As you consider where to work and what kind of work you want to do this summer, don’t forget to write a resume and prepare for the job interview. Job interview preparation is really key to job interview success! Here are 5 job interview questions employers ask in summer job interviews all the time. Add your own specific examples to come up with the best answers to questions in the job interview. (Original article written in 2008 for Yahoo)
Q. Tell me a little about yourself?
A. The interviewer wants to learn more about your skills, abilities and some of your interests. This response sets the tone for the rest of the job interview it is a good idea to make the answer as brief as possible. A rough rule of thumb is to say something about the recent past, something current and a plan for the future. Here is how one freshman student could respond in her summer job interview: “Past – I just completed my freshman year at XYZ University with a 3.2 GPA and made the Dean’s list. Present – I am currently a Marketing major and with interest in Advertising, Public Relations and Social Media. Future – My goal is to graduate in 2016 and pursue a Masters in the Communications field.
Q. Why do you want this summer job?
A. Tell the interviewer why you applied for this specific position. Talk about your skills and your availability, not the employee discount you might get or how much money you want to make. You can speak to the flexibility that the job offers, the proximity of the job to home or school or that you are saving for something specific like a summer trip, sports camp or even your first car. You could also just really want to get more experience in a field you think you would enjoy. Yes, you can talk about future career, but they also know you might have some immediate fun goals, as most students do.
Q. What would teachers or professors say about you?
A. This is a good chance to speak about your good performance in favorite classes or on a team etc. Speak about teachers or professors who you know would be able to give you a good letters of recommendation.
Q. Tell me about a problem you had and how you solved it?
A. Employers hire problem solvers. The interviewer wants to learn about you problem solving skills for handling challenges or conflicts. Give specific examples where you might have had a problem you actually had to solve. Don’t forget to talk about great outcomes in the job interview. These problems do not have to be ones you had at work.
Q. Tell me about your last job?
A. Share information about job skills or accomplishment on the job. Do not speak badly about any prior employers. Keep this part of the job interview very positive and upbeat.
Q. Why should we hire you?
A. This is your opportunity to talk about your job skills, behaviors and achievements and how they could be an asset to the company. Restate your interest in the position and practise asking for the job.