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The 150 Typical Job Interview Questions
These job interview questions are part of our Job Interview Questions Database, where you can also find typical job-seeker responses to all of these questions -- as well as take a shot at responding to these interview questions yourself.
These 150 questions include both traditional and behavioral interview questions. For more information about types of interview questions, go to our Interviewing Resources section of Quintessential Careers.
- How would you describe yourself?
- What specific goals, including those related to your occupation, have you established for your life?
- How has your college experience prepared you for a business career?
- Please describe the ideal job for you following graduation.
- What influenced you to choose this career?
- At what point did you choose this career?
- What specific goals have you established for your career?
- What will it take to attain your goals, and what steps have you taken toward attaining them?
- What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
- How do you determine or evaluate success? Give me an example of one of your successful accomplishments.
- Do you have the qualifications and personal characteristics necessary for success in your chosen career?
- What has been your most rewarding accomplishment?
- If you could do so, how would you plan your college career differently?
- Are you more energized by working with data or by collaborating with other individuals?
- How would you describe yourself in terms of your ability to work as a member of a team?
- What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
- Given the investment our company will make in hiring and training you, can you give us a reason to hire you?
- Would you describe yourself as goal-driven?
- Describe what you've accomplished toward reaching a recent goal for yourself.
- What short-term goals and objectives have you established for yourself?
- Can you describe your long-range goals and objectives?
- What do you expect to be doing in five years?
- What do you see yourself doing in ten years?
- How would you evaluate your ability to deal with conflict?
- Have you ever had difficulty with a supervisor or instructor? How did you resolve the conflict?
- Tell me about a major problem you recently handled. Were you successful in resolving it?
- Would you say that you can easily deal with high-pressure situations?
- What quality or attribute do you feel will most contribute to your career success?
- What personal weakness has caused you the greatest difficulty in school or on the job?
- What were your reasons for selecting your college or university?
- If you could change or improve anything about your college, what would it be?
- How will the academic program and coursework you've taken benefit your career?
- Which college classes or subjects did you like best? Why?
- Are you the type of student for whom conducting independent research has been a positive experience?
- Describe the type of professor that has created the most beneficial learning experience for you.
- Do you think that your grades are an indication of your academic achievement?
- What plans do you have for continued study? An advanced degree?
- Before you can make a productive contribution to the company, what degree of training do you feel you will require?
- Describe the characteristics of a successful manager.
- Why did you decide to seek a position in this field?
- Tell me what you know about our company.
- Why did you decide to seek a position in this company?
- Do you have a geographic preference?
- Why do you think you might like to live in the community in which our company is located?
- Would it be a problem for you to relocate?
- To what extent would you be willing to travel for the job?
- Which is more important to you, the job itself or your salary?
- What level of compensation would it take to make you happy?
- Tell me about the salary range you're seeking.
- What are the most important rewards you expect to gain from your career?
- How would you define "success" for someone in your chosen career?
- What qualifications do you have that will make you successful in this company?
- What skills have you acquired from your work experience?
- What have you learned from your experiences outside the classroom or workplace?
- What criteria are you using to choose companies to interview with?
- If you were hiring for this position, what qualities would you look for?
- How would you describe your leadership skills?
- Which is more important: creativity or efficiency? Why?
- How has college changed you as a person?
- What have you accomplished that shows your initiative and willingness to work?
- What was the toughest challenge you've ever faced?
- What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
- Some people work best as part of a group -- others prefer the role of individual contributor. How would you describe yourself?
- When given an important assignment, how do you approach it?
- If there were one area you've always wanted to improve upon, what would that be?
- When you have been made aware of, or have discovered for yourself, a problem in your school or work performance, what was your course of action?
- What kinds of things have you done at school or on the job that were beyond expectations?
- What, in your opinion, are the key ingredients in guiding and maintaining successful business relationships?
- What sorts of things have you done to become better qualified for your career?
- Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way?
- Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to extricate yourself from a difficult situation.
- Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
- By providing examples, convince me that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations and environments.
- Describe a time when you were faced with problems or stresses that tested your coping skills.
- Give an example of a time in which you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision.
- Describe a time when you had to use your written communication skills to get an important point across.
- Give me a specific occasion in which you conformed to a policy with which you did not agree.
- Give me an example of an important goal which you had set in the past and tell me about your success in reaching it.
- Describe the most significant or creative presentation that you have had to complete.
- Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.
- Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).
- Sometimes it's easy to get in "over your head." Describe a situation where you had to request help or assistance on a project or assignment.
- Give an example of how you applied knowledge from previous coursework to a project in another class.
- Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas. What did you do?
- Describe a situation in which you found that your results were not up to your professor's or supervisor's expectations. What happened? What action did you take?
- Tell of a time when you worked with a colleague who was not completing his or her share of the work. Who, if anyone, did you tell or talk to about it? Did the manager take any steps to correct your colleague? Did you agree or disagree with the manager's actions?
- Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or guide others to a compromise.
- What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision.
- We can sometimes identify a small problem and fix it before it becomes a major problem. Give an example(s) of how you have done this.
- In a supervisory or group leader role, have you ever had to discipline or counsel an employee or group member? What was the nature of the discipline? What steps did you take? How did that make you feel? How did you prepare yourself?
