The job interview is probably the most important step you will take in your job search journey - it’s your best chance to show the company and hiring manager that you’re the best person for their job. Interview preparation is the key to success and a well-polished presentation can give you an edge over others whose credentials might just be better than yours. Read our top job interview tips below on how to prepare for your next interview:
1. Read and review the job description:
You’ve received a call for that dream job, so how do you prepare for the interview? The first step in the preparation process should be to go back and review the job description. Most job descriptions follow a similar pattern and are usually categorized by the following points.
- Job title/Department
- Duties and tasks
- Skills required
The job title and department will give you an understanding of the major purpose of the position and where the role fits into the organization, allowing you to discover who your potential line manager could be.
Read and review the job description very thoroughly and be sure to align your competencies with the skills required for the job. You will consequently ready yourself for questions around your previous experiences, performing similar duties in other organizations.
2. Research the company:
Success in a job interview starts with a solid foundation of knowledge on the jobseeker’s part. The more research you conduct, the more you’ll understand the employer, and the better you’ll be able to answer interview questions. Scour the organization’s website and other published materials, search engines, research tools, and ask questions about the company in your network of contacts.
Organizations look to hire people with similar values to those of the company culture. Researching the company before an interview will give you an insight into the organization’s future goals and plans and being able to discuss these points will make you seem like a long-term investment to your future employer. The following interview preparation tips will give you a guide as to which aspect of the company should be researched:
- Company financials: Check the company website. Doing a Google search can also uncover the current state of the company. Have they gone through a merger? - or have they expanded recently? LinkedIn is also a good source of information.
- Culture: Look at LinkedIn and Facebook or check Google reviews for comments by current or former employees.
- Executive team: Look through the company website to research the company hierarchy and find out who the executives are.
- Competitors: Find out who the company’s main competitors are and look into the websites of organizations in the same industry.
3. Research the industry:
An interviewer may ask how you perceive his company's position in its industry, who the firm's competitors are, what its competitive advantages are, and how it should best go forward. For this reason, avoid trying to thoroughly research a dozen different industries. Focus your job search on just a few industries instead.
4. Dress appropriately to match the company culture
Wearing the right clothes to the interview won’t get you the job, but wearing the wrong clothes will sink any chances of impressing the interviewer. There is one rule that stands above all: Dress professionally. Wear business attire appropriate for the role, while still making sure you feel comfortable.
When it comes to your job interview, first impressions count and being able to dress to impress will go a long way to help secure your dream job. Although it might seem quite natural to put on your best suit, skirt or dress for the interview as though you already work there, there are more elements to take into consideration. You want to look ready to step into the role you’re seeking.
Our tips on how to dress for an interview will help you make a good impression and give you confidence when answering questions.
What women should wear to a job interview:
- Clothing: Make sure you wear a professional and clean cloth.
- Colours: If you’re going for an interview with a very corporate company, more muted tones would be better suited to the formal environment. Black and dark blue are the ideal business colours, grey or brown are also good options. But don’t combine more than three colours and two patterns.
- Shoes: Open shoes like flip-flops or sandals are a no-go for a job interview. Footwear should be either closed toe pumps with a subtle heel or closed toe black high heels.
- Jewellery: Stay away from too much jewellery such as large necklaces and bangles, as too much clanging can cause unnecessary distraction. Be sure to only wear subtle earrings. Your watch should be slim and just wear a wedding band or no rings at all.
- Make-up: Don’t overdo the make-up, keep it conservative and natural looking and just a light touch of perfume.
What men should wear to a job interview:
- Clothing: Put on a clean crisp suit. Wear a clean, freshly ironed, long sleeve white shirt and clean jacket. Be sure to have freshly pressed pants.
- Tie: Accessorise with a modest tie. Add a traditional business tie hung to the beltline. Make sure your belt is matched to the colour of your shoes and the buckle is not too prominent.
- Colours: Wear a business shirt of a solid colour, preferably white. Complete the outfit with a dark blue, black or charcoal two or three-piece suit. Make sure your tie is subtle in colour and design.
- Shoes: Wear shoes that have been polished and make sure they are clean. Try to match the colour of your socks to your suit.
