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SSA Blog Post: Top 3 Questions You Can Expect During a Job Interview

Top 3 Questions You Can Expect during a Job Interview

Feb 8, 2018
Image of a person in a suit behind a desk

Image of a person in a suit behind a desk

Job interviews consist of 2 types of questions: questions about you and questions about what you know. The latter type, knowledge questions, usually relate to the particular requirements of the job you’re applying for and are very specific. Today, we’ll talk about the more general questions you can expect. These are the kind of questions that will set you apart when all the candidates are equally knowledgeable.

Recruiters ask these general questions to learn more about who you are. Are you confident? Do you sound enthusiastic? Will you fit their company culture? Are you committed enough to take the time to research their company?

If you’ve decided to discuss your disability during the interview, you can think about how to do so in the context of these typical questions. For more information on disclosure, check out Disclosure: Let’s Talk About It.

Let’s look at the 3 most common questions.

  1. Tell me about yourself.
    This may be your best opportunity to highlight what you believe are your most important characteristics for the job. Maybe you have a passion for a certain part of the job. For example, “In my previous position as a customer service representative, I enjoyed helping people solve their problems.” Or, maybe you were recognized for a special talent. For example, “I won several awards for training new employees at my last job.”
    You may consider explaining large resume gaps when responding to this question, too. If you’ve decided to disclose your disability during the interview, you can explain medical leave. You can also use this as a chance to talk about any hobbies or volunteer work that you pursued during your employment gap that helped you build your skills and gain experience.
  2. Why are you interested in this position?
    Before your interview, it’s a good idea to learn more about the company or the job. During your interview, think about what you have read about the company or job: What do you like about the company? Maybe your skill set lines up well with the job tasks or company goals. Maybe it’s their reputation for how well they treat their employees. Is there something about the job requirements that you think are a good fit for your strengths? Answering this question with facts about the company or the job tells the interviewer that you care enough to have done your homework.
  3. What are your strengths/what are your weaknesses?
    Talking about your strengths can be tricky. Make sure that you’ve thought about how your personal strengths will relate to the job requirements, and come up with an example or 2 of how you’ve used your strength.
    If the interviewer asks about a weakness, indicate that you’ve thought about that question and identify a particular trait that will not affect the job position. For example, if you’re applying for a programming position, acknowledging that you aren’t a skilled public speaker may not hurt your chances if the position doesn’t require public speaking. It is also a good idea to mention what you are doing to address your weakness or provide an example about how you learned from your weakness.

In an actual interview, the questions won’t always be phrased this way, but the purpose of the questions will be similar. Preparing answers to these questions is the first part of getting ready for your interview. The second part is practicing them. Don’t try to memorize specific answers. Focus on the key points you want to make and practice saying them aloud until they feel natural and unrehearsed. You could even ask a friend, family member or your Ticket to Work program service provider to help you practice.

When you’ve prepared in this way, you’ll be more confident and that’s how you’ll make the best impression.

Be sure to subscribe to the Choose Work blog. In the coming months, we’ll share additional questions you may be asked during an interview, including questions that may relate to your disability or gaps on your resume.