Job Interviews   >   Questions 10, 11, 12 and 13
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Job Interview Questions and Answers

Question 10: What jobs did you have as a teenager?

Answer this question honestly.  Either you had jobs or you didn't.  Household chores, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, and lemonade stands all count as jobs. 

Good answer 1: 

"I worked part-time at both Burger King and McDonalds between the ages of 16 and 20 in order to earn money to buy my first car and help my parents pay for my college education.  I was able to handle both work and school without my grades suffering.  And when I was younger, around 13 to 16 years old, I babysat for families in the neighborhood on weekends."

Good answer 2: 

"I didn't have any jobs as a child other than chores I was expected to do around the house such as helping my parents with housekeeping, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, and babysitting my younger sister and brother.  My parents placed tremendous emphasis on academics and extracurricular activities, and would not allow me to work."

Question 11:  Who are your references? 

It is a good idea to type up the names and contact information of your references on a sheet of paper and present it to the interviewer when the topic comes up.  Ideally, one should provide the names of current and former supervisors as references since these are the people prospective employers most want to speak with about your work performance.  Giving the names of others as references -- such as co-workers, friends, family members, etc. -- might be an indication that you do not want the interviewer to contact your supervisor.   If you do not have any work history, use teachers, professors, or business people you or your family knows as references. 

A good answer to this question

"I have prepared a list of references here I would like you to have.  I have selected my current supervisor, Jane Doe, as my major reference since she can speak about my most recent work performance and accomplishments.  I also list the names of my previous two supervisors at Acme, Jack Wilson and Norma Smith." 

If one does not have any work references, a good answer might be, "I asked two of my engineering professors to be references for me and they agreed to do so.  I typed up their names, phone numbers and contact information on this sheet of paper.  They can attest to the work I completed as an intern over the past two years.  I also list Mrs. Sally Wilson, who is a prominent attorney and a friend of the family.  She has known me since I was a child and can attest to my character." 

Question 12:  Do you mind if I contact your references?

You should always inform your present employer that you are looking for a new position and someone will be contacting them to discuss your work history. If you don't want your current boss to know you're searching for a new job, then tell the interviewer that:  "I would prefer that you not contact my current employer as she is not aware that I am looking for another position, but you may contact Mr. Jack Smith, my former supervisor at Acme.  He supervised me for four years and agreed to be a reference for me.  Of course, if you decide to offer me this position, please let me know so that I can inform my current employer, and then, yes, you may contact her once I have received an offer of employment and given notice."

On the other hand, you might have already informed your current employer that you're interviewing for other jobs.  In this case, your answer might be, "Yes, you may contact my present supervisor, Mrs. Smith.  She is well aware of the fact that I am searching for a new position and knows that you will be calling her in the near future."

Question 13:  Will you take a lie-detector test? 

The interviewer is asking this question (1) because it is a requirement to get the job, or (2) to find out if you are afraid of the prospect of taking such a test.  Therefore, the only correct answer to this question is "Yes, I would be willing to take a lie detector test."  You don't need to say anything else.

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