- Accessories: Wear a conservative belt and tie. Watches should be conservative with a link or leather band. Minimise your hand luggage - limit to just a leather purse or briefcase if possible. When it comes to perfume and aftershave, less is best. The last thing you want is to be remembered for your cologne and not your answers.
5. Arrive 15 to 30 minutes early
Make sure you arrive on time, or better yet, at least 15 minutes early. Go to bed early the night before and wake up early to give yourself plenty of time. Punctuality is a subtle clue about attitude and behavior. Tardiness, no matter the excuse, is a major blunder. Arriving a bit early is also a chance to observe the dynamics of the workplace.
6. Be prepared.
Remember to bring important items to the interview:
- Notebook and pens
- Extra copies of your resume and a list of references
- Copies of letter(s) of recommendation, licenses, transcripts, etc.
- Portfolio of work samples
Finally, as you get to the offices, shut off your cell phone. And if you were chewing gum, get rid of it.
7. Anticipate the interviewer's concerns and reservations.
There are always more candidates for positions than there are openings. So interviewers look for ways to screen people out. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself why they might not want to hire you (“I don't have this,” “I'm not that,” etc.). Then prepare your defense: “I know you may be thinking that I might not be the best fit for this position because [their reservation]. But you should know that [reason the interviewer shouldn't be overly concerned]."
8. Make Good First Impressions
A cardinal rule of interviewing is to be polite and offer warm greetings to everyone you meet — from the parking attendant to the receptionist to the hiring manager. Employers often are curious how job applicants treat staff members — and your job offer could easily be derailed if you’re rude or arrogant to any of the staff. When it’s time for the interview, keep in mind that first impressions — the impression interviewers get in the first few seconds of meeting you — can make or break an interview. Make a strong first impression by dressing well, arriving early, and when greeting your interviewer, stand, smile, make eye contact, and offer a firm – but not bone-crushing – handshake. Remember that having a positive attitude and expressing enthusiasm for the job and employer are vital in the initial stages of the interview; studies show that hiring managers make critical decisions about job applicants in the first 20 minutes of the interview.
9. Prepare for common interview questions.
You will encounter different types of questions in an interview, so it’s important to review your experiences and skills. Know yourself!
- Job experience
- Volunteer experience
- Clubs and Affiliations
- Organized Sports
- Special skills / Musical instruments
- Favorite subject in school
- School projects
- Strengths and Development Areas
- Willingness to work and flexibility
- Leadership skills
- Ability and willingness to learn new things
- Contributions to the organizations in which you have worked or volunteered
- Creativity in solving problems and working with people
10. Come prepared for key questions
Practice your responses to all the typical questions, such as "tell me about yourself" and "why are you looking for a new position?" How well you speak will have a bigger impact than what you say.
11. Make the most of the "Tell me about yourself" question.
This question, usually the opener, tops the list of common interview questions. It's incredibly important, as you can provide the interviewer with a great first impression. Preparation is key, but your answer mustn't sound rehearsed. Focus on your skills, characteristics and successes, and how they make you a strong candidate in terms of the job description.
Keep your answer to below five minutes. Generally, you should begin with an overview of your highest qualification and greatest achievements, before running through your work experience and giving examples of the skills that you've developed. If you've little work history, focus on the areas of academia that you've most enjoyed and how this relates to the job.
12. Clarify your "selling points" and the reasons you want the job
Prepare to go into every interview with three to five key selling points in mind, such as what makes you the best candidate for the position. Have an example of each selling point prepared ("I have good communication skills. For example, I persuaded an entire group to ..."). And be prepared to tell the interviewer why you want that job – including what interests you about it, what rewards it offers that you find valuable, and what abilities it requires that you possess. If an interviewer doesn't think you're really, really interested in the job, he or she won't give you an offer – no matter how good you are!
13. Get on the same side as the interviewer
Many interviewers view job interviews as adversarial. Candidates are going to try to pry an offer out of the interviewer, and the interviewer's job is to hold onto it. Your job is to transform this "tug of war" into a relationship in which you're both on the same side. You could say something as simple as, "I'm happy to have the chance to learn more about your company and to let you learn more about me, so we can see if this is going to be a good match or not. I always think that the worst thing that can happen is to be hired into a job that's wrong for you – then nobody's happy!"
