"The Dirty Dozen"
- Tell me about yourself.
- What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses?
- Why did you leave your previous position?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What did you like/dislike about your previous position?
- What kind of salary are you expecting?
- What do you know about our company?
- Why should we hire you?
- What did you think of your previous boss/supervisor?
- What are your long-term goals?
- Would you be willing to work overtime?
- Tell me about your experience with this type of work.
Other Common Interview Questions
- In what ways have you benefited from your university education?
- How has your educational experience prepared you for your chosen occupation?
- Do you think that your grades are a good reflection of your ability to do the job?
- How does your education in ____ relate specifically to this position?
- What work experiences have been most valuable to you and why?
- In what part-time or summer jobs have you been most interested, and why?
- What previous experience have you had in this area?
- What experiences do you have working with others whose backgrounds differ from yours?
- What have you learned from previous jobs?
- If I were to call your last employer, what would they tell me?
- What is the most rewarding assignment you have completed?
- How have you motivated others to work with or for you?
- How did your position at _____ prepare you for this position?
- What did you learn in your last position that will help you in this job?
- Describe three skills you have that would benefit our organization.
- What did you like/dislike about your last job?
- Explain the transitions between the items on your resume.
- Give me an example of a time when you were the leader of a group.
- How do you motivate people?
- Give me an example of your leadership skills.
- Describe a leadership role of yours and tell why you committed your time to it.
- In a particular leadership role, what was your greatest challenge?
- Can you describe for me a situation in which you exemplified leadership?
- Name two management skills that you think you have.
- What characteristics are most important in a good manager? How have you displayed one of them?
- Describe an example where you worked as part of a team.
- What are your team-player qualities? Give examples.
- Tell me about a team project of which you are particularly proud of and your contribution to that project.
- When you take on a project do you like to attack the project in a group or individually?
- What would you do if members of your team weren’t doing their share of the work?
Decision Making & Problem Solving
- Give me an example of a tough decision you faced. How did you tackle it?
- Give me an example of a problem you solved and the process you used.
- Give me an example of your problem-solving abilities.
- Describe how you would go about making a decision.
- If you could change a decision you made, what would you change and why?
- If you have a choice between two job offers, what would you base your decision upon?
- What have the experiences on your resume taught you about managing and working with people?
- Describe a situation where you had to work with someone who was difficult to work with. How did you handle it?
- What major challenge have you encountered and how did you deal with it?
- What have you learned from your mistakes?
- Describe the most difficult situation you have been in and how you coped.
- Describe a goal you set for yourself and what you did to meet it.
- Can you give me an example where you successfully dealt with conflict?
- What types of situations put you under pressure?
- What major problem have you encountered and how did you
deal with it?
- How do you handle pressure? Criticism?
- How do you handle stressful situations? Give me an example.
- What kinds of people really annoy you?
- How would you describe your ideal supervisor?
- Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and those reporting to him or her.
Strengths & Accomplishments
- What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction, and why?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your best attributes?
- Give me an example that demonstrates your ability to organize.
- To what activity outside of work have you made the greatest contribution? Please describe.
- What is your greatest accomplishment?
- Describe a project or situation that best demonstrates your analytical abilities.
- Give me an example of an idea that has come to you and what you did with it.
- Give me an example of the most creative project that you haveworked on.
- Tell me about a project you initiated.
- What qualifications do you have that make you think that you will be successful in this business?
- What have you done that shows initiative?
- What are the key skills and qualifications you bring to this position?
- For someone with little work experience: How does your previous experience prepare you for this position?
- Tell me what you consider to be your greatest assets.
- What qualifications do you have that make you think that you will be successful in this field?
- Give me an example that demonstrates your creativity.
- Give me an example that demonstrates your assertiveness.
- What do you expect to have achieved in your career in five years?
- What type of position are you seeking?
- Why have you chosen this particular profession?
- What goals have you set for yourself?
- Why do you want this job? Why did you apply?
- What are your plans for your own professional development in the next five years?
- How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
- What are the most important rewards you expect in your career?
- What do you expect to be earning in five years?
- How would you describe the ideal job for you?
- What are your long-range and short-range goals and objectives?
- When and why did you establish your goals and how are you preparing yourself to achieve them?
- How does this position fit with your long-term career plans?
- How did you decide on your career path?
- Why have you chosen this particular field of work?
- Why are you interested in our organization/company?
- Why should the company I represent be interested in you?
- In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our organization/company?
- What do you know about our organization/company?
- Why did you seek a position with this organization/company?
- Can you tell me about our company, our products and our mission statement?
