether you are a good match for the company?

  • A.5 minutes
  • B. 20 minutes
  • C. 30 minutes
  • D. At the conclusion of the interview

4. What should you NOT do to prepare for an interview?

  • A. Research the company
  • B. Learn the company's concerns and problems
  • C. Practice top interview questions and answers
  • D. Memorize key answers to interview questions

5. Who is the most important person to greet in a friendly and respectful manner?

  • A. The receptionist
  • B. The secretary
  • C. The interviewer
  • D. All of the above

6. True or False: Your success stories should only use examples from previous work experiences.

  • A. True – because all the interviewer cares about is past job success.
  • B. False – because the interviewer also appreciates successes in other areas of life.

7. When answering interview questions it is important to:

  • A. Be specific
  • B. Be general
  • C. Stretch the facts to look good
  • D. Seize control of the interview whenever possible

8. If asked about any gaps in your work history you should respond by:

  • A. Explaining the crisis that led to the gap
  • B. Describing some volunteering and consulting you have done during that time
  • C. State that family is your top priority
  • D. Say that you work best when you have time off in between jobs

9. In every answer you give, the employer is looking for:

  • A. How you will save them time
  • B. How you will save them money
  • C. How you will solve their problem(s)
  • D. Any of the above

10. True or False: During the interview, it is appropriate to mirror the interviewer's personality and pace.

  • A. True - because this will build rapport.
  • B. False - because this is condescending.

11. True or False: Make sure to bring up your salary requirements during the first interview.

  • A. True - because this will quickly reveal whether the company can afford you.
  • B. False - salary negotiations should take place later in the hiring process.

12. How much time should you spend rehearsing interview questions and answers?

  • A. 1 hour
  • B. 10 minutes
  • C. 3-5 hours
  • D. 3 days

13. As soon as the interview is over, you should:

  • A. Go home and rest. You deserve it.
  • B. Replay each question and answer in your mind.
  • C. Send an immediate thank you note.
  • D. Sit back and wait for the job offer to come in.

14. At the start of an interview you should:

  • A. Try to find common interests.
  • B. Look around the interview’s office for things to comment on.
  • C. Shake the interviewers hand firmly and look him or her in the eye.
  • D. All of the above

15. True or False: You should bring a copy of your resume to the interview.

  • A. True – because the interviewer may have trouble locating theirs.
  • B. False – because you will insult the interviewer by assuming he or she can’t find



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Key to quiz: 1)B, 2)A, 3)A, 4)D, 5)D, 6)B, 7)A, 8)B, 9)D, 10)A, 11)B, 12)C,13)C,14)D,15)A