14. Be assertive and take responsibility for the interview
Perhaps out of the effort to be polite, some usually assertive candidates become overly passive during job interviews. But politeness doesn't equal passivity. An interview is like any other conversation – it’s a dance in which you and a partner move together, both responding to the other. Don't make the mistake of just sitting there waiting for the interviewer to ask you about that Nobel Prize you won. It's your responsibility to make sure he walks away knowing your key selling points.
15. Be ready to handle illegal and inappropriate questions
Interview questions about your race, age, gender, religion, marital status, and sexual orientation are inappropriate and in many areas illegal. Nevertheless, you may get one or more of them. If you do, you have a couple of options. You can simply answer with a question ("I'm not sure how that's relevant to my application"), or you can try to answer "the question behind the question": "I don't know whether I'll decide to have children in the near future, but if you're wondering if I'll be leaving my job for an extended period of time, I can say that I'm very committed to my career and frankly can't imagine giving it up."
16. Make your selling points clear
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound? More important, if you communicate your selling points during a job interview and the interviewer doesn't get it, did you score? On this question, the answer is clear: No! So don't bury your selling points in long-winded stories. Instead, tell the interviewer what your selling point is first, then give the example.
17. Know your key strengths
Be prepared to discuss in detail and with examples your five or six main attributes. These should be the ultimate reason you get the job over someone else. Assuming you have done the proper homework on the company, these strengths should also be closely aligned to the key traits the employer is looking for in a person to fill their position.
18. Body Language in Interview
While the content of your interview responses is paramount, poor body language can be a distraction at best — or a reason not to hire you at worst. Effective forms of body language include smiling, eye contact, solid posture, active listening, and nodding. Detrimental forms of body language include slouching, looking off in the distance, playing with a pen, fidgeting in a chair, brushing back your hair, touching your face, chewing gum, or mumbling.
19. Appear friendly and outgoing
Smile and say hello to everyone. A positive reaction from the support staff is an important factor in the evaluation. Many hires have been heavily influenced by an Administrative assistant.
20. Be self-confident
High self-esteem and self-confidence are the hallmarks of the successful individual. With confidence, be able to demonstrate how you have overcome obstacles. There’s nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself.
21. Remain involved
The most effective job interviews are those where an active two-way conversation takes place. Not the typical question and answer type. Begin early in the interview to interject your own relevant insight. Remember, don’t interrupt your interviewer.
22. Establish your worth
Discuss your specific accomplishments that demonstrate a proactive attitude. Such as: have you installed systems, done something not required, trained someone, etc. It’s always important to demonstrate how you either created revenue or saved expenses, and be specific with the amounts and how you accomplished that goal.
23. Give 1 to 2 minute responses
Communication is the key to successful interviewing. A minimum of one to two minutes of well-prepared discussion gives the interviewer insight into your intellect and supports your contentions.
24. Provide examples/details
Support statements about yourself with specific examples. These will provide legitimacy to your claims. Without them, the interviewer won’t accept them as valid.
25. Remain attentive
Stay alert during the job interview. Maintain good eye contact. Sit forward in your chair. Be animated. Show high levels of interest and stay enthused. These actions can maintain or generate momentum during the interview.
26. Don’t be arrogant
A presumptuous, overbearing attitude will offset the finest abilities. There’s a fine line between being too confident and cocky. Don’t cross that line.
27. Be positive about co-workers
Don’t bad mouth previous positions, companies or employers. No matter how well founded, this implies a negative attitude, typical of those who don’t take personal responsibility for their actions.
28. Clearly state your interest
By the conclusion of the interview, state that you are definitely interested in the position and would like to know when the next step will take place. It’s best to demonstrate this interest throughout the session. Be careful not to go overboard.
29. Think positive
No one likes a complainer, so don't dwell on negative experiences during an interview. Even if the interviewer asks you point blank, "What courses have you liked least?" or "What did you like least about that previous job?" don't answer the question. Or more specifically, don't answer it as it's been asked. Instead, say something like, "Well, actually I've found something about all of my classes that I've liked. For example, although I found [class] to be very tough, I liked the fact that [positive point about the class]" or "I liked [a previous job] quite a bit, although now I know that I really want to [new job]."
