50 Most Common Interview Questions

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Here is a massive list of the 50 most common interview questions. I have been doing a lot of interviews at work lately and I think these would have been really helpful. It will also be helpful for when I eventually have to look for another job.

Since this page is the most popular page on my blog, I figured I might as well post questions found on the linked-to page above (in case that blog ever goes down). The questions are from The Accelerated Job Search by Wayne D., Ph.D. Ford. Here they are:

1. Tell me about yourself:
The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a short statement prepared in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items unless instructed otherwise. Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that relate to the position you are interviewing for. Start with the item farthest back and work up to the present.

2. Why did you leave your last job?
Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a major problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers or the organization. If you do, you will be the one looking bad. Keep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking
reasons.

3. What experience do you have in this field?
Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for. If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can.

4. Do you consider yourself successful?
You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. A good explanation is that you have set goals, and you have met some and are on track to achieve the others.

5. What do co-workers say about you?
Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. Either a specific statement or a paraphrase will work. Jill Clark, a co-worker at Smith Company, always said I was the hardest workers she had ever known. It is as powerful as Jill having said it at the interview herself.

6. What do you know about this organization?
This question is one reason to do some research on the organization before the interview. Find out where they have been and where they are going. What are the current issues and who are the major players?

7. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement. Have some good ones handy to mention.

8. Are you applying for other jobs?
Be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. Keep the focus on this job and what you can do for this organization. Anything else is a distraction.

9. Why do you want to work for this organization?
This may take some thought and certainly, should be based on the research you have done on the organization. Sincerity is extremely important here and will easily be sensed. Relate it to your long-term career goals.

10. Do you know anyone who works for us?
Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization. This can affect your answer even though they asked about friends not relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if they are well thought of.

11. What kind of salary do you need?
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose if you answer first. So, do not answer it. Instead, say something like, That’s a tough question. Can you tell me the range for this position? In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell you. If not,
say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then give a wide range.

12. Are you a team player?
You are, of course, a team player. Be sure to have examples ready. Specifics that show you often perform for the good of the team rather than for yourself are good evidence of your team attitude. Do not brag, just say it in a matter-of-fact tone. This is a key point.

13. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?
Specifics here are not good. Something like this should work: I’d like it to be a long time. Or As long as we both feel I’m doing a good job.

14. Have you ever had to fire anyone? How did you feel about that?
This is serious. Do not make light of it or in any way seem like you like to fire people. At the same time, you will do it when it is the right thing to do. When it comes to the organization versus the individual who has created a harmful situation, you will protect the organization. Remember firing is not the same as layoff or reduction in force.

15. What is your philosophy towards work?
The interviewer is not looking for a long or flowery dissertation here. Do you have strong feelings that the job gets done? Yes. That’s the type of answer that works best here. Short and positive, showing a benefit to the organization.

16. If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?
Answer yes if you would. But since you need to work, this is the type of work you prefer. Do not say yes if you do not mean it.

17. Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
If you have not, say no. If you have, be honest, brief and avoid saying negative things about the people or organization involved.

18. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization
You should be anxious for this question. It gives you a chance to highlight your best points as they relate to the position being discussed. Give a little advance thought to this relationship.

19. Why should we hire you?
Point out how your assets meet what the organization needs. Do not mention any other candidates to make a comparison.

20. Tell me about a suggestion you have made
Have a good one ready. Be sure and use a suggestion that was accepted and was then considered successful. One related to the type of work applied for is a real plus.

21. What irritates you about co-workers?
This is a trap question. Think real hard but fail to come up with anything that irritates you. A short statement that you seem to get along with folks is great.

22. What is your greatest strength?
Numerous answers are good, just stay positive. A few good examples: Your ability to prioritize, Your problem-solving skills, Your ability to work under pressure, Your ability to focus on projects, Your professional expertise, Your leadership skills, Your positive attitude

23. Tell me about your dream job.
Stay away from a specific job. You cannot win. If you say the job you are contending for is it, you strain credibility. If you say another job is it, you plant the suspicion that you will be dissatisfied with this position if hired. The best is to stay genetic and say something like: A job where I love the work, like the people, can contribute and can’t wait to get to work.

24. Why do you think you would do well at this job?
Give several reasons and include skills, experience and interest.

25. What are you looking for in a job?
See answer # 23

26. What kind of person would you refuse to work with?
Do not be trivial. It would take disloyalty to the organization, violence or lawbreaking to get you to object. Minor objections will label you as a whiner.

27. What is more important to you: the money or the work?
Money is always important, but the work is the most important. There is no better answer.

28. What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?
There are numerous good possibilities: Loyalty, Energy, Positive attitude, Leadership, Team player, Expertise, Initiative, Patience, Hard work, Creativity, Problem solver

29. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor
Biggest trap of all. This is a test to see if you will speak ill of your boss. If you fall for it and tell about a problem with a former boss, you may well below the interview right there. Stay positive and develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor.

30. What has disappointed you about a job?
Don’t get trivial or negative. Safe areas are few but can include: Not enough of a challenge. You were laid off in a reduction Company did not win a contract, which would have given you more responsibility.

31. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
You may say that you thrive under certain types of pressure. Give an example that relates to the type of position applied for.

32. Do your skills match this job or another job more closely?
Probably this one. Do not give fuel to the suspicion that you may want another job more than this one.

33. What motivates you to do your best on the job?
This is a personal trait that only you can say, but good examples are: Challenge, Achievement, Recognition

34. Are you willing to work overtime? Nights? Weekends?
This is up to you. Be totally honest.

35. How would you know you were successful on this job?
Several ways are good measures: You set high standards for yourself and meet them. Your outcomes are a success.Your boss tell you that you are successful

36. Would you be willing to relocate if required?
You should be clear on this with your family prior to the interview if you think there is a chance it may come up. Do not say yes just to get the job if the real answer is no. This can create a lot of problems later on in your career. Be honest at this point and save yourself
future grief.

37. Are you willing to put the interests of the organization ahead of your own?
This is a straight loyalty and dedication question. Do not worry about the deep ethical and philosophical implications. Just say yes.

38. Describe your management style.
Try to avoid labels. Some of the more common labels, like progressive, salesman or consensus, can have several meanings or descriptions depending on which management expert you listen to. The situational style is safe, because it says you will manage according to the situation, instead of one size fits all.

39. What have you learned from mistakes on the job?
Here you have to come up with something or you strain credibility. Make it small, well intentioned mistake with a positive lesson learned. An example would be working too far ahead of colleagues on a project and thus throwing coordination off.

40. Do you have any blind spots?
Trick question. If you know about blind spots, they are no longer blind spots. Do not reveal any personal areas of concern here. Let them do their own discovery on your bad points. Do not hand it to them.

41. If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?
Be careful to mention traits that are needed and that you have.

42. Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
Regardless of your qualifications, state that you are very well qualified for the position.

43. How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?
First, if you have experience that the interviewer does not know about, bring that up: Then, point out (if true) that you are a hard working quick learner.

44. What qualities do you look for in a boss?
Be generic and positive. Safe qualities are knowledgeable, a sense of humour, fair, loyal to subordinates and holder of high standards. All bosses think they have these traits.

45. Tell me about a time when you helped resolve a dispute between others.
Pick a specific incident. Concentrate on your problem solving technique and not the dispute you settled.

46. What position do you prefer on a team working on a project?
Be honest. If you are comfortable in different roles, point that out.

47. Describe your work ethic.
Emphasize benefits to the organization. Things like, determination to get the job done and work hard but enjoy your work are good.

48. What has been your biggest professional disappointment?
Be sure that you refer to something that was beyond your control. Show acceptance and no negative feelings.

49. Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job.
Talk about having fun by accomplishing something for the organization.

50. Do you have any questions for me?
Always have some questions prepared. Questions prepared where you will be an asset to the organization are good. How soon will I be able to be productive? and What type of projects will I be able to assist on? are examples.

Also, here's 10 interview bloopers to avoid.

Comments

In any interview, it is quite possible that you will be faced with having to answer questions that require you to give what seems to be a negative response. This can include being asked to explain what you consider your weaknesses to be, why you failed an exam or even explaining why you were dismissed from a previous position. The trick in any situation like this is to turn this potentially negative situation into a positive one, something that can of course be quite hard to achieve.

Ian Roger

interview questions

On my first job it was at a fast food place and they ask a lot about your experience in either
- School clubs
- Volunteer organizations

Things like babysitting, or fundraising activities you have done are all valid experiences you can use

I have been through several interviews and when I am applying for a job I always memorize a list of questions. I believe that this will give the interviewer a sense that you have more interest in the job compared to the person that did not ask any questions at the end of the interview :) Jay

I have always been very bad at interviews. My problem was always being too honest. I would say things like: "targets can be useful but there are downsides too such as..." It seems they don't want to hear the downsides - only the upsides.

As a matter of fact, nobody wants to hear the truth at interviews. The interviewer, be it a hiring manager or a recruiter always look for "right" answers to their questions. You are correct, they do not want to hear downsides but they want to hear how you can turn downsides into upsides. They look for problem solvers, not whiners.

There are also some interview tips on hrjournal.ca

Nik

I have been interviewing people for many years. When I conduct an interview I want the interviewee to be honest. I'm not looking for an answer when I ask specific questions. What I look for is how they respond, if they become more comfortable, if it feels like a conversation etc. If you are not honest in an interview, the person interviewing you can tell. Also, if you are yourself and you notice personality clashes between you and the person conducting the interview, then it is probably not the best place for you to work in the first place because you will continually butt heads with your supervisor.

I try to trick people to be honest in their interview, if people are just feeding me rehearsed answers or answers they were told to say, that does not tell me anything about how they will actually perform in the job, some people are great at interviews but poor workers.
However, seeing that someone is prepared for an interview, ie has prepared answers and questions says a lot about that person and how prepared they will be in the job.

That's my opinion.

that is a really good list and a great place to start when prepping for interviews, you need to know them well.

