15.2. Questions

When reading the sample questions and following discussions, try to come up with a sample answer yourself. Think of how you would respond to such a question and what points you would want to emphasize in different situations. It's much easier to think of an answer now than when you're in front of an interviewer. Don't be afraid to refine your response if you find that it isn't effective. Finally, make sure that every response positions you as a valuable employee.

15.2.1. "What Do You Want to Do?"

Always pay attention to who is asking this question. If it's a human-resource representative scheduling interviews, be honest and tell him what you want to do. The HR rep will generally use this information to set up interviews with appropriate groups.

If you're asked this question by a more-technical interviewer, watch out! If you answer this question poorly, you won't get an offer. These interviewers ask this question partly because they want to find out your goals and ambitions. If you want to do something different from the job that is available, your interviewer will probably decide that you should look for a different job. If you want the job, make sure you indicate that you're interested in doing it, sound sincere, and give a reason. For example, you could say, "I've always been interested in systems-level programming and really enjoy it, so I'm hoping to join a large company and do systems-level work." Or, you could say, "I want to do Web programming so I can ...

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