30. Be ready for "behavior-based" interviews".
One of the most common interview styles today is to ask people to describe experiences they have had that demonstrate behaviors that the company thinks are important for a particular position. You might be asked to talk about a time when you made an unpopular decision, displayed a high level of persistence, or made a decision under time pressure and with limited information. Make sure to review your resume before the interview with this kind of format in mind; this can help you to remember examples of behaviors you may not have anticipated in advance.
31. Be Authentic, Upbeat, Focused, Confident, Candid, and Concise
Once the interview starts, the key to success is the quality and delivery of your responses. Your goal should always be authenticity, responding truthfully to interview questions. At the same time, your goal is to get to the next step, so you’ll want to provide focused responses that showcase your skills, experience, and fit — with the job and the employer. Provide solid examples of solutions and accomplishments — but keep your responses short and to the point.
32. Ask Insightful Questions.
Studies continually show that employers make a judgment about an applicant’s interest in the job by whether or not the interviewee asks questions. Thus, even if the hiring manager was thorough in his or her discussions about the job opening and what is expected, you must ask a few questions. This shows that you have done your research and that you are curious. The smart jobseeker prepares questions to ask days before the interview, adding any additional queries that might arise from the interview.
33. Sell Yourself and then Close the Deal
The most qualified applicant is not always the one who is hired; the winning candidate is often the jobseeker who does the best job responding to interview questions and showcasing his or her fit with the job, department, and organization. Some liken the job interview to a sales call. You are the salesperson — and the product you are selling to the employer is your ability to fill the organization’s needs, solve its problems, propel its success.
Finally, as the interview winds down, ask about the next steps in the process and the timetable in which the employer expects to use to make a decision about the position. See our article, Closing the Sale and Overcoming Objections in Job Interview.
34. End the interview with a good impression. A positive end to the interview is another way to ensure your success.
- Be courteous and allow the interview to end on time.
- Restate any strengths and experiences that you might not have emphasized earlier.
- Mention a particular accomplishment or activity that fits the job.
- If you want the job, say so!
- Find out if there will be additional interviews.
- Ask when the employer plans to make a decision.
- Indicate a time when you may contact the employer to learn of the decision.
35. Thank Interviewer(s) in Person, by Email, or Postal Mail.
Common courtesy and politeness go far in interviewing; thus, the importance of thanking each person who interviews you should come as no surprise. Start the process while at the interview, thanking each person who interviewed you before you leave. Writing thank-you emails and notes shortly after the interview will not get you the job offer, but doing so will certainly give you an edge over any of the other finalists who didn’t bother to send thank-you notes.
Job interview tips: Dos & Don'ts
Job Interview Do's:
Preparing for a job interview is essential to making a good impression. Employ these handy job interview techniques to win over your interviewer:
- Make sure your clothes are clean, ironed and presentable.
- Plan to arrive on time or a few minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is never excusable.
- Greet the interviewer by their first name.
- Wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Sit upright and always look alert and interested.
- Be a good listener as well as a good talker. Smile!
- Maintain eye contact.
- First impression is important! Always give a firm handshake to all interviewers and make eye contact (but don’t stare).
- Be relaxed but make sure not to slouch or fold your arms.
- Make sure that your mobile phone is switched off.
- Show your enthusiasm for this particular job.
- Be positive about your abilities and what you feel you can bring to the company and the role.
- Speak calmly and do not rush your answers.
- Provide practical examples from your past of how you demonstrate / demonstrated skills that are described in the job description.
- Follow the interviewer's leads but try to get them to describe the position and duties early in the interview so you can relate your background and skills to the position.
- Keep your answers relevant to the job.
- Listen carefully.
- Always prepare at least 2 questions for interviewers.
- Make sure you convey your good points factually and sincerely. Keep in mind that you alone can sell yourself to an interviewer. Make them realise why they need you in their organisation.
- Always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job. Never close the door on an opportunity. It is better to be free to choose from a number of jobs rather than only one.
Job Interview Don'ts:
- Answer questions with a simple 'yes' or 'no'. Use the CAR technique (Context, Action, Result) wherever possible. Share things about yourself relating to the position.
- Lie. Always answer questions truthfully, frankly and as concisely as possible.
- Never make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers, colleagues or companies.
- 'Over-answer' questions. The interviewer may steer the conversation into politics or economics. It is best to answer the questions honestly, saying no more than is necessary.
