You’ve scouted for jobs that you like (or at least can make you some money), you’ve applied for them, and lucky for you, you passed the first round of screening. It’s now time for you to face the final (and scariest) challenge: the job interview.
Being judged by people who hold the keys to your future job can induce a tremendous amount of anxiety. While it’s almost impossible to know for sure which questions they’ll ask, understanding the reason behind each question can help you ace your job interview.
Most of the job interview questions have no right or wrong answer, however, there’s a specific way that interviewers and hiring managers are almost always looking for you to answer their questions.
And that’s what this guide is about: to help you understand the reason behind the interviewer’s questions and how to answer them “correctly”.
In this guide, we have compiled over 140+ most-common job interview questions, organized by category:
- Classic Job Interview Questions
- Career Trajectory Interview Questions
- Work Habits and Preferences Interview Questions
- Behavioral or Personality Interview Questions
- Teamwork and “People Skills”
- Interview Questions About You
- Interview Questions About The Job
- Brainteaser Interview Questions
Classic Job Interview Questions
These are the classic questions that help the recruiter know more about you, what you’re good at, and if you’re a good fit for the job.
These questions might not be asked with these exact words, but if you have answers to them, you’ll be fully prepared to answer variations of them.
- Tell Me About Yourself.
- How would you describe yourself?
- What makes you unique?
- How Did You Hear About This Position?
- What do you know about this company/organization?
- What Other Companies Are You Interviewing With?
- Why Do You Want to Work at This Company/organization?
- Why Do You Want This Job/What interests you about this role/Why did you decide to apply for this position?
- Why Should We Hire You?
- What differentiates you from our other candidates?
- What Are Your Greatest Strengths?
- What Do You Consider to Be Your Greatest Weaknesses?
Career Trajectory Interview Questions
These questions are about your work history, your career goals, your achievements, and failures.
They help the interviewer to make an educated guess on your level of competence.
- Why Was There a Gap in Your Employment?
- Explain why you’ve had so many jobs?
- Why are you leaving your current job?
- How did you fit in with the company culture?
- Why Were You Fired?
- Can You Explain Why You Changed Career Paths?
- What Do You Like the Most About Your Job? What did you like most about your last position?
- What Do You Like Least About Your Job? What did you like least about your last position?
- Describe your career goals.
- What challenges are you looking for in your next job?
- What do you look for in a new position?
- What Do You Think We Could Do Better or Differently?
- Are you considering other positions in other companies?
- Can you discuss your salary history?
- What’s Your Current Salary?
- How much do you expect to be earning in five years?
- Why should we hire you?
- What are your goals for the future?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What major challenges have you handled?
- What Is Your Greatest Professional Achievement? What is your greatest accomplishment? What is the professional achievement you’re most proud of?
Interview Questions About Work Habits and Preferences
These questions help the interviewer to know your work preferences, habits, and ethics, including how much of a team player you are.
- Describe your work style.
- Do you ever take your work home with you?
- How many hours per week do you normally work?
- How would you describe the pace at which you work?
- What Type of Work Environment Do You Prefer? What kind of work environment do you thrive in? What is your ideal working environment?
Behavioral or Personality Interview Questions
These questions enable the interviewer to understand your personality and help them decide if you’ll fit their culture.
- What motivates you?
- What are you passionate about?
- How do you measure success?
- How do you handle/deal with pressure or stressful situations?
- Can you tell Me About a difficult situation, Challenge or Conflict You’ve Faced at Work, and How You Dealt With It?
- Tell Me About a Time You Demonstrated Leadership Skills/Qualities.
- What’s a Time You Disagreed With a Decision That Was Made at Work?
- Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake/Tell me about the last mistake you made.
- Tell Me About a Time You Failed.
- Describe a time when your boss was wrong. How did you handle the situation?
- How would you feel about reporting to a person younger than you?
- Describe a time you went above and beyond at work.
- Describe a time you got angry at work.
- Describe a time when you had to give a person difficult feedback.
- Describe a time when you disagreed with your boss.
- What do you really think about your previous boss?
- How Do You Like to Be Managed?
- Would you ever lie for a company?
- What has been the most rewarding experience of your career thus far?
- What has been the least rewarding experience of your career thus far?
- How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?
