Even with a Great Employee Benefits Program, the Job Interview is Scary

Job Interview

Image by xianrendujia via Flickr

It might not be a well-known way to choose a job – based on the company’s Employee Benefits Program. But these days, with employers cutting costs – and often starting with benefits – it may be what tips a potential employee in the “right” direction. Recent articles in a paper of note, The Wall Street Journal, chronicle the slow demise of many of the major chain shops, with companies shuttering stores systematically. A job interview can be a daunting prospect. Are you worried how well you’ll come across? Concerned you don’t think fast enough on your feet to handle questions during job interviews? Well, worry no longer.

A job – and one you really want, because it’s something you want to do (and not only financially motivating) – may be competitive, but fear not. The prepared will always be the most comfortable and confident.

Be Prepared – Know Your Audience

Health benefits packages may not be as hearty as they once were, with low deductibles and high-yield dental and vision plans, but a potential employee must consider company policies regarding vacation, sick days, redundancy and more. You may come to the conclusion that an attractive employee benefits program is more than a little motivating. But before we jump the gun, let’s examine the actual interview itself. As we mentioned, being prepared is critical. Reputable potential employers only need the answers to three questions (which they’ll ask in several different ways), notes “Business Insider Australia.” This means, no matter how it’s phrased, ultimately, this is what the employer wants to know about you.

Questions the Potential Employer Always Asks

  1. Have you got the skills, expertise, and experience to perform the job?
  2. Are you enthusiastic and interested in the job and company?
  3. Will you fit into the team culture and company?

That said, You can Expect Variations on Those Three Questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • What can you do that other candidates cannot?
  • Why do you think you’re right for the job?
  • What do you anticipate the main challenges will be?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • What do you think our company is trying to achieve?
  • What do you know about our products and services?
  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • Why do you think this job is for you?
  • What motivates you?
  • How would you describe your work style?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • How would your colleagues describe you?
  • What makes you fit into our company?
  • What makes you a good team member?
  • If you were an animal, what kind would you be?

Illegal Questions

Now for the dicey stuff: Did you know that there are many questions and conversations that would seem organic, but are actually illegal? An interviewer cannot ask you the following:

National Origin/Citizenship

  • Are you an Australian citizen?
  • Where were you/your parents born?
  • What is your “native tongue?”
  • What country are you from?

Age and Family

  • How old are you?
  • What is your birthday?
  • Marital/Family Status (this question can reveal sexual orientation)
  • What’s your marital status?
  • Who do you live with?
  • Do you plan to have a family? When?
  • Do you have any children?
  • What are your child-care arrangements?
  • Do you have any outstanding debt?

Affiliations

  • What religious holidays do you celebrate?
  • To what clubs or social organizations do you belong?
  • What race do you consider yourself?

Personal

  • How tall are you?
  • How much do you weigh?
  • Do you socially drink?
  • When did you last use illegal drugs?
  • How long have you been working?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Do you plan on getting pregnant?
  • What are your plans if you get pregnant?
  • Would you work if you got pregnant?

 

Disabilities

  • Do you have any disabilities?
  • Please complete the following medical history.
  • Have you had any recent or past illnesses or operations? If yes, list and give dates.
  • What was the date of your last physical exam?
  • How’s your family’s health?
  • When did you lose your eyesight?

Arrest Record

  • Have you ever been arrested?

Military

  • If you’ve been in the military, were you honorably discharged?

Every interviewer has his/her own style and it’s important you make yourself familiar with the possibilities they may throw your way.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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