- Let not your discouragement show. If you get the impression the interview is not going well and you have already been rejected, don't show discouragement or alarm. Occasionally an interviewer who is genuinely interested in you may seem to discourage you in order to test your reaction.
- Do not be overconfident.
- Do not interrupt.
- Ask about salary, bonuses or holidays at the first interview - unless you are positive the employer is interested in hiring you and raises the issue first. However, know your market value and be prepared to specify your required salary or range.
10 Most common interview questions and how to answer them
Regardless of your industry, a job interview follows some particular patterns. You should come prepared with succinct, descriptive answers that don't over-embellish. As you prepare, we want you to shift your perspective: you're going to prepare answers for certain categories rather than to actual questions. Simple openers are the "warm up" questions that get you into interview mode—and you should use them as such (think succinct answers to succinct questions). Because the sequence, wording and content will vary from interview to interview, you should focus on general topics. Hiring experts claim there are certain standard questions put to candidates during the interview process. All you have to do is prepare for them to (hopefully!) land the job.
Q1: What are your strengths?
With this query, interviewers attempt to assess whether you have the qualities needed for the job. They also want to see how well you understand yourself.
Your strategy: This is your chance to sell yourself. Pick three or four of your strengths that are relevant to the job and illustrate them with examples, if necessary.
Sample answer: If you are interviewing for a marketing job, say something like, "One of my strengths is persuasion. I am a keen observer of people and quick to discern personalities. It helps me understand people and those insights help me convert them to my point of view."
Q2: What are your weaknesses?
Interviewers want to assess your character with this question. Also, check whether you have any flaws that will hinder the discharge of your duties in case you are hired. It's also a good way for them to see how you deal with your weaknesses.
Your strategy: Don't pick any weakness that is a fundamental flaw in your personality as an answer. Instead, choose those that are significant but not enough to lead the interviewers to form a negative opinion of you. State your weaknesses and proceed to explain how you've been working to address them. Or you could choose a weakness that is not directly relevant to the job profile you are interviewing for.
Sample answer: If you are interviewing for the post of an accountant, it is okay to say that your language skills are not very good. Though they do not hamper the discharge of your duties in any significant manner, add that you are working to address this weakness because you realize that good language skills are necessary at work.
Q3: Why are you interested in working for [insert company name here]?
The objective of this question is to assess how serious the candidate is about seeking employment with the company. The interviewer also wants to know how familiar you are with the company’s mission, culture and values and whether you believe you will be a good fit in the organization.
Your strategy: What you say will tell the interviewer how the job fits in with your long-term career plans.
Sample answer: You could answer, "I have wanted to work in this organization for a long time now, so when I heard about a vacancy in your company that fit my profile, I immediately applied for it. I admire the way you successfully combine commerce with socially responsible business and would love to be a part of an organization that looks at business in a holistic manner."
Q4: Where do you see yourself in five years?
The interviewer wants to know about your career goals and where this position figures in it. Hiring a new employee is costly, so he/she wants to be sure you are coming on board for the long haul. Your answer will also tell the interviewer how realistic you are with regard to career prospects.
Your strategy: It is best to answer this question generically without getting into too much detail. Reiterate what the job will do for your career and why you are interested in working with this organization in particular. And of course, don’t be naive enough to say, "In your position!"
Sample answer: "I see myself having grown both with regard to expertise in my field as well as within the company set-up. I picture myself in a leadership role contributing more to the growth of the organization. At the same time, I also see a tremendous growth in my own skills and capabilities," is a good way to go.
Q5. Why do you want to leave your current company?
The interviewer is certain to ask this question, so prepare for it. The answer will tell him several things about your attitude, career goals, professional values and sense of maturity and judgment.
Your strategy: The best way to tackle this question is to say that you are looking for better opportunities. If you've been laid off, tell the truth, and explain how you've been unlucky. It is better to be honest and explain your position than be caught lying about your circumstances.
Sample answer: Try, "I have put in a number of years in my current organization, performed well and risen through the ranks, but I would now like something more challenging. I believe this job will provide me with exactly such an opportunity."
Q6: Why was there a gap in your employment between [insert date] and [insert date]?
