Traditional Employment/Job Interview Questions

Here is a list of sample job interview questions job-seekers can expect, especially at first and screening interviews — and in more traditional job interviews.

It’s best to prepare answers to these questions, but don’t memorize your answers so that you come off sounding like a robot; in other words, be prepared for these questions and have an outline or script ready, but don’t worry about remembering your answers word-for-word.

Looking for some sample excellent answers to traditional interview questions? Then go to our Job Interview Questions Database, where we have traditional, behavioral, and mixed interview questions — and sample job-seeker responses — for both experienced job-seekers and college students and recent grads.

Traditional Job Interview Questions

  • How would you describe yourself?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What are your long range and short range goals and objectives?
  • What specific goals other than those related to your occupation, have you established for yourself for the next ten years?
  • What do you see yourself doing five years from now? Ten years from now?
  • What do you really want to do in life?
  • What are your long range career objectives?
  • How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
  • What are the most important rewards you expect in your career?
  • What do you expect to be earning in five years?
  • Why did you choose this career?
  • Can you explain this gap in your employment history?
  • How well do you work with people? Do you prefer working alone or in teams?
  • How would you evaluate your ability to deal with conflict?
  • Have you ever had difficulty with a supervisor? How did you resolve the conflict?
  • What’s more important to you — the work itself or how much you’re paid for doing it.
  • What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • How would a good friend describe you?
  • Describe the best job you’ve ever had.
  • Describe the best supervisor you’ve ever had.
  • What would your last boss say about your work performance?
  • What motivates you to go the extra mile on a project or job?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • What makes you qualified for this position?
  • What qualifications do you have that make you successful in this career?
  • How do you determine or evaluate success?
  • What do you think it takes to be successful in a company like ours?
  • In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our company?
  • Do you have any hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?
  • Have you ever been fired or forced to resign?
  • What qualities should a successful manager possess?
  • Do you consider yourself a leader?
  • What are the attributes of a good leader?
  • Describe the workload in your current (or most recent) job.
  • Which is more important: creativity or efficiency? Why?
  • What’s the most recent book you’ve read?
  • Describe the relationship that should exist between the supervisor and those reporting to him or her?
  • What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
  • Describe the most rewarding experience of your career thus far.
  • If you were hiring a job-seeker for this position, what qualities would you look for?
  • Do you have plans for continued study? An advanced degree?
  • In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
  • How do you work under pressure?
  • Are you good at delegating tasks?
  • What’s one of the hardest decisions you’ve ever had to make?
  • How well do you adapt to new situations?
  • Why did you decide to seek a position in this company?
  • What can you tell us about our company?
  • What interests you about our products?
  • What do you know about our competitors?
  • What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
  • Are you seeking employment in a company of a certain size? Why?
  • What are your expectations regarding promotions and salary increases?
  • What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work?
  • Do you have a geographic preference? Why?
  • Are you willing to relocate?
  • Are you willing to travel for the job?
  • Why do you think you might like to live in the community in which our company is located?
  • What major problem have you encountered and how did you deal with it?
  • What have you learned from your mistakes?
  • What have you accomplished that shows your initiative and willingness to work?

Quintessential Guide to Job Interview Prep book


The Quintessential Guide to Job Interview Preparation, by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., and Randall Hansen, Ph.D. (Quintessential Careers Press). A free book that covers all the essential information job-seekers need to know about job interviewing. This comprehensive guide to succeeding in job interviews shows you exactly what to expect — and what’s expected of you every step of the way. You’ll learn the secrets of interview preparation that will enable you to wow your interviewer… and much more. A must read for all job-seekers.

Have you taken advantage of all of our job interviewing resources? Find articles, tutorials, and more — all written to help job-seekers learn how to succeed in all types of job interviews.