Common Interview Questions
Ensure you are ready for your next interview by preparing responses for each of the common interview questions described here. The appropriate responses will depend on your unique situation, but generally, keep your answers to employment-related scenarios.
As a rule of thumb, supply more positive examples than negative when answering all interview questions. For example, when discussing your weaknesses and strengths, provide no more than one weakness compared to three strengths.
- Interview Question #1: Tell me about yourself? – Keep your answers to one or two minutes. Do not ramble. Cover four segments only: early years, education, work experience and recent times, with emphasis on the latter.
- Interview Question #2: What do you know about our company? – Know the company’s products, size, reputation, image, goals, problems, management talent, management style, people skills, history, competitors and philosophy. Avoid saying that you don’t know much. State that you would like to know more.
- Interview Question #3: Why do you want to work for us? – It could be that you wish to be a part of a company project, you would like to solve a company problem, or you can make a definite contribution to specific company goals.
- Interview Question #4: What can you do for us that someone else cannot do? – Relate past experience that represents success in solving previous employer problems that may be similar to those of the prospective employer. Reflect your positive “can do” attitude.
- Interview Question #5: What do you look for in a job? – Keep your answer opportunity-oriented.
Talk about the opportunity to perform and to be recognized.
- Interview Question #6: How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our firm? –
Be realistic (3-6 months to 1 year).
- Interview Question #7: How long would you stay with us? – A good answer could be, “As long as we both feel challenge and achievement”.
- Interview Question #8: You seem overqualified or too experienced for the position we have to offer. –
A response could be one of the following,
– “Strong companies need strong people”
– “Experienced executives are at a premium today”
– “You will get a faster return on your investment because I have more experience than is required”
– “A growing company needs people with experience that can help them reach their goals”Emphasize your interest in a long-term association.
- Interview Question #9: Why are you leaving your present job? – Stick to one response – don’t change answers during the interview. If possible, give an answer that portrays a group perspective. For example, “Our office is closing”.
- Interview Question #10: How do you feel about leaving all of your benefits?- A possible response,
“Benefits are important but not the main focus in making my decision. I am looking for the right opportunity and environment where I can be challenged.”
- Interview Question #11: Describe what you feel to be an ideal working environment? – Be prepared
to answer, as it would pertain to your particular job and circumstances.
- Interview Question #12: How would you evaluate your present firm? – “An excellent company that afforded me many fine experiences”. It is important not to bad-mouth past employers or bosses. Bad-mouthing tends to reveal more about you than those who are the objects of your comments.
- Interview Question #13: Why haven’t you found a new position before now? – “Finding the ‘right’ job requires considerable time and study”.
- Interview Question #14: Had you thought of leaving your present position before? If so, what do you think held you there? – “Challenge, but now it is gone” is a good response.
- Interview Question #15: If I spoke to your previous boss, what would he/she say are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? – This is a “threat of reference check” question that is popular today. It is designed to produce not only honesty but also perspiration. It is important that your response be honest, but not too negative.