Practice Your Responses

The Psychology Behind Common Interview Questions

It is important to know that some employers ask questions that seem very simple; however, the hidden meaning behind the questions may not be simple at all (Adapted from the book Money Jobs).

When Interviewers Ask You:

  1. Describe yourself. How does your background qualify you for this job?
  2. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  3. Where do you want to be in five years?
  4. Why this job? Why this organization?
  5. How would your peers describe you?
  6. What makes you think you will succeed in this organization?
  7. Why should we hire you? What do you bring to this job?

What They Really Want to Know Is:

  1. Can you take an incredible amount of information, organize it quickly in your head, and present it in a concise and articulate fashion?
  2. Are my perceptions of your strengths and weaknesses the same as yours? How mature are you in dealing with your weaknesses? Can you identify methods for self-improvement?
  3. What motivates you and what do you want out of life? Is this job merely a stepping stone to something better?
  4. Have you done your homework? Are you analytical?
  5. How do you see yourself? Are you a leader or a follower? (A quiet confidence is needed here—not arrogance or egotism).
  6. Have you accurately identified the skills and expertise needed to succeed? Can you prove you have them?
  7. How are your promotion and persuasion skills? Are you believable? If you can’t sell yourself, how will you be able to sell our products/company/ideas?