I enjoyed your story on making a good impression during a job interview. Do you
have a list of common questions that I can use to help me prepare for an upcoming job
interview? Signed, Eager Job Hunter
Preparing for your next job interview is the best way to impress a potential employer, but
there are hundreds of potential questions you could be asked—too many to list here.
You can find a comprehensive list of potential job interview questions on various web
pages or in job-interview books found at your local public library or at your nearest
Alberta Works Centre (www.employment.alberta.ca/offices)
These lists are a great way to prepare for sneaky questions like: “Tell me about a time
you had a conflict with your supervisor,” or “What’s your greatest weakness?”
But most interview questions are designed to help the employer answer three basic
1. Can you do the job (skills/experience)?
2. Will you do the job (attitude/enthusiasm)?
3. Will you fit into the team and culture (people skills/working style)?
Can you do the job?
Scan the job posting closely and create a list of desired skills and experience. Then,
brainstorm high points from your career when you have used these skills with success
and be ready to talk about these examples to illustrate what you have to offer.
You should know what your greatest weakness is and what you have done to improve on
it. You should also be ready with a 20-second “elevator speech” that explains why they
should hire you over all others. And, bring proof of your skills and accomplishments to
Will you do the job?
The interviewer might ask what you know about the organization, what research you
did to prepare for the interview, or how often you were absent from your last job. They
want to gauge your interest and enthusiasm. Do your research and be ready to show your
excitement for the job and how you see yourself adding value. Picturing yourself in the
job and talking about past successes will help draw out your passion for what you do and
what you have to offer.
Will you be a good fit?
You might be asked about your leadership style or working style, why you left your
last job, or what you didn’t like about your past supervisor or co-workers. You might
even be asked about a time you had a conflict with a co-worker or your supervisor. The
interviewer is trying to figure out how you work with others and spot any red flags.
reassuring the employer that you work well with others.
Understanding why interviewers ask specific kinds of questions will help you anticipate
and prepare answers and anecdotes that work to your advantage. The time you spend
researching and practicing your answers will build your confidence and improve your
performance in the interview.
For more tips on job interviews and common questions, visit http://alis.alberta.ca/ and
click on Tip Sheets.
Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at
email@example.com. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Human
Services. This column is provided for general information.