- Recall a time from your work experience when your manager or supervisor was unavailable and a problem arose. What was the nature of the problem? How did you handle that situation? How did that make you feel?
- Recall a time when you were assigned what you considered to be a complex project. Specifically, what steps did you take to prepare for and finish the project? Were you happy with the outcome? What one step would you have done differently if given the chance?
- What was the most complex assignment you have had? What was your role?
- How was your transition from high school to college? Did you face any particular problems?
- Tell of some situations in which you have had to adjust quickly to changes over which you had no control. What was the impact of the change on you?
- Compare and contrast the times when you did work which was above the standard with times your work was below the standard.
- Describe some times when you were not very satisfied or pleased with your performance. What did you do about it?
- What are your standards of success in school? What have you done to meet these standards?
- How have you differed from your professors in evaluating your performance? How did you handle the situation?
- Give examples of your experiences at school or in a job that were satisfying. Give examples of your experiences that were dissatisfying.
- What kind of supervisor do you work best for? Provide examples.
- Describe some projects or ideas (not necessarily your own) that were implemented, or carried out successfully primarily because of your efforts.
- Describe a situation that required a number of things to be done at the same time. How did you handle it? What was the result?
- Have you found any ways to make school or a job easier or more rewarding or to make yourself more effective?
- How do you determine priorities in scheduling your time? Give examples.
- Tell of a time when your active listening skills really paid off for you -- maybe a time when other people missed the key idea being expressed.
- What has been your experience in giving presentations? What has been your most successful experience in speech making?
- Tell of the most difficult customer service experience that you have ever had to handle -- perhaps an angry or irate customer. Be specific and tell what you did and what was the outcome.
- Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. Why was this person difficult? How did you handle that person?
- Describe a situation where you found yourself dealing with someone who didn't like you. How did you handle it?
- Give me a specific example of something you did that helped build enthusiasm in others.
- Tell me about a difficult situation when it was desirable for you to keep a positive attitude. What did you do?
- Give me an example of a time you had to make an important decision. How did you make the decision? How does it affect you today?
- Give me an example of a time you had to persuade other people to take action. Were you successful?
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult person. How did you handle the situation?
- Tell me about a time you had to handle multiple responsibilities. How did you organize the work you needed to do?
- Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision, but didn't have all the information you needed.
- What suggestions do you have for our organization?
- What is the most significant contribution you made to the company during a past job or internship?
- What is the biggest mistake you've made?
- Describe a situation in which you had to use reference materials to write a research paper. What was the topic? What journals did you read?
- Give me a specific example of a time when a co-worker or classmate criticized your work in front of others. How did you respond? How has that event shaped the way you communicate with others?
- Give me a specific example of a time when you sold your supervisor or professor on an idea or concept. How did you proceed? What was the result?
- Describe the system you use for keeping track of multiple projects. How do you track your progress so that you can meet deadlines? How do you stay focused?
- Tell me about a time when you came up with an innovative solution to a challenge your company/class/organization was facing. What was the challenge? What role did others play?
- Describe a specific problem you solved for your employer or professor. How did you approach the problem? What role did others play? What was the outcome?
- Describe a time when you got co-workers or classmates who dislike each other to work together. How did you accomplish this? What was the outcome?
- Tell me about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. What things did you fail to do? What were the repercussions? What did you learn?
- Describe a time when you put your needs aside to help a co-worker or classmate understand a task. How did you assist him or her? What was the result?
- Give two examples of things you've done in previous jobs or school that demonstrate your willingness to work hard.
- Describe the last time that you undertook a project that demanded a lot of initiative.
- What is the most competitive work or school situation you have experienced? How did you handle it? What was the result?
- Describe a project or situation that best demonstrates your analytical abilities.
- Give an example of when you took a risk to achieve a goal. What was the outcome?
- Tell about a time when you built rapport quickly with someone under difficult conditions.
- Some people consider themselves to be "big picture people" and others are detail oriented. Which are you? Give an example that illustrates your preference.
- Describe a situation where you felt you had not communicated well. How did you correct the situation?
- Describe a time when you took personal accountability for a conflict and initiated contact with the individual(s) involved to explain your actions.
- Give me an example of when you were able to meet the personal and professional (or academic) demands in your life yet still maintained a healthy balance.
- Everyone has made some poor decisions or has done something that just did not turn out right. Give an example of when this has happened to you.
- What do you do when you are faced with an obstacle to an important project? Give an example.
- Tell about the most difficult or frustrating individual that you've ever had to work with, and how you managed to work with that person.
- Tell about a time when your trustworthiness was challenged. How did you react/respond?
- Describe a situation when you were able to have a positive influence on the actions of others.
- Tell about a recent job or campus experience that you would describe as a real learning experience? What did you learn from the job or experience?
- Describe a team experience you found disappointing. What could you have done to prevent it?
- Recall a situation in which communications were poor. How did you handle it?
- Describe a time when you had to make a difficult choice between your personal and professional (or academic) life.
- On occasion we are confronted by dishonesty in the workplace or in school. Tell about such an occurrence and how you handled it.
- What motivates you to go the extra mile on a project or job?
QUINTESSENTIAL JOB INTERVIEWING 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.
Go back to the Quintessential Careers Job Interview Questions Database.