Interview Preparation Questions

Interview Prep QuestionsThe best way to prepare for an interview is by preparing and practicing your responses to a variety of interview questions.  A recommended process is to first write a possible response to the question.  Read the response out loud to test for how well it sounds and your general comfort with the content you are speaking.  You may discover that once you hear the response, you may want to modify it slightly.  It is more important to remember the concepts you want to convey rather than to memorize each response word for word.

In order to practice interviewing, find someone who will act as the interviewer to ask you some of these questions.  Your interviewing partner should understand that their responsibility is to interview and assess your interviewing behavior. Once completed, you will debrief providing you feedback on both responses that went well and where improvement is needed.

The questions below are typical questions used in interview.  Although the specific wording may vary, the general intent of the question remains fairly constant.  You may also want to supplement this list with additional questions you have been asked.

Questions for the Interviewer

Standard Questions = A standard question is a neutral type of question, generally following the format of your resume.  They can also be “ice-breakers” to help create a flow of dialogue.

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • I see you did x, tell me more about that.
  • What parts of your job did you like best?  Why?
  • What parts of your job did you like least? Why?
  • Why are you interested in working for this company?
  • What is your ideal career position?
  • Why should we hire you?

Behavioral Questions = A behavioral question sets up a situation or scenario that is possible for the position you are interviewing for.  This type of question is asked in order to see how you have or would successfully resolve the problem being outlined.  Responses to this type of question illustrate your problem solving skills, values and experience.

  • Tell me about a time in your past when you had to work with a difficult boss or peers, how did you handle it?
  • Give me examples of your past experiences that qualify you for this job.
  • Tell me about how you work in a team environment.
  • Give me some examples of difficult problems you have had to solve in the past.
  • Describe typical problems that you are likely to face during the day and ways in which you reach solutions.
  • What was the best decision you ever made?  What were the alternatives?  How did you go about making the decision?
  • Describe a work related problem you had to face recently.  How did you deal with it?

Tough Questions = Unfortunately, we will occasionally run into interviewers that will ask questions that don’t pertain to the position or your qualifications. Those questions can also be illegal but the interviewer may not be trained to know the difference. The gamut of this type of question is endless.  Nevertheless, you have to think through how you would address some of these questions before you are faced with them.

  • How soon do you plan to retire?
  • What is your salary requirement?
  • This job requires lots of hours, are you up for working long days?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • If I spoke with your last boss, what would he say about you?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Where would you like to be doing 3 to 5 years from now?
  • What did you dislike about your last job?
  • What did you dislike the most about your last boss?
  • Why do you want to work here?

Questions for the Candidate to Ask the Interviewer

An interview is a two way communication.  The employer expects you to have questions about the position, the organization, the company and the business.  By asking questions, it demonstrates interest and engagement in the interviewing process.

  • What are the primary results you would like from a person in this position?
  • Beyond the job description, what are the expectations of this position?
  • Is this a new position?  If not, how long has this position been part of the organization?
  • What characteristics do you most like to find in people in this position?
  • Could you tell me about the people I would be working with?
  • Where does this position fit in the organizational structure?
  • What authority would I have to carry out the responsibilities of this position?
  • How would my performance in this position be reviewed?  How would I get feedback on my performance?
  • How would you describe the culture of the organization?

This information was provided to you by MBA Highway.  We hope you have found it useful to your job search and career development.

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