- What does customer service mean to you?
- What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?
- Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager?
- What do you expect from a supervisor?
- Describe your best boss
- Describe your worst boss.
- Have you gotten angry at work? What happened?
- Describe a time you chose to not help a teammate.
- Describe a time you went out of your way to help somebody.
- Describe a time when your work was criticized?
- Do you think you could have done better in your last job?
- What is your teaching philosophy?
- How would you fire someone?
Interview Questions About Teamwork and “People Skills”
- Are you a team player?
- Do you prefer working alone or in a team environment?
- Give some examples of teamwork.
- If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say?
- How would a good friend describe you?
Interview Questions About You
- What makes you uncomfortable?
- What commonly accepted view do you disagree with and why?
- What are some positive things your last boss would say about you?
- What is one negative thing your last boss might say about you?
- Are you a morning person?
- Are you a risk-taker?
- Do you have any serious medical conditions?
- Do you think there is a difference between hard work and smart work?
- How quickly do you adapt to new technology?
- What character traits would your friends use to describe you?
- How Would Your Boss and Coworkers Describe You?
- Are you more of a leader or a follower?
- Do you have a personal mission statement?
- What do you like most about yourself?
- What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
- How do you keep yourself organized?
- What is your favorite movie of all time and why?
- What are the three skills or traits you wish you had?
- What’s Your Dream Job?
- Describe your perfect company.
- How do you want to improve yourself in the upcoming year?
- Who are your heroes?
- What is your favorite memory from childhood?
- What is your favorite website?
- When were you most satisfied in a previous job?
- What’s the last book you read?
- What is the best job you ever had?
- What is your greatest fear?
- What was your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?
- What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a mistake you’ve made?
- If you won a $10 million lottery, would you still work?
- What was the last project you led and what was the outcome?
- What three things are most important to you in your job?
- What Do You Like to Do Outside of Work?
- What will you miss about your previous job?
- How Do You Prioritize Your Work?
- What is your management style?
- Who has impacted you most in your career?
- What is your biggest regret and why?
- Do you have any children?/Are you planning on having any children?
- What are your pet peeves?
- Why did you choose your major?
- What is your ideal company size?
- What is a book that everyone needs to read and why?
- Do you find it difficult to adapt to new situations?
- Do you have a mentor?
- What do you do in your spare time?
- Describe your top three technical skills?
Interview Questions About The Job
- What relevant experience do you have?
- Why haven’t you gotten your Bachelor’s Degree/Master’s Degree/Ph.D.?
- What can you do for this company/What can you contribute to this company?
- What do you want to accomplish in the first 30, 60 or 90 days of this job?
- How long do you expect to work for this company?
- What is your salary range expectation?
- Are You Willing to Relocate?
- When Can You Start?
- Are you overqualified for this job?
- What Should I Know That’s Not on Your Resume?
- Is There Anything Else You’d Like Us to Know?
- What will you do if you don’t get a job offer?
- Do you have any questions for us?
Brainteaser Interview Questions
- If you suddenly gained the ability to time travel, what’s the first thing you’d do?
- If you could get rid of any US state, which would you choose and why?
- Which is more important, creativity or efficiency?
- Is it better to be good and on time or perfect and late with your work?
- How many times per day do a clock’s hands overlap?
- How many stacked pennies would equal the height of the Empire State Building?
- How Many Tennis Balls Can You Fit Into a Limousine?
- If You Were an Animal, Which One Would You Want to Be?
- Sell Me This Pen.
While answering the job interview questions, you have to make sure that all your answers relate to your ability to perform the job, even when answering questions that are somewhat personal.
You also have to understand that your job interview is more than answering the questions thrown at you. Here are some things you should keep in mind:
- Pay attention to your appearance and ensure you “dress for success” as this will make a good impression on your interviewers.
- Understand that you’re under no obligation to answer any personal questions that regard race, age, family background, social status, etc. Remember, the questions should relate to the job position and the job position alone.
- Make sure you prepare some questions that you can ask when given the opportunity. This will show that you’re actually interested in the job.
- Express gratitude to your interviewers for considering you for the position and taking their time to interview you. You should do this verbally immediately after the interview and follow up with a thank-you note within 24 hours.
Now is the time to take what you’ve learned and ace that job interview.
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