With Julie Jansen, career and executive coach and author, we have pulled together this companion to the Cancer and Careers Interview Cheat Sheet. Use these essential interview questions to help you prepare for your interview.
The best way to boost your confidence going into an interview is to practice, practice, practice! Set up times with your friends, family or social worker to hold mock interviews; this will allow you to get more comfortable hearing and answering these questions out loud. For additional job-search and interview tips, visit our Looking for Work section.
For the mock interviewer: Pick and choose from this list to help the interviewee get a feeling for answering these questions out loud, in real time. Switch the order, listen carefully to the answers and ask follow-up questions. Try to imagine yourself as someone hiring for a specific job and truly assessing a candidate based on their answers. Also, it can be hard for the person answering the questions to remember what they said, so be sure to write down anything that would be useful for them to know (whether it’s something you thought was really strong or really weak) after their practice session.
For the mock interviewee: Prepare answers to these questions and come up with as many real-life examples as you can. To start, try using the Cancer and Careers Interview Cheat Sheet. After you have filled that in, see what additional topics you need to give some thought to. To make it as authentic as possible, tell your mock interviewer what kind of job you are applying for — including what level — plus anything else you want them to know in order for them to get into the character of the prospective employer.
- Tell me about yourself
- Why did you leave your last job?
- Why should we hire you?
- Can you work under pressure, deadlines?
- Tell me about your most significant accomplishments in your present or most recent job.
- What is your primary strength?
- What is your primary weakness?
- What would you like to be doing five years from now?
- How do you organize and plan for major projects?
- Describe a difficult problem you’ve had to deal with.
- What would your current/most recent manager say about you?
- How many people have you managed in your previous jobs? What is your management style?
- How long have you been looking for another position?
- Have you ever been fired? If so, why?
- What is the most difficult situation you have faced at work?
- What have you done that shows initiative?
- I see there is a gap on your resume. Can you tell me why and what you were doing during this time?
- Do you have any medical conditions I should know about?
- Are there any accommodations that you might need in order to meet the requirements of this job?
As you think about how you might respond to the last three questions, in particular, be sure to check out our recommended content, below.