Reviewing the most popular interview questions

So you’ve got an interview scheduled? How do you prepare?

One thing you should definitely do is review this list of the 50 most common interview questions and start working through answers.

What are your strengths?

What are your weaknesses?

Why are you interested in working for [insert company name here]?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

Why do you want to leave your current company?

It’s a long list and none of them will surprise you. Also, you’re bound to get some off-the-wall questions as well so there’s no way to have a ready answer for everything. But working on this list will give you time to think through subjects you’d like to bring up in an interview, and many of these prepared answers will help you come up with things to say in response to the unexpected questions.

How to get a job at Google

The interview process at Google has become legendary, and many people are curious about what it takes to get a job there. William Poundstone explains the secret to getting through the interview process there. Here’s an example of one question:

What is the single hardest question they ask you when interviewing at Google?

“What number comes next in this sequence: 10, 9, 60, 90, 70, 66…?”

This question is hard because you either see the “trick” or you don’t. Nothing you learned in school is likely to help. Try spelling out the numbers—you’ll see that they are in order of the number of letters in the word. “Sixty-six” has eight letters, so the next number must have nine. One possible answer is “ninety-six.”

Poundstone goes on to explain what Google is looking for in interview answers and the type of people, extremely bright extroverts, that Google wants. Your thought process is just as important as your answer. Read the whole article and see if you might fit in.

Handling tough questions at a job interview

If you’re preparing for a job interview, it’s impossible to anticipate all the questions, so on some level it’s more important to be relaxed and be comfortable about discussing your career goals, the potential job and your previous experience. That said, it’s important to prepare. Part of that involves doing research on the company and the prospective job, but you also need to be prepared for the tough interview questions that pop up often in interviews.

Forbes has an article about how to answer the 10 toughest interview questions. They don’t go very in-depth into the answers, but the advice is solid and it’s a good list.

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