Job Interview Questions

documents_300x300The questions and answers below will help you prepare for a job interview. When responding to a question by a job interviewer be confident in your response. Try not to rush your answers but at the same time don’t go on and on, either. Avoid repeating yourself and do not use unnecessary words like “um”.

A good technique is to prepare yourself ahead of time. Write out the answers to the questions that you anticipate. Make your answers clear and concise. Then practice your answers out loud. Try to get someone to do a mock (fake) interview with you.

Remember, one of the worst things you can do on an interview is answer “no”, when asked, “Do you have any questions”? Below are sample questions you can ask the interviewer about the respective organization and/or position you are applying for.



Below are questions that are commonly asked by job interviewers:

1)  Tell me about yourself.
2)  Why should I hire you?
3)  Why do you want to work here?
4)  What is the most difficult situation you have faced?
5)  What did you dislike about your last job?
6)  Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
7)  Do you prefer to work with others or alone?
8)  Do you work well under pressure?
9)  What is your biggest accomplishment?
10)  Are you the best person for this job? Why?
11)  Describe your best boss and your worst boss.
12)  Describe your work style.
13)  Do you take work home with you?
14)  How do you measure success?
15)  How long do you expect to work for this company?


1) Tell me about yourself. Do not let your answer turn into a life story. Name a few highlights in your professional career. For example, click here and read the “sell yourself” example in my “Calling Cold Turkey” section. In addition, state one of your personal traits (example: people person), and tell how it relates to your work

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2) Why should I hire you?
This is another opportunity to sell yourself during an interview. However, your answer must be short and to the point. Be sure to recap the interviewer’s description of the job point by point with relationship to your skills. In addition, include, “I have the qualifications you need”.

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3) Why do you want to work here?
One must have done their homework in order to answer this question properly. In your answer, be sure to refer to some positive aspects about the company. In addition, add statements such as, “I believe your company can provide me with a stable and comfortable work environment”.

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4) What is the most difficult situation you have faced?
Have a story ready for this question. State a situation that was difficult, and include how you handled the situation professionally.

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5) What did you dislike about your last job?
Be careful with this question. The interviewer may be trying to see if you were a troublemaker or not. You can say that you disliked one or two things but don’t go too far. Also, be careful with what you choose to say that you disliked. Say something like, “The one thing that I can say I disliked was there wasn’t too much room for advancement”. In addition, be sure to name a couple of the things that you liked about your last company.

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6) Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
To answer this question, you would have to know about the company. Your answer can be, “According to what you have told me, and from what I found out in my research, Purchasing is where I feel my skills are best suited, and is the department with the most opportunities for advancement”.

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7) Do you prefer to work with others or alone?
Before you answer the question, think whether the job requires you to work with a group, or as an individual. In either event, be sure you state that you can work both ways. Which way you lean, depends on the position you are trying to acquire. For example, if you are applying for a job that requires you to work alone, state “I’m a self starter so working alone is definitely not a problem. However, working with a group can be beneficial because so much more gets done”.

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  8) Do you work well under pressure?
Do not simply answer, “yes”. Take advantage of this simple question to sell yourself. However, don’t over-do-it. Try to relate your prior work experience in your answer. “I was constantly under pressure while employed at “XYZ”. For example…”

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9) What is your biggest accomplishment?
Keep your answer short, and job related. Do not over exaggerate. For example, “I believe one of my biggest accomplishments was my involvement with…”

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10) Are you the best person for this job? Why?
Give concrete examples of why your skills and accomplishments make you the best candidate for the job. Take a few moments to compare the job description with your abilities, as well as mentioning what you have accomplished in your other positions. Be positive and reiterate your interest in the company and the position.

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11) Describe your best boss and your worst boss.
The interviewer is trying to discover if you assess blame or carry a grudge. The interviewer also wants to determine if you are a match for the leadership style of the company. Sample answers are:

* I’ve learned from each boss I’ve had. From the good ones, what to do, from the challenging ones – what not to do.

* Early in my career, I had a mentor who helped me a great deal, we still stay in touch. I’ve honestly learned something from each boss I’ve had.

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12) Describe your work style.
When you are asked about how you work during an interview, it’s important to impress the interviewer with your compentency and accuracy, rather than just your speed. Sample answers are:

* I am very focused on my work, and consequently, am able to work quickly.

* I keep a steady pace, and check my work as I go along to prevent mistakes from snowballing.

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13) Do you take work home with you?
Do you take work home with you is a tricky question, be ready. The longer the answer, the bigger the hole you’ve dug. Don’t waffle and don’t give an overly detailed answer with lots of ifs, ands, or buts. Sample answer:

* When I need to, no problem. I realize the importance of meeting deadlines and getting work done on time.

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14) How do you measure success?
Sample answer:

* I evaluate success in different ways. At work, it is meeting the goals set by my supervisors and my fellow workers. It is my understanding, from talking to other employees, that the GGR company is recognized for not only rewarding success, but giving employees opportunity to grow as well. After work, I enjoy playing softball, so success on the field is catching the winning pop-up.

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15) How long do you expect to work for this company?
Be sure to frame your response so that it’s positive. Sample answers:

* I believe that this company has the capacity to offer me a rich and satisfying career, and I would like to remain employed here for as long as I am having a positive impact.

* I would like to pursue my career here for as long as I have the opportunity to.

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One of the biggest mistakes one can make on a job interview is answering “no”, when asked, “Do you have any questions”? Employers use this question as a way of seeing how interested you are in their company. In other words, to see if you are “just looking for a job”. On another note, you can find out important details about the company by asking certain questions. Below is a list of questions you can ask an interviewer:

1) What makes your company different from your competitors?
2) How would you describe your organization’s management style?
3) How long have you been employed by “ABC” company?
4) How has your career developed at “XYZ” company?
5) Can you describe for me what a work week is really like as a “XYZ (position)” at “ABC” company?
6) Does your company encourage its employees to pursue additional education?
7) How many people attend your training program(s)?
8) How many people complete your training program(s)?
9) How does “ABC” position contribute to the overall goals or mission of the company?
10) Can you tell me what typical day as a “XYZ (position)” is like at “ABC” company?
11) What is the status of the last person who held this position?
12) How often are performance reviews given?
13) What industry trends are likely to affect your organization’s strengths or weaknesses?
14) What are the opportunities for advancement?

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Illegal job interview questions are those that single you out based on your gender, race, age, race, disability, religion, marital status, or a variety of other reasons that are contrary to equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination laws.

Employers in the U.S. shouldn’t ask such questions. However, some do anyway either because they are ignorant to the law or to intentionally discriminate. In either event, you should answer illegal interview questions delicately. If asked an illegal question, let your answer reflect on your skills/experience in a calm, non-accusatory tone.

For example, if asked, “Are you married?” Your response can be in the ballpark of:

“There is nothing in my personal life that will hold me back from doing great work here and advancing within the company.”

Important Note:
It’s important to note that some questions may reference your age, status, etc. but it doesn’t necessarily make the question illegal.

Illegal Question: “How old are you?”
Possible Legal Question: Can you, after employment, provide proof of age? or Are you over the age of 18?

Illegal Question: “Are you pregnant?” or “How many children do you have?”
Possible Legal Question: Do you have responsibilities or commitments that will prevent you from meeting specified work schedules?

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