This is a really good list. The reality is that there are a only a finte number of permutations and combinations of interview questions you can be asked. This is a great sample,

Doug

I have an interview tomorrow with VW and am trying to prepare myself as much as possible for it. This list definitely helps!

Thanks!

Dear i am totally agree with these questionnaire but one thing i have observed while interview whatever the question is reply with positive sense. But be honest with your self.

They are not talking about to be honest or not. You have to be as honest as you can all the time. In the other hand you have to learn to rephrase the truth. It doesn't mean that you have to lie just that you have to put your own truth in contest. Tell them your story as what it really is, a unique employee offer..

Agreed, as a potential employee you are interviewing the employer as much as they are interviewing you. If you are honest in your interview you won't be hired into somewhere where you do not fit culturally or skills wise.

That's my opinion from HR

I cannot seem to ever get a job, I don't know whether it is being I'm so beautiful and they are all jealous, or if they just don't think I need any more money. Other than the fact that I have ravishing good looks, I'm a very good speaker, and I don't understand why I am still jobless. Please help?

Notch the ego down a couple notches and try to come across more humble. You can do that be letting it come across that your focused on the job and you'll do whatever it takes to get the job done right. Try not to pancake on the make-up... If this doesn't work, go strip, the fellas will love the attitude!

Agreed... It's brains and talent that will get you a job, not tits and ass... A busty and sexy appearance will get you a date, not work... Be professional, not seductive... Employers are smarter than that, especially if you're being interviewed by a woman.

i dont know if ur kidding around. if your not its probably bcuz nobody wants to hire somebody that full of themselves. nobody cares how good lookng you think you are. it seems like your personality needs some serious work.. thats what really matters. lol.

Hey Dave how are you??? I got fired from my position few months ago - due to lateness - and now im searching for jobs. I wanted to know, when the interviewer comes up with the question, "why did you leave your previous job", what can i tell them??

Thank you

Another common question that seems to stump me for some reason is "What's your greatest accomplishment?" I think I have a hard time answering because I never had any extra cirricular activities or anything like that. How would you try and answer it?

If you don't have any extra-curricular activities, get some.

If you still don't have any, use a work-related accomplishment. It could be argued that you should NOT use an extra-curricular accomplishment when answering this question anyways...

well, i must say its a good effort for the people who are going to appear in an interview in the time to come ahead. these questions will provide them some kind of relief in the interview.

This was very helpful while we were preparing for an interview with a friend of mine. He was really nervous and during the interview he was able to relax because he was asked many of these questions and had many answers available for the interviewer!

I am totally agree with these questionnaire but one thing i have observed while interview whatever the question is reply with positive sense. But be honest with your self.

On several applications I am running into the problem of listing or allowing permission to contact supervisors. The only problem is all my previous supervisors have been subjected to a RIF. What is the best way to handle this on an online application that gives room for only a name and number? Any suggestions?

Lie your ass off. Never tell the truth. You nead to sell yourself like a used car salesman. Why would anyone buy a used car from someone??? Only way this happens if you lie about how good it is and you will never have a problem (not even with a lincoln). You are a used car! Your potential employer will want you for nothing....work you to the bone....and treat you like garbage. You need to get as much out of them as you can upfront so when they see how really crap you are there will be room for when they cheat you on your next anual raise. Once your in...your in and can bull crap your way through the politics and become president of the company. All because you had the balls to lie in your interview.

That's wrong, man. Don't lie to an interviewer. Be aware of potential shortfalls in your career path, and provide plausible explanations for them.

It's too hard to keep up with lies, and once you start it never ends.

It's much easier to put a positive spin on things that have really happened, than it is to create some fictitious alter-work experience.

Really good website, lots of great information. The only section I disagree with is number(29. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor
Biggest trap of all. This is a test to see if you will speak ill of your boss. If you fall for it and tell about a problem with a former boss, you may well below the interview right there. Stay positive and develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor.
I have been asked this before and gotten the job. My answer was that I felt my boss "at the time" was coming down on me a lot and I wasn't sure why? I approached my boss "privately" and asked if there was something I could be doing differently because I was feeling kinda centered out. My boss said the only reason she comes down so hard on me is because I'm the person she expects to get everything done. She apologized and said she wouldn't do this anymore. However I was quite flattered because it made me feel like a reliable staff. This conversation demonstrated open communication on both ends, a professional approach and a positive outcome.
The fact my boss listened to my concern and validated my feelings made me do my job even better!

I was dismissed from my last job because one of the managers just hated me. The guy just hated me for no reason from the first day he saw me, started conspirating and finally got something to justify firing me. In your proposed answer about previous employers, you suggested not to speak negatively about your previous employer. I understand that, but how to I explain that I was unfairly dismissed? The employer is not always right.

I have been looking for my first job now for a long time.But no one hires me.
I don't know why. The employers seem to always hire someone who already have a job.
I have read many atricles like this one but somehow I have a feeling it has something
To do with my bieng honest I mean I dont promise something that I am not sure of
But I say ill try my best which I think is not good enough for them.
I have a degree from best university with good GPA. I even have internship and free lance
Experience but most people don't even call me for interviewand the ones who do dont
hire me. Tips please

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