Make us your home page
Instagram
Jobs | Interviewing

It's best to plan your answers to interview questions

Most job interviews include opportunities to shoot yourself in the foot, so it's smart to plan your responses to routine questions ahead of time. Here are some examples. Diane Stafford, McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers

"Tell me about your worst boss."

Don't do it. Even if you worked for Attila the Hun, negative comments may paint you as a complainer.

A safer response (even if it's a stretch): "I never really had an awful boss, but I've learned what kind of boss I appreciate."

Then say something specific, such as, "I really appreciated the prompt feedback from ... "

"Why were you laid off?"

A safe answer: "The company had to cut costs, and they did it by reducing staff."

Then stop. Don't venture that your performance review may have had something to do with it. Besides, you may not know the real reason you were let go.

"Where do you see yourself in five years?"

Never say, "Retired," or, "In your job," or, "I'd like to be in business for myself."

The employer likes hunting for workers nearly as little as you like hunting for a job. A safe answer would be: "I'm a stable worker and very interested in growing with this company as a long as I can make a contribution."

"Would you be happy working for less than you used to make?"

Safe answer: "I've researched the salary range for this position, and I'm comfortable with it. I'm more excited about this job than I am about earning more money."

Of course, you must have actually researched the pay and know whether you can live with it.

"What are your weaknesses?"

As if any interviewer truly expects an honest answer!

Don't be flip and proclaim that you have no weaknesses. Don't say something silly like, "I can't skip."

Say something job-oriented but nothing that indicates you lack a core competence.

Never admit that you have minimal computer skills. (Get to a class immediately, if that's the case.) Instead, say, for example, that you'd love the chance to improve your social media application skills.

Diane Stafford is the workplace and careers columnist at the Kansas City Star.

It's best to plan your answers to interview questions 04/30/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 29, 2010 5:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Aramis Ayala defends stance against death penalty: 'I did what I believe was proper'

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Aramis Ayala, the elected Orlando prosecutor who refuses to seek the death penalty, defended her actions Wednesday as she faced a flurry of hostile questions from Florida Supreme Court justices.

    Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala, far right, said she was "very well pleased" with her lawyer's case. "I violated no laws." [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Tampa Chamber of Commerce offers boost to black and Hispanic-owned businesses

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — There's a disconnect in Hillsborough County's minority business community.

    Gaston Meredith of Gaston's Culinary Services listens to LaKendria Robinson, Director of Minority Business Accelerator & Economic Inclusion during an information session at the Robert W. Saunders Library in Tampa on Tuesday.
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Wesley Chapel, Greater Pasco chambers of commerce merge

    Business

    LAND O'LAKES — Two chambers of commerce representing more than 850 business members from west Pasco to Wesley Chapel and New Tampa are merging into a single organization.

    Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Hope Allen will lead the combined chambers of commerce announced Wednesday. The yet-to-be-named chamber will represent more than 850 businesses that currenlty are members of the Greater Pasco and Greater Wesley Chapel chambers.
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  4. Sign up for our new daily News at Noon email newsletter

    News

    The Tampa Bay Times will soon launch a daily newsletter called News at Noon. You can make sure to be among the first to receive it by signing up now.

  5. Bitcoin, ransomware fraudster Anthony Murgio of Tampa sentenced to prison

    Business

    Tampa's Anthony Murgio, 33, was sentenced Tuesday to 5-1/2 years in prison for running a bitcoin exchange suspected of laundering money for a group of hackers who targeted publishing and financial firms as part of a complex securities fraud.

    Anthony Murgio of Tampa, 33, was sentenced Tuesday to 5 1/2 years in prison for running a Bitcoin exchange suspected of laundering money for a group of hackers who targeted publishing and financial firms as part of a complex securities fraud. [AP photo]