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Common Interview Question Samples

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Common interview questions might not seem difficult. Regardless, your answer to each should be polished and sharp. Craft answers to common interview questions and practice them before your interview, so that they roll off your tongue when you face the interviewer.

Effective responses answer questions honestly, positively and briefly, highlighting important qualities and accomplishments that are relevant to the position at hand.

Give examples to illustrate and corroborate your answers when possible. Your answers should work together, making connections between what you have previously done, the available position, and your goals.

To help you craft answers of your own, below are examples of how a recent graduate from law school who wishes to become a financial planner, might effectively and ineffectively answer the common interview questions listed.

Tell me about yourself.

Ineffective: I am a hard-worker who is good with numbers. After I worked as a financial analyst for a few years, I decided to go to law school. I just finished and now am looking for a new challenge.

Effective: I began developing skills relevant to financial planning when I worked as a financial analyst for three years. In that role, I succeeded in multiplying the wealth of my clients by carefully analyzing the market for trends. The return on the portfolios I managed was generally 2% more than most of the portfolios managed by my company.

My initiative, planning, and analytic skills were rewarded by two promotions. As the manager of a team, I successfully led them to develop a more efficient and profitable strategy for dealing with new accounts.

My subsequent training in the law, including tax law and estate law, gives me an informed view of what types of investments and charitable gifts would be most advantageous for your clients.

What did you most enjoy about your last job?

Ineffective: I liked lots of things, like the people, challenge and rewards. Sometimes we had to work long hours, but it always seemed to pay off.

Effective: Of the many things that I enjoyed, I would say that the strategic aspects of my job most energized me. I liked setting concrete performance goals for myself and finding ways to meet them. I similarly enjoyed analyzing markets for trends and identifying when would be the most beneficial time to enter or withdraw from certain funds.

When I was a manager, my team and I developed a new approach to accounts that became a standard for the company. Strategizing gave my work a sense of tangible direction and accomplishment.

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