Barbara Adams, CPRW, CEIP, CFRWC
Below are some of the most unexpected interview questions:

  1. Why haven\’t you found a new position before now?
    Finding a job is the easy part but finding the right job is much more difficult. You are trying to be “selective.”
  2. Have you ever thought of leaving your present position before? If yes, what do you think kept you there?
    Challenge is what kept you in your current position but it is not there anymore. Any other time you considered leaving it was due to lack of challenge and growth.
  3. What do you think of your boss?
    This is a question that can make or break an interview every time. The person talking to you might be your boss either today or in the future and does not want to hear you trash your current or past boss/employer. NEVER talk negatively about this and always try and stay as positive as possible.
  4. Describe a situation in which your work was criticized.
    Make sure the example you give is a positive one, meaning that even though there might have been a problem with a certain task or project you were involved in, you came away from it and learned something. Always be positive.
  5. What other types of jobs or companies are you considering?
    If you are going to talk about this subject then make sure that you mention ONLY jobs related to this field or industry. Interviewers do NOT want to hear that you are thinking of becoming an accountant when you are applying for a Web designer position. It tells them that you might not be as serious about staying a web designer. Nobody wants to hire someone that is already interested in changing careers before the position is even accepted.
  6. 6. Where would you like to be 5 years or 10 years from now?
    This is a tough question unless you have otherworldly powers. Your answer should reflect what you want the interviewer to know about you. Example: ” I see myself continuing to learn and grow and take on new challenges.” This tells the interviewer that you are interested in moving forward in your career and want to build upon previous success.
  7. What are your weaknesses?
    This is a very common question. If you say you have no weaknesses then you come off looking arrogant. If you try and use humor then you may appear too dismissive. This is a difficult question and the interviewer wants to see how you handle it. Use a weakness that can otherwise be seen as a strength. Never fall into the trap of seeing the interviewer as mother/father/confessor and offer up something that is important to the job.A good example can be, “One of my weaknesses is that I can sometimes take on too much work and it can get me into trouble meeting deadlines but luckily I have learned to manage my time and commitments much better by utilizing a task manager and budgeting my time more accurately.”
  8. If I spoke with your previous boss, what would they say is your greatest strength and weakness?
    Emphasize your strong job related skills and turn your weakness into a positive.Example: “My boss would say my strengths are my ability to problem solve and manage a project through to completion. He would then tell you that my weaknesses are that I have had trouble budgeting my time and saying \’No\’ to coworkers but that I learned to better manage my time once he pointed this out to me.”
  9. How much are you looking for?
    This is when your preinterview research comes in handy. Take a look at salary guides for the particular position in your region. These should provide accurate ranges for you to go by. Do not name a specific number but do state that, “The research I have done shows that a person with my experience is usually paid in the X range for a job such as this one.” If you are unsure of what the range is then an answer of “I care much more about getting myself the right opportunity then a certain dollar amount” should get you through this question.
  10. 10. What important trends do you see in our industry?
    Keep your answer to just a few examples. Do not go into any longwinded explanations about why you think that something is inevitable in the industry. Since you do not know what the interviewer believes to be the trends or what direction the company believes the trends will go keep all answers in a positive tone.

Barbara Adams, President & CEO of CareerPro Global, the parent company of and, Ms. Adams has been a member of the careers community for the past 18 years. She holds four prestigious industry certifications. Questions may be emailed to [email protected]
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