DerrJones Recruiting Solutions

Example Answers for Interviews

The time you invest in researching example answers for interviews, and figuring out how to adapt the information for each question to your particular situation, is the best preparation you can do for landing a new job. Yes, your resume needs to get you in the door. And yes, your interview attire will help you make the right impression. But nothing you do will give you more confidence than knowing that you are prepared for anything that an interviewer throws at you.

The first question in this group of example answers for interviews is a killer. If you've been unemployed for any length of time, pay close attention to the advice we're offering.


This is a nasty job interview question designed to put you on the defensive and shake your self confidence. Remember -- on the employment front, bad things sometimes happen to the best people.

I talk to candidates all the time who have chosen to take some time off after being laid off (or right-sized, downsized... whatever...). I really don't like to hear this. I know that the circumstance lends itself to some introspection and seems like a good opportunity to spend time with your kids -- but this is not the best scenario when you decide it's time to get back to work.

This happens a lot over the summer. You lose your job in May and decide to start looking in September. What you've done is set yourself up to be unemployed for far longer than you might expect. There's a rule of thumb in outplacement -- it takes one month for every $10K in salary you're looking for to land a new job when you're in transition. Some people get lucky. Others have a very tough time.

So, if you're in this situation, what's the best way to deal with it? You can talk about the opportunity you're looking for -- which hopefully matches what you're interviewing for...and how other opportunities you've looked at have missed the mark. Stress the importance of the company -- stability, profitability, whatever factors are important to essence, answer this question in terms of the future -- not where you've been.


Be careful with your answer here. State the challenge, but also state what you're doing to meet it. The challenge you're facing with your current position might be the same as what you'll find in this organization. If you complain about it, you'll knock yourself out of the running. Maybe you have difficulty getting operational support in your present environment -- you're out selling and the ops team is holding you up. Think about how to present this so you don't come off sounding negative.


This is how I start all of my interviews. Of all the example answers for interviews we provide, this one gives me a good sense of your career history, your promotional track record and a little insight into what motivated you to move from place to place. Have you always been recruited out? If so, this tells me that you're likely to leave my client when you get wind of something better. Did you have issues with management changes along the way -- new leadership comes in and you struggled with the new philosophy? I'm listening and looking for patterns. Have you jumped every 2-3 years for something better? Are you always the one impacted by downsizing? These are clues into your stability; your ability to deal with change.

Having too much stability can also be a problem...have you been with the same company for more than 8-10 years? If so, I'll start to wonder about a few things: how smart you've been in managing your career; how you react to change; how much of a risk taker you are; whether you can adapt to another corporate culture. All of these things will weigh on my decision to move you forward in the hiring process.

DerrJones presents additional example answers for interviews in the following sections:

To move forward: Management Interview Questions

To move back: Click Here

To start with Question #1, please Click Here

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