Standard Interview Questions

February 2013

During the interview, you will be asked difficult questions that are designed to see how you will react under pressure and unfamiliar territory.  There are no textbook answers to these questions.  Interviewers ask different questions and look for different responses.  However, by being familiar with the types of questions you may be asked, you will give yourself the opportunity to answer these questions comfortably and confidently.  We have included a list of typical stress questions below. Look through these questions and practice some potential responses about your personality and experience.

  • Why are you leaving your current position?
  • Why did you select my organization to interview?
  • What interests you most about the position we have?  The least?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your short-range objectives?  Long-range?
  • What salary are you looking for?
  • What are your 5 biggest accomplishments in your present job or last job?  Your career?
  • What is your biggest strength?  Weakness?
  • How long would it take you to make a contribution to our firm?
  • Have you helped increase profits?  Reduced costs?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What do you look for in a job?
  • Have you ever dealt with difficult people?  How did you handle it?
  • What can you do for us that someone else cannot do?
  • Can you work under pressure, deadlines, etc.?
  • What is your philosophy of management? How are you best managed?
  • How has your management style changed in the last ten years?
  • What are the most important rewards you expect in your career?
  • Why didn’t you do better in college?
  • What mistakes have you made in your career?  How did you fix them?
  • What qualifications do you have that make you think you will be successful in this business?
  • How long would you stay with us?
  • What new goals or objectives have you established recently?  Why?
  • How have you changed the nature of your job?
  • What qualities have you liked or disliked in your boss?
  • Discuss the importance of your job as it relates to your family.
  • What was the most difficult ethical decision you have had to make?  What was the result?
  • How do you show your anger or frustration?
  • Why haven’t you obtained a job so far?
  • What features of your previous jobs have you disliked?
  • Would you describe a few situations in which your work was criticized?
  • How would you evaluate your present firm?
  • What is the worst situation you have been faced in your professional life?  How did you deal with it?
  • What was the last book you read?  Movie you saw?  Sporting event you attended?
  • How do you spend your free time?  What would you do if you had more of it?
  • Don’t you feel you might be better off with a different size firm than ours?
  • Why aren’t you earning more by now?
  • Will you be out to take your boss’s job?
  • Are you a leader?  A good manager?  Analytical?  Give an example we can verify.
  • How do you build a team under you?
  • How would you describe your own personality?
  • Where do you relate best – up on level, down one level or with your peers?
  • What do your subordinates think of you? How do you evaluate your subordinates?
  • Have you hired people before?  What do you look for? Have you fired people?  When and why?
  • What are your technical strengths? Which project / transaction reflected your technical ability the most?
  • What did your evaluation say that you excelled in the most? Why do you suppose they said that?
  • How did you improve upon your technical knowledge?