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Video:Common College Job Interview Questions

with Michelle Tillis Lederman

A good way to prepare for a college job interview is to know some of the questions you're likely to be asked. This About.com video will explain some of the most common college job interview questions.See Transcript

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Transcript:Common College Job Interview Questions

Hi, I'm Michelle Tillis Lederman, the author of "The 11 Laws of Likability," today for About.Com we're going to talk about the most common questions employers ask of recent college graduates.

There are three main things an employer is trying to determine during the interview: Do you want to do this job? Are you able to do this job? And are you a good fit for the company?

Basic Interview Question #1

With "do you want to do this job," they're going to be interested in your passions, your interests… what are the things that you've done before? And really having that being conveyed with your body language, and not just the words but the way you say them.

Basic Interview Question #2

Are you able to do this job? They might ask you some technical questions. They might ask about some other experiences that you had during internships, course work, and any volunteer work you might have done to increase your skills.

Basic Interview Question #3

And are you a good fit for the company? Well, that's really sometimes the most important of the three (questions) and that is something you cannot prepare for. Be you. Show them what type of personality you bring to the workplace.

How Interview Questions Are Asked

Most questions are going to be open-ended. In other words, they want to get you talking. They might ask: "Walk me through your resume…" or "just tell me about yourself…." Be prepared for these. Know what you want them to know about you. Think about the characteristics you want to convey or the story that connects the dots of your resume and your education.

Details of Each Interview Question

The "do you want that job" question is conveyed in a few different ways: one is really if you show the research you've done about the company, they know that you have an interest; that you've put in that time and energy to learn about the company and the industry. Maybe you've read articles. You can share some insights about competitors.

I always say attitude over aptitude. There are many technical skills that can be taught but a good attitude is difficult to teach. I want you to come in there with confidence. Be aware of your capabilities, even if you haven't done the job yet.

I've often been asked if you can prepare for the "fit" question and the truth is, you can gain knowledge about the culture of a company, however, trying to become what we think they want really has us presenting somebody that is not our true self and we're not going to be effective at assessing if we are a fit or if they feel we are a fit. And really, a job interview is to look for a match – it's not just to get the job; it's to get the right job.

Be Honest About Shortcomings

Oftentimes, people worry about those contrary questions: "What's your greatest weakness?" Or, "Tell me about a failure…" Don't worry about those questions. Share them. An employer would much rather understand that you are aware of the things that hold you back and that you're working on them rather than thinking they have someone who doesn't recognize their own flaws.

Never Lie in Interviews

What can get you in trouble? Lying. Don't bluff an answer. Don't say something that's not true. Present the information in your best light. So when we do have challenges, don't forget to talk about how you overcame them, what you learned from them or what you would do differently next time.

What they are really trying to learn about you is: Do you want the job? Show them that through research. Can you do the job? Show them that through experience and confidence. And are you a good fit for your company? Well, be you. If it's not a good fit, it's not a job that you want.

Thanks for watching. For information, please go to About.com.

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