Your strategy: While short gaps in employment may go unnoticed, a gap of two months or more requires an explanation. It's wise to stick with the truth. If you were fired, you ought to have a good explanation that doesn't veer very far from the truth, but does not paint you in bad light either. If you had to leave, you will have to explain why things got so bad that you had to resign without finding another job.
In any case, highlight what you've done in the interim like freelancing, consulting or volunteering. This will tell the interviewer that you've been productive during this period and broadened your skill-base.
Sample answer: In case you left because of a conflict with your boss, say differences did not allow you to work well together. Don’t forget to add what you realized in hindsight to show how the incident has helped you grow. Never badmouth your boss; act mature and accept the fact that both of you were responsible for the situation spinning out of control.
Q7: What can you offer us that someone else cannot?
This is an extension of the earlier question on your strengths. If the interviewer has already asked you about your strengths, then asking this question means he/she would like an answer that is more specific to your job. A variant of this question could be, "Why should we hire you?" The answer will help the interviewer compare what you bring to the table vis-a-vis the others.
Your strategy: Prepare for this by referring closely to the job description. List out your other strengths and connect them to the requirements mentioned in the job advert.
Sample answer: You could say, "I have already mentioned my strengths, but if you were to ask me about something unique which I bring, I would say it's my attention to detail. Though it can be annoying for others, this trait of mine has saved several situations from turning into disasters in the past."
Q8: What are three things your former manager would like you to improve on?
This is a variant of the weakness question. If the interviewer has asked you this question in addition to the one on weakness, it means he/she wants to know what others think of you.
Your strategy: Try and recollect your performance reviews, mention what they said, and talk about the steps you’ve taken to address those weaknesses. Keep it real, but refrain from mentioning any serious flaw that could jeopardize your chances of making it through the interview round.
Sample answer: "Amongst the feedback I received, I was told that I wasn’t assertive enough. Though I was performing well at my job and meeting targets, my boss once told me that I would do even better if I was more assertive at the workplace," is a good way to position a weakness in a constructive manner.
Q9: Tell us about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
The answer to this question will tell the interviewer what drives you, your professional values, suitability for the job and how you can make yourself useful to the organization.
Your strategy: It is best to stick to a professional example. Provide numbers where possible -- this is a language that interviewers love and understand.
Sample answer: Go with, "I am extremely proud of the time we worked on a project with XXX company. The selection was a gruelling process, but we managed to land the deal. The company needed services that were of the highest standards and I am proud to say that we surpassed their expectations. In fact, we succeeded in converting them into our regular clients. As project leader, I was extremely proud of this achievement."
Q10: Tell us about a time you made a mistake.
This is amongst the toughest questions because you are being asked to cite a specific instance of failure. It is a behavior-based question that will give the interviewer insight into your personality and the kind of mistakes you are prone to making. It will reveal how you handle failure and whether you are capable of learning from it.
Your strategy: Again, be candid but refrain from citing an ugly truth. Be sure to talk about what you learned from the experience.
Sample answer: "While working for one of my previous employers, there was something I required from another department. Instead of speaking to the department head, I told a member of the team who was my friend. I expected him to go and tell his boss about it, but he didn’t. As a result, the goods weren't delivered and we missed our target date. There was a great deal of confusion over the episode but thankfully it was all sorted out. From that day on, in all professional matters, I make it a point to communicate directly with the department head," is a good response.
It's difficult to determine what questions you'll be asked in an interview. But you can check with others who may have interviewed/already work with the organization to gauge what your interviewer could want to know. Or cross-reference the job ad with your resume and work out a possible list of questions. The one thing you can be certain of is that if you go in prepared, you are sure to impress an interviewer.
Top 100 interview questions to help you succeed in a job interview
Today’s job interviews are especially difficult. Since recruiters want to make certain that they hire the right people, candidates are grilled on various dimensions of their personality as well as professional competence. Based on our market experience, we’ve compiled a list of 100 probable interview questions. Of course, there’s no guarantee you’ll be asked any of them, but most interviewers incorporate at least a handful of these in their interactions. Please note that an interviewer may also ask questions that relate to the specific position that you are applying for.
Basic interview questions:
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. What are your strengths?
