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Inside a Job Interview Answers to the 15 Most Frequently Asked Questions Part 1

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Some surveys have shown that there are more than 90 questions that could be asked during a job interview. Of these, 15 in particular are asked most frequently during an extended interview (more than 20 minutes) for a regular work-a-day job.

Always remember that in a job interview, it is not just what you say, but how you say it that really counts. Your choice of words is powerful, and can move job interviewers to a more positive impression by how you say what you say. Here, in no particular order, are the answers to the 15 most frequently asked questions during a job interview:

1) Which position are you most interested in?

When you are responding to an advertisement, the company will likely know the position for which you have applied. Many times companies key their advertisements so, when they are advertising for more than one position, they can identify the position for which you have applied. Most public service organizations will have a specific job number with the job announcement.

However, no matter what position for which you may have applied, many companies have more than one position to offer, and the interviewer is probably going to consider you for any position available based on your submitted resume and interview performance.

Key to answering this question is to realize that different companies and organizations may call essentially the same positions by different job titles; therefore, it is best if you answer the kind of function you are interested in performing rather than a specific job title.

Hence, say “I am interested in accounting,” or “I am good at accounting,” rather than “I am interested in the Junior Accountant position.”

2) Are you looking for full-time or part-time work?

When you are dealing with a large business or public service corporation, chances are the position is full-time, and you should be prepared to accept full-time employment.

However, when you are trying to get your foot in the door, it is well to remember that many companies hire full-time employees from their part-time and temporary help. This makes sense from a business standpoint in that they are then hiring a person they have had an opportunity to observe on the job.

When you are considering a public service position (working for the federal, state or local governmental entities, for example), it generally makes sense to accept any position as long as two factors are present:

1) That it is a full-time permanent position, and

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2) You are entitled to all the normal benefits.

Most public service positions offer opportunities for advancement within the organization, and some even allow you to apply, take tests and interview for positions during your normal working hours. You can, in some cases, look for a better job and get paid for looking during your normal working hours.

This is indeed a good deal for the employee; most private businesses would not tolerate this action and, quite frankly, some would find a “legitimate reason” to fire you if they thought you were looking.

3) Are you willing to travel or relocate (go where the company sends you)?

Decide which is more important to you: where you live, or whether you want the position, and answer accordingly. You may be willing to travel (this could be anything from commuting to another city to work to being out of town two weeks every month), but not willing to relocate. When you are married and earn a secondary income for your family, relocating is not always practical.

4) How much money do you want to earn?

Rather than trying to figure out what they are willing to pay, or revealing what you are willing to settle for (both very risky at best), say this: “What is your salary range for this position?” This tells them nothing, puts the ball back in their court, and you remain a class act.

Another possible answer: “While the salary I would receive is certainly a consideration, I am far more interested in a position that uses performance to determine promotion and compensation. I am interested in being rewarded for my production for the company, thereby proving my value to the company.”

Do ask about benefits if the interviewer does not detail the company benefit package, as the benefit package can add substantially to your salary base. In some cases the benefit package can add 30% to your salary.

5) When can you start work?

The answer is immediately when you are not working, or two weeks—or whatever the notice of termination time is—when you are working. When you are employed and can begin work immediately, your potential employer might wonder if you would quit on them without notice.

6) How long do you expect to work?

Use “As long as it is mutually beneficial for both of us.” When you are the spouse of a career military person, the interviewer may want to know how long you will be around (that is, your spouse’s rotation date). That is why it is best to use the suggested answer. After all, you can not predict everything that might happen. Many military families have found this out when a war or military action started.

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