Common Job Interview Questions to Prepare For

Preparing for common job interview questions

Prospective employers want to find out about you and your capabilities during the job interview, so be prepared to answer a wide range of interview questions. Be ready with examples for all of these. Keep all your answers professional, objective, honest, and respond in a way this is appropriate to the company and the opportunity. Here are some common job interview questions to practice.

Common Interview Questions:

  • Why should I hire you? What makes you the best candidate? 
  • Why did you choose this particular role? 
  • What do you really hope to gain or learn in your next career move? 
  • Why would you like to work for our organization? 
  • What interests you about our products or services? 
  • What would your previous employer say about you? Would they recommend you for this position? Why? 
  • What style of management do you work best with? 
  • What have you learned from some of the jobs you have held? Which did you enjoy most? Why? 
  • What have you done that shows initiative in your career? 
  • What is your major weakness? What have you done about it? 
  • What do you think determines a person’s progress in a good company? 
  • What does “teamwork” mean to you? 
  • Are you willing to relocate? 
  • Where do you want to be in 5 years? Where do you want to be in 10 years?
  • Why are you leaving your current position? What are you looking for in your next role? 
  • Talk about your supervisory experience. 

Situational Interview Questions:

  • Tell me about a time when you had a confrontation with a boss or co-worker.
  • Tell me about a time when you were working under a serious time deadline.
  • Tell me about a time when you were asked to do something that you didn’t know how to do.
  • Tell me about a recent project you worked on that was an independent project where you had to handle it on your own.
  • Tell me about something you had to work on recently that you found difficult. 
  • Tell me about a recent event that you planned” (work/social)

STAR Approach

For each situational question, answer with the STAR Approach: 

S: SITUATION Describe a specific situation that applies to the question — do not generalize. 

T: TASK – Describe the task at hand; again, do not generalize — be specific. 

A: ACTION – Describe the actions you took to resolve the situation and/or complete the task

R: RESULT Describe the final result of the situation – and MAKE SURE it is a POSITIVE result! 

NOTE: If you are nervous about “recalling” your answers to each of these questions, think of a few stories that may be used to answer a range of questions they could ask. You will feel more comfortable going into the interview, and have good, well-thought-out illustrations of a variety of scenarios. 

Practice questions you may want to ask during the interview

The interview is also a great time to ask thoughtful questions and showcase that you have done your homework. Most employers are impressed when you question them intelligently during a job interview. It shows them you took the time to research their organization and can indicate your interest in the position. And remember, the interview is for you as well. Make sure you are comfortable with the company and the opportunity. Think about the reasons you are looking for a change in your career, and make sure this position addresses those issues. 

General questions to ask: 

  • How/why has this position become available? 
  • Who would be my direct supervisor? How would you describe their management style? 
  • What is the environment or culture like in this department? 
  • How large is the department? What growth is planned or expected? 
  • What do you see as strengths of the department? What do you see as the weaknesses? 
  • Can you tell me about the challenges other people have had in this role? 
  • How do you think this position should be performed in order for it to be successful? 
  • How will my work and productivity be evaluated? 
  • Who would my peers be? What are their backgrounds? 
  • Who would my superiors be? What are their backgrounds? And if applicable: Who would my subordinates be and their backgrounds? 
  • Can you tell me about the turnover rate for this department or organization? 
  • Why did you come here? What makes you stay? 
  • What are some key things I should know about this company? Any negatives? 

Interview question for more corporate/executive level questions: 

  • In what ways does your company foster the growth, development, and learning of its employees? 
  • Where can I expect to be in 2 years when I come in and perform at or above levels expected of me? 
  • What has been the key to making this company successful? 
  • What is unique about the way the company operates? 
  • What does your company do to give it a competitive edge over the rest of the market? 
  • What is the company’s current financial situation? (you should know about this, but if it is not strong, have them explain why and how they hope to turn it around) 
  • What economic conditions impact your organization? What is being done to handle these situations? 
  • What markets does the company anticipate developing? 
  • Does the company have plans for mergers or acquisitions? 
  • When was the last corporate re-organization? How did it affect the department? When will the next corporate re-organization occur? How will it affect this department? 
  • What does the department hope to achieve in the next 2-3 years? How will that help the company? How will the company recognize it?

 

Practice answering and asking these questions so that you feel more confident and in control during your interview. Preparation is key to all successful interviews. Check out our full interview guide to learn everything you need to know throughout the interview process from preparing for your interview, tips to keep in mind during the interview, and steps to follow after the interview is complete. Download our guide here!

 

 

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