3. What are your weaknesses?
4. Why do you want this job?
5. Where do you see yourself in five years?
6. Why are you interested in working for [insert company name here]?
7. Why should we hire you?
8. What did you like least about your last job?
9. What can you offer us that someone else cannot?
10. Why do you want to leave your company?
11. What do you know about this industry?
12. What do you know about our company?
13. What motivates you?
14. Are you a team player?
15. Are you willing to relocate?
16. Are you willing to travel?
17. How did you hear about this vacancy?
18. Do you have any questions for me?
Behavioural interview questions:
19. Give me an example of a time that you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.
20. Was your work ever criticized? How did you handle it?
21. Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you deal with it?
22. What is your greatest professional failure, and what did you learn from it?
23. How do you handle working with people who annoy you?
24. If your supervisor asked you to do something you disagreed with, what would you do?
25. Give me an example of a time you made a professional error of judgment.
26. Have you ever had to deal with conflict of interest on the job?
27. If you found out your company was doing something against the law, like fraud, what would you do?
28. What’s the most difficult professional decision you’ve made and how did you come to that decision?
29. Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
30. Have you ever missed a deadline?
Leadership interview questions:
31. What is your leadership style?
32. How would you deal with a disobedient employee?
33. Tell us about a time when you had to make a decision without all the relevant facts.
34. You’ve just made an unpopular decision. How would you handle the fallout?
35. Give examples of ideas you’ve had or implemented.
36. How do you measure leadership success?
37. Would you consider yourself a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?
38. What motivates you as a leader?
39. What are the qualities of a good leader?
40. Should a leader be feared or liked?
41. How do you feel about taking no for an answer?
42. How would you go about praising an employee in public?
43. How do you lead through change?
44. How do you persuade others about your ideas?
45. What’s the most difficult part of being a leader?
46. Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback.
Salary interview questions:
47. What salary are you seeking?
48. What’s your salary history?
49. If I were to give you the salary you requested but let you write your job description for the next year, what would it say?
Career development questions:
50. What are you looking for in terms of career development?
51. How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
52. What kind of goals would you have in mind if you got this job?
53. If I were to ask your last supervisor to provide you additional training or exposure, what would s/he suggest?
Getting started questions:
54. How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?
55. How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
56. What do you see yourself doing within the first 30 days of the job?
57. If selected for this position, can you describe your strategy for the first 90 days?
More interview questions about you:
58. What is your ideal work environment?
59. What do you look for in terms of culture—structured or entrepreneurial?
60. How organized are you?
61. Tell us about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
62. What do you think of your previous boss?
63. Was there a person in your career who really made a difference?
64. What kind of personality do you work best with and why?
65. Tell me about your dream job.
66. What is your ultimate career goal?
67. What is your personal mission statement?
68. What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?
69. What are three things your former manager would like you to improve on?
70. What do co-workers say about you?
71. What are three positive character traits you don’t have?
72. If you were interviewing someone for this position, what traits would you look for?
73. List five words that describe your character.
74. What is your greatest fear?
75. Tell us about a time you made a mistake.
76. Why did you choose your major?
77. What is your greatest achievement outside of work?
78. Do you prefer verbal or written communication?
79. Are you more effective working in a group or alone?
80. Tell me the difference between good and exceptional.
81. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
82. What’s the last book you read?
83. What magazines do you subscribe to?
84. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the last year?
85. What are your hobbies?
86. Why was there a gap in your employment between [insert date] and [insert date]?
87. Are you willing to work overtime—say, nights and weekends?
88. What will you do if you don’t get this job?
89. How do you go about resolving a conflict?
90. How would you encourage the professional development of your employees?
91. Give me an example of how out-of-the-box thinking helped you come up with a solution to a difficult problem.
92. How would you rate me as an interviewer?
93. How many times do a clock’s hands overlap in a day?
94. How would you weigh a plane without scales?
95. Tell me 10 ways to use a pencil other than writing.
96. How would you sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo?
97. The Indian team requires 7 runs to win from 3 balls. Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina are playing on 94 each. How can both of them ensure India’s victory while also completing their centuries?
98. How many auto-rickshaws ply in your city?
99. What will the price of this pencil be five years from now?
100. Twenty different socks of two types have been placed in a drawer in a totally dark room. What is the least number of socks you must grab so that you have a matching pair?