Elev8 has a short but nice article on this subject that I’m going answer each point of inline.
1. Tell me about yourself.
Translation: You gave me your resume and it was boring but showed just enough promise to get you here. Tell us more, spice it up and don’t read from your resume verbatim.
2. What do you know about our organization?
Translation: Did you think to use Google before being called into the interview room? No? Then did you read any of our company’s information that lined the walls and building? You didn’t do that? Fine. Did you at least read the job description? Oh, your mother did. Well that’s interesting – NEXT!
3. Why do you want to work for us?
Translation: We know that you want the money but please pretend that we offer something else besides dead presidents as a way to keep a hold on you. Actually, tell us what makes us fascinating in a way that relates to you. Oh, the economy is bad but what if it becomes good again? I really hope that you like our processes so much that you refuse to work elsewhere!
4. What can you do for us that someone else can’t?
Translation: Please repackage your skills for us to meet and exceed our job description so that we don’t feel like we’re going to waste money on hiring you. We’re interviewing you instead of pleading with you to work with us. Everything you know is known by somebody else and probably better. We want to settle on you but pretend that we’re getting someone better than you. Please help us feel that way.