Interviewing Q & A
Questions you’ll be asked
Interviews are always stressful – even for job seekers who have gone on countless interviews. The best way to reduce the stress is to be prepared. Take the time to review the “standard” interview questions you will most likely be asked. Also take time to research the company so you’ll be ready with knowledgeable answers.
Interview Questions ~
Name of company, position title and description, date of employment
What were your expectations for the job and to what extent where they met?
What were your starting and final levels of compensation?
What were your responsibilities?
What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them?
Which was most/least rewarding?
What was the biggest accomplishment/failure in this position?
What was it like working for your supervisor? What were his strengths and shortcomings?
Why are you leaving?
Describe a typical work week
How many hours do you normally work?
How would you describe the pace at which you work?
How do you handle stress and pressure?
What motivates you?
What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?
If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say?
Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
Give some examples of team work.
What type of work environment do you prefer?
Describe a difficult work situation/project and how you overcame it.
How do you evaluate success?
The New Job and Company
What interests you about this job?
What applicable attributes/experience do you have?
Why are you the best person for the job?
What do you know about this company?
Why do you want to work for this organization?
What challenges are you looking for in a position?
What can you contribute to this company?
Are you willing to travel?
Is there anything I haven’t told you about the job or company that you would like to know?
What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you?
What are your goals for the next five years/ten years?
How do you plan to achieve those goals?
What are your salary requirements – both short-term and long-term?
In addition to being ready to answer these standard questions, prepare for behavior based interviewing. This is based on the premise that a candidates past performance is the best predictor of future performance. You will you need to be prepared to provide detailed responses including specific examples of your work experiences. The best way to prepare is to think of examples where you have successfully used the skills you’ve acquired.
Take the time to compile a list of responses to both types of questions and to itemize your skills, values and interests as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Emphasize what you can do to benefit the company rather than just what you are interested in.
Expect to have your references checked prior to getting an offer. Plan ahead and compile a list of references and some letters of recommendations now, so you’re prepared when the employer requests them.
The last question you may be asked is “What can I answer for you?” Have questions of your own ready to ask. You aren’t simply trying to get this job – you are also interviewing the employer to assess whether this company and the position are a good fit for you.
It’s your turn! As the interview comes to a close, one of the final questions you may be asked is “What can I answer for you?” Have questions of your own ready to ask. You aren’t simply trying to get this job – you are also interviewing the employer to assess whether this company and the position are a good fit for you.
Interview Questions to Ask ~
How would you describe the responsibilities of the position?
How would you describe a typical week/day in this position?
Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?
What is the company’s management style?
Who does this position report to? If I am offered the position, can I meet him/her?
How many people work in this office/department?
How much travel is expected?
Is relocation a possibility?
What is the typical work week? Is overtime expected?
What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
How does one advance in the company?
Are there any examples?
What do you like about working here?
What don’t you like about working here and what would you change?
Would you like a list of references?
If I am extended a job offer, how soon would you like me to start?
What can I tell you about my qualifications?
When can I expect to hear from you?
Are there any other questions I can answer for you?
Interview Questions NOT to Ask ~
What does this company do? (Do your research ahead of time!)
If I get the job when can I take time off for vacation? (Wait until you get the offer to mention prior commitments)
Can I change my schedule if I get the job? (If you need to figure out the logistics of getting to work don’t mention it now…)
Did I get the job? (Don’t be impatient. They’ll let you know.)
If you are interviewing at a start-up company ask very specific questions about funding, projected revenue, growth, management, financing, and history.