When going through a career change, it’s important to know what to expect every step of the way and this includes the interview process. Below, we’ve outlined ten of the most common interview questions and how to best answer them.

1. "Tell me about yourself..."
Although technically not a question, this is often how job interviews will start out. As someone in a career transition, you need to outline the most important past events in regards to education, professional positioning and skills in a few minutes flat. Be bold, be brief and be honest.

2. "What do you consider your most significant accomplishment?"
Don’t ramble on about everything and anything you’ve ever done from winning first prize in a science fair to having children. Instead, discuss your hard work and relevant career accomplishments. Before the interview, make a list of your most significant career achievements, narrow it down and then discuss that in some detail in two to three minutes.

3. "Why are you leaving your current position?"
This can be a tricky one to answer. Even if you didn’t like your job you want to maintain a positive tone so your prospective employer is confident that you won’t also hate working for them. Whatever you do, don’t badmouth your previous employer or co-workers. Focus on what you gained from your job, how this is part of your journey and how you are looking forward to future challenges and opportunities.

4. "What do you consider your most significant strength?"
Make sure you choose strengths that are compatible with the job at hand. Being a team player is not going to help you if you work on your own, but being well organized and highly motivated will. Be prepared to discuss five key strengths with specific examples from the past of how you applied them.

5. “How have you handled stressful/frustrating/difficult situations in the past?”
The interviewer is looking to see if you can deal with petty problems on a daily basis. Make sure you address your common sense, perseverance and patience in these situations.

6. “Our company has to deal with …. How would you handle this?”
It’s time to think on your feet. Make sure you are specific and organized in your thought process.

7. “Why do you think you are qualified for this position?”
Ugh! This can be such an annoying yet important question, especially during a complete career transition. You need to pick two or three main ideas about the job, and about yourself, and connect them. It’s a good idea to target the skills that are directly related to the position and then provide a brief anecdote to prove your success in the past.

8. “Where do you see yourself in five or ten year’s time?”
On a beach in Mexico... no, just kidding. Make your goals realistic. Too much ambition does not look good in an interview. Promotions usually come in one to three years so work with that.

9. “Why should we hire you for this position?”
You need to summarize your skills and look towards what you have learned about the position from the interview. Be thoughtful, be organized and be genuine.

10. “Is there anything you would like to know about the company?”
This is often the last question asked. It’s a good idea to have a few questions prepared regarding the position and the potential for growth. Leave questions about vacation time and pay raises at home.

Author's Bio: 

David Couper is a career coach and writer who for the last twenty years has worked in Europe, Asia, and the USA with individuals. 100% of his clients have found either a new job or career which is fulfilling for both their heart and mind.

He has successfully coached men and women wanting to change career or develop new opportunities at all levels - including CEOs of major companies wanting a creative challenge, frustrated souls longing to make their dream come true and front-line employees laid off and desperate to get a job.

David has a degree in Communication, a postgraduate qualification in education, is certified in a number of training technologies, and has a Masters in Spiritual Psychology. He is a member of the American Society of Training and Development, Society of Human Resources Professional, Writers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television.

David has published seven books. His works on interpersonal skills, counseling in the workplace, and management issues (published by Connaught, Gower, HRD Press, Longman, Macmillan/Pearson Publishing, Oxford University Press) have been translated into Swedish, Polish, and Danish, and published in the UK and the USA. www.davidcoupercoach.com

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David Couper, the Official Guide To Career Change