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Career Resources - General Job Interview Questions

General Job Interview Questions


While most Job applicants are aware of the need for well-prepared CVs and a cover letter, some may not realize the need to spend an equal amount of time developing the interview skills necessary to be effective in today's job market.  Learning how to interview effectively, how to develop a personal brand, how to market your brand, and how to handle salary negotiations once an offer is made, are areas most applicants struggle with.

Below are some sample questions that are often asked during interviews.  Get a jump-start on the competition by having your answers ready.  Being eloquent, confident and ready to answer anything your interviewers may throw at you may get you the job.

• Tell me about yourself
• What are your greatest strengths?
• What is your greatest weakness?
• Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
• What led you to pursue your degree/industry?
• What areas of this profession are you most interested in and why?
• Why are you interested in this position?
• What accomplishment has given you the greatest satisfaction and why?
• What do you know about our company?
• What do you know about this position?
• What are your lifetime goals?
• What did you learn in your last position?
• How would you describe your management style?
• How well do you communicate in writing and orally? Give me some examples.
• In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to this company?
• How do you think other people describe you?
• Why should I hire you?
• How do you work under pressure?
• Are you willing to travel? relocate?
• What are your salary requirements?
• What is your salary history?
• What do you really want to do in life?
• What are your long-term career objectives?
• How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
• What are the most important roles you expect in your business career?
• Which is more important to you, the money or the type of job?
• What motivates you to put both your greatest effort?
• What qualifications do you have that make you think that you will be successful in business?
• How do you determine or evaluate success?
• What do you think it takes to be successful in a company like ours?
• In what ways do you think that you can make a contribution to our company?
• What qualities should a successful manager possess?
• What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction and why?
• What kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
• Why did you decide to seek a position with this company?
• What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
• Are you seeking employment in a company of a certain size? Why?
• What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work?
• Do you have a geographical preference? Why?
• Are you willing to spend at least six months as a trainee?
• Why do you think you might want to live in the community in which our company is located?
• What have you learned from your mistakes?
Do you have any questions to ask me?

Have your questions prepared ahead of time. This is not just an interview for the employer, you are worth your weight in gold, and you want to make sure that they know this!
Listed below are a few samples of questions that you may be asked to answer about a particular “situation” you might have been in.

Behavioral-Based Questions:

• Give me a recent example of a situation you have faced when the "pressure was on". What happened? How did you handle it?
• Give me an example of a recent situation when you disagreed with someone on the job. What were your options for settling it? Why did you choose the option you did?
• Give me an example of a decision you had to make quickly or under pressure. How did you approach it and how did it work out?
• Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.
• Give me an example of an important goal that you had set in the past and tell me about you success in reaching it.
• Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
• By providing examples, convince me that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations, and environments.
• Describe a project you were responsible for starting. What did you do? How did it work out?
• When, in a past job, did you find it important to disagree with your boss? How did you approach him/her and what was the result?
• Give me an example of a time when you had to manage multiple projects simultaneously. How did you prioritize them?
• What major problem have you encountered and how did you deal with it?
• Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and subordinates?
Everyone must understand that you are not just being evaluated on your experience and education alone, but also by your looks, personality, confidence, enthusiasm, and any other attribute that can help them decide whether or not you are right for the job. You may find out that some people get hired just because the interviewer "liked" them.  Of course this is not always the case, but developing effective interviewing skills can help.

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