Andrea Doven Discusses Most Common Job Interview Questions

Posted July 15, 2015 by suleman

Andrea Doven, a leading and acknowledged hiring expert, regularly blogs about job seeking skills.
According to Andrea Doven, a leading hiring and recruiting expert, many job seekers think only of the immediate goal: securing an interview. "Once you have gotten in the door, however, the first ten minutes are going to determine, in most cases, whether you get the job. Making the right impression hinges on two factors: your appearance and your answers to the questions that the interviewer asks."

In many ways, Doven notes, a job interview is much like a date. "You are both 'sizing each other up,'" she says. "While you are wondering what type of place this would be to work, the employer is wondering how you would fit in with the corporate culture and how you would operate in their already-established business." A big mistake that many job seekers make, in Doven's opinion, is to focus too much on things that are outside of their control and ignore small details that could tip the scales in their favor. "There is nothing you can do about your age, for example," she says. "If you are a bit young for the position, there is nothing you can do to change that fact. However, you can, by your maturity, poise and self-assurance, change the employer's mind about hiring someone of your age for that position."

Preparation Is Key

In order to prepare for a job interview, it is important to know the common questions that may be asked and have answers ready. By doing this, job seeker are less likely to "choke up," making a bad impression, and more likely to impress the potential employer. "That does not mean you have to have a ready-made answer to every question ever asked in any job interview," says Doven, on the web at . "Not only would that be impossible but it would make your responses appear canned and unnatural. What you can do, however, is be prepared with some general responses for questions you are almost sure to be asked."

There are many lists of questions that are frequently asked at job interviews, but they usually boil down to a few general topics: your previous experience, your ability to get along with others and your methods of problem solving. Doven suggests starting with these three topics and thinking about how you would handle questions in each category.

"Have You Ever . . ."

"'Have you ever' questions are designed to elicit information about your previous experience," notes Doven, on the web at and . "These types of questions help the employer understand how well you have handled situations in the past. It is not as important to show that you have done an exact job as it is to show that you have developed a particular skill set. If you have not had experience doing a job, highlight your parallel experience and your ability to learn quickly."

The ability to learn quickly is a "soft skill" that does not relate to any particular position, so job seekers can often find ways to show that they are fast learners without an extensive job history. Additionally, previous work experience can show other soft skills, such as the ability to show up on time, get along with others, work with the public and make decisions without supervision.

"Can't We All Just Get Along?"
"Your employer does not only want to know that you can do your job. He or she also wants to know that you are not going to be a troublemaker," notes Doven. Some managers spend the bulk of their time settling employee differences, so any evidence that a job seeker can show that he or she is a peacekeeper is likely to work in favor of a job offer. However, it is also important not to appear a pushover. "It is best to show that you have good negotiation skills, not that you just give in on everything," says Doven. "You want to portray assertive characteristics, not aggressive or passive."

"Just Do It!"
A third thing employers are looking for is problem-solving ability, and job seekers can highlight their skills in this area in a number of ways. "Problem-solvers are always in high demand," notes Doven. "Employers want to know that you will use good judgment, that you are a self-starter and that you do not wait for someone to tell you how to fix something." If you have experience in any type of problem-solving job, or if you have managed your own work in any way, highlight that experience in your answer.

Ultimately, Doven says, preparing for types of questions rather than specific questions is usually the best strategy. "Employers tend to stay within certain types of questions, which makes sense since they all basically want the same thing: employees who will show up, do a good job and make the company money. The more you can show that you are that type of employee, the better your chances for getting the position."

For more information on Andrea Doven and her video series for job seekers, see

About Andrea Doven:

Andrea Doven, daughter of actor Robert Morse and dancer Carole D'andrea, is a native of New York City and the 20-year director of human resources and logistics at Odin Films. She is known as the "woman who makes the trains run," and for the past 10 years has used her talents as the VP of Human Resources at an international tech company. She has an extraordinary record of establishing effective personnel management systems at all levels and is consistently consulted by professionals in a variety of industries and organizations for help in hiring and placing qualified employees.

For More Information:
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Contact Email [email protected]
Issued By Craig Edward
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Last Updated July 15, 2015