- What do you think or know about the field and future trends?
- What do you know about the position, organization/company?
- What do you see as the most challenging aspect of this job?
- What do you believe to be the “down side” of this type of work?
- What do you know about the position I’m interviewing you for?
- What makes you stand out from the crowd?
- Why should I consider you a strong candidate for this position?
- What challenges are you looking for in a position?
- What makes you think you can handle this position?
- What characteristics do you think are important for this position?
- We are looking at a lot of great candidates, why are you the best person for this position?
- In what significant ways do you think you can contribute to our organization?
- How/why do you think you will be a valuable employee in this environment?
- What can you do for us?
- What distinguishes you from all the other candidates?
- Are you willing to spend at least six months as a trainee?
- Tell me about yourself.
- How would you describe yourself?
- What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- What motivates you?
- How would people who know you well describe you? What three words would they use?
- How would you describe yourself?
- If I asked people who know you for one reason why I should not hire you what would they say?
- To what do you owe your present success?
- How do you think a friend or professor who knows you well would describe you?
- What three words best describe you?
- At this time in your life, what do you value most?
- What characteristics or qualities do you value most in people?
- What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in life?
- Describe your personality to me.
- What one characteristic best describes you?
- Who are your role models?
- How do you determine or evaluate success?
- Of the hobbies and interests listed on your resume what is your favourite and tell me why?
- What have you learned from participation in extracurricular activities?
- Are you active in any outside groups or organizations? What is your role in the group? What have you contributed to the organization?
- What do you do in your leisure time?
Position & Work Environment
- What type of work environment appeals to you most?
- What do you look for in a job?
- What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
- What do you find most attractive about this position? Least attractive?
- Do you prefer a large or small organization? Why?
- In what type of environment do you flourish?
- What are the key aspects of workplace cooperation?
- What interests you about this job?
- What are your expectations surrounding salary and benefits?
- Are you prepared to relocate?
- Are you willing to travel?
- Why do you think you might want to live in the community in which our company is located?
- Give me an example of a time when you were in charge of a task or project. What was the result? What would you have done differently?
- Tell me about a time when you were complimented on your work.
- Describe an occasion when you did not put in your best effort and failed. What was the outcome and what did you learn?
- Give an example of a time when someone challenged the quality or integrity of your work. What did you do?
- In your past work experience, how have you adapted to collaborating with someone who has a different working style than yours?
- Tell me about a time when you had to go forward with a task with very little information.
- Tell me about a time when you had to juggle a number of tasks at one time.
- Describe a situation where you had to complete a task that someone else had started.
- Tell me about a time when you had to learn something fast in order to complete regular tasks at work.
- Tell me about a time when you had to take charge of a situation that was lacking leadership.
- In your past experience in a team environment, how did you ensure that your ideas were brought to the table?
- Describe an occasion when you had to clarify your position on an issue. What was the response?
- Tell me about a time when you went ahead with a decision even though you were lacking confidence. What was the outcome?
- Tell me about a time when you wanted to move forward with a task or an idea but were lacking the ability to convince others.
- Give an example of a time when you used your communication skills effectively.
- Tell me about a time when poor communication skills resulted in an undesirable outcome. What did you learn?
- Tell me about a time when there was a conflict in the workplace and how you handled it.
- Tell me about a time when you had to provide criticism of a colleagues’ work.
- Describe a time when your listening skills enhanced your ability to communicate.
- Describe some personal stress-management techniques you have used effectively in the past.
- Tell me about a time when you had to manage an extensive or overwhelming workload.
- Tell me about a time when you put extra effort into a project but received little recognition for your contribution.
- Has there ever been a time when you felt overwhelmed by a task. What did you do about it?
- Give an example of a time when you had to teach yourself as you progressed through a project.
- Tell me about a time when your ideas or suggestions helped improve some aspect of your workplace.
- Describe any creative problem solving techniques you have used that have worked effectively. How did you measure the outcome?
- Tell me about a time in your work experience when you felt your creativity was stifled. What did you do about it?
- How have you “left your mark” in previous jobs? Give an example of one innovative contribution you have made in the past.
- Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision based on very little information.
- Tell me about a time when a decision you made directly affected someone else in your workplace negatively/positively.
- Give an example of a time when your indecisiveness resulted in a missed opportunity.
- What measures have you used for evaluating past decisions? How do you determine if you made the right decision?
- Describe a personal goal that you achieved and the steps you took to meet that goal.
- Describe an effective time management strategy that you have previously used.
- Give an example of the steps you have taken to accomplish major projects.
