25 Common Interview Questions and Answers:
Review these typical interview questions and think about how you
would answer them. Read the questions listed; you will also find
some strategy suggestions with it.
1. Tell me about yourself:
The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a
short statement prepared in your mind. Be careful that it does not
sound rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items unless instructed
otherwise. Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held
that relate to the position you are interviewing for. Start with the
item farthest back and work up to the present.
2. Why did you leave your last job?
Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a
major problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors,
co- workers or the organization. If you do, you will be the one
looking bad. Keep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive
reason such as an opportunity, a chance to do something special or
other forward- looking reasons.
3. What experience do you have in this field?
Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying
for. If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you
4. Do you consider yourself successful?
You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. A good
explanation is that you have set goals, and you have met some and
are on track to achieve the others.
5. What do co-workers say about you?
Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. Either a specific
statement or a paraphrase will work. Jill Clark, a co-worker at
Smith Company, always said I was the hardest workers she had ever
known. It is as powerful as Jill having said it at the interview
6. What do you know about this organization?
This question is one reason to do some research on the organization
before the interview. Find out where they have been and where they
are going. What are the current issues and who are the major
7. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide
variety of activities can be mentioned as positive self-improvement.
Have some good ones handy to mention.
8. Are you applying for other jobs?
Be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. Keep the
focus on this job and what you can do for this organization.
Anything else is a distraction.
9. Why do you want to work for this organization?
This may take some thought and certainly, should be based on the
research you have done on the organization. Sincerity is extremely
important here and will easily be sensed. Relate it to your
long-term career goals.
10. Do you know anyone who works for us?
Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization.
This can affect your answer even though they asked about friends not
relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if they are well
11. What kind of salary do you need?
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose
if you answer first. So, do not answer it. Instead, say something
like, That’s a tough question. Can you tell me the range for this
position? In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell
you. If not, say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then
give a wide range.
12. Are you a team player?
You are, of course, a team player. Be sure to have examples ready.
Specifics that show you often perform for the good of the team
rather than for yourself are good evidence of your team attitude. Do
not brag, just say it in a matter-of-fact tone. This is a key point.
13. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?
Specifics here are not good. Something like this should work: I’d
like it to be a long time. Or As long as we both feel I’m doing a
14. Have you ever had to fire anyone? How did you feel about
This is serious. Do not make light of it or in any way seem like you
like to fire people. At the same time, you will do it when it is the
right thing to do. When it comes to the organization versus the
individual who has created a harmful situation, you will protect the
organization. Remember firing is not the same as layoff or reduction
15. What is your philosophy towards work?
The interviewer is not looking for a long or flowery dissertation
here. Do you have strong feelings that the job gets done? Yes.
That’s the type of answer that works best here. Short and positive,
showing a benefit to the organization.
16. If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?
Answer yes if you would. But since you need to work, this is the
type of work you prefer. Do not say yes if you do not mean it.
17. Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
If you have not, say no. If you have, be honest, brief and avoid
saying negative things about the people or organization involved.
18. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization.
You should be anxious for this question. It gives you a chance to
highlight your best points as they relate to the position being
discussed. Give a little advance thought to this relationship.
19. Why should we hire you?
Point out how your assets meet what the organization needs. Do not
mention any other candidates to make a comparison.
20. Tell me about a suggestion you have made.
Have a good one ready. Be sure and use a suggestion that was
accepted and was then considered successful. One related to the type
of work applied for is a real plus.
21. What irritates you about co-workers?
This is a trap question. Think real hard but fail to come up with
anything that irritates you. A short statement that you seem to get
along with folks is great.
22. What is your greatest strength?
Numerous answers are good, just stay positive. A few good examples:
Your ability to prioritize, Your problem-solving skills, Your
ability to work under pressure, Your ability to focus on projects,
Your professional expertise, Your leadership skills, Your positive
23. Tell me about your dream job.
Stay away from a specific job. You cannot win. If you say the job
you are contending for is it, you strain credibility. If you say
another job is it, you plant the suspicion that you will be
dissatisfied with this position if hired. The best is to stay
genetic and say something like: A job where I love the work, like
the people, can contribute and can’t wait to get to work.
24. Why do you think you would do well at this job?
Give several reasons and include skills, experience and interest.
25. What are you looking for in a job?
See answer # 23