- Describe some “baby steps” you have made towards accomplishing a larger goal.
- Tell me about a time when you questioned a colleague’s integrity/honesty/ethics.
- Tell me about a time when you made a significant mistake at work. What was the outcome and how did you deal with it?
- Tell me about a time when your assumptions resulted in poor judgment.
- Give an example of an occasion when you demonstrated genuineness with a client or customer. What did you say/do, and what was the outcome?
- Describe an occasion when you had to take control in a team setting and get the group back on task.
- Tell me about a time when you took the initiative to complete a project.
- Give an example of a workplace setting in which you have performed your best.
- Describe how you have set an example for success in the workplace. What did you do and how did it influence your work environment?
- What steps have you taken to recognize employees’ work and abilities?
- Give an example of how you handle criticism from employees.
- Describe how you would negotiate feasible time constraints and delegate responsibilities for several tasks going on at once.
- Give an example of how you keep employees motivated.
- Give an example of something that has motivated you to persevere through difficult work situations.
- Give an example of a time when you had to give a presentation and were not comfortably prepared.
- Give an example of a time when you were poorly organized. What did you learn?
- Tell me about a time when you missed an important deadline due to poor planning. What did you learn?
- Give an example of a time when your organizational skills increased your efficiency at work.
- Give an example of a problem you have dealt with in the past that had more than one solution.
- Tell me about a time when you had to quickly adapt to unexpected events in your work.
- Describe a project that you completed and any difficulties you encountered along the way. Explain the difficulties you had: What, why, where, when, how?
- When planning a project, what initial considerations have you made before going ahead? Give examples.
- Explain a technique that you have used to effectively motivate others.
- How have you dealt with conflicts in the workplace (with managers/employees) in the past?
- Tell me about a time when you had to teach a co-worker something new in order to proceed with a collaborative project.
- Tell me about a time when you volunteered to take a project off someone else’s hands.
- Describe how you have used technology to enhance your work.
- Give an example of a time when technology hindered your ability to perform well on the job.
- Tell me about a time when you used technology to improve your communication skills or get your point across.
- Describe your experience with audio/visual equipment.
- Describe how you have implemented troubleshooting strategies with equipment when you do not have the appropriate support available.
- Tell me more about your meeting/interaction with that person.
- What steps / actions did you take?
- What happened after that?
- What did you say?
- What was your reaction?
- How did the person react?
- How did you handle that?
- How do you feel about that?
- What was the outcome?
- Were you happy with the outcome/result?
- What did you wish you had done differently?
- What did you learn?
- How did you resolve the issue?
- Why did you decide to do that?
- What was your logic / reasoning?
- Lead me through your decision making process.
- Who do you think was at fault?
- Who else was involved?
- How did you prepare?
- What was your role?
- What obstacles did you face?
- What were you thinking at that point?
- Who, What, Where, When, Why, How?
- Do you have any questions for us?
- When would you be available to begin work?
- Would you leave a list of references with us?
- What characteristics would the ideal job candidate have for this position?
- What skills and attributes, if any, are you seeking in a candidate that I have not addressed?
- What are the characteristics of your most outstanding employees in a similar position?
- Can you describe the type of work I would be doing or the types of projects I will be working on?
- What do you see as the most challenging aspects of the position?
- What would a normal day be like?
- How much travel is expected?
- What percentage of time would be devoted to each of the responsibilities of the position?
Organization – Structure
- Can you tell me about the people/positions to whom/which I would be reporting?
- Will I be able to work with the person whom I am replacing, before he/she vacate the position?
- How does this position contribute to the whole picture of your organization?
- How long have you been with the organization and what are the highlights for you?
- How many interns are typically employed by the company at one time?
- What percentage of your employees are hired immediately after graduation?
Organization – Direction and Mandate
- What makes this organization unique?
- What are the short-term and long-term objectives of the organization?
- What are the areas of anticipated growth for the company?
- Why was the position created?
- Does the organization have any plans for expansion?
- What are the company’s values and how do you incorporate them into your business practices?
- How is the training or orientation program for new employees structured?
- What is the nature of the training program and supervision provided to new employees?
- What kind of training will be provided? How long is the training period?
- What opportunities exist for employee education or professional development?
- Are employees encouraged to be active in professional organizations?
Opportunities for Advancement
- How much decision-making authority is granted after one year?
- Does the organization promote from within?
- What opportunities exist for advancement? Evaluation
- How does the company measure performance? When are evaluations scheduled?
- How often are performance reviews given?
- When and how will job evaluations take place?