The 40 Most Common Job Interview Questions

By: Simone Piette

A list of the Forty Most Common Interview Questions is below, but keep in mind that many other interview questions will be derived from these forty. When thinking about how you should answer each question, always consider how you can segue into one of your Key Selling Points. Consider, too, arriving at each interview with a mental list of creative ideas about what you would do in the position if you were hired, which one human resources manager says, "is a great way to impress just about any employer."

Remember that tact and discretion are of utmost importance in any interview. A common, but tricky question some interviewers ask is, "What other companies are you considering?" Here, you'll want to be honest, without revealing too much information or indicating to the interviewer that any other job is more appealing than this one. Other questions that will require lots of diplomacy-and as little negativity as possible-include, "Why did you leave your last job?" and "What would you do differently if you were in charge of this company?"

Finally, keep in mind that your interviewer's questions may not automatically educe the kind of information she needs to know. In the end, it is up to you-the interviewee-to provide enough details about yourself and your work experience that will satisfy that ultimate question: "Why should we hire you?"

1. What are your career goals?
2. How have your career goals changed over time?
3. If offered this position, how long would you plan on staying with our company?
4. What's your understanding of the job?
5. What could you bring to this position and to this company?
6. Why do you think you are more qualified than other candidates for this position?
7. Why do you want to work at this company?
8. What salary are you expecting?
9. What would you do differently if you were in charge of this company?
10. Name one of your weaknesses.
11. Name one your strengths.
12. Which areas of your work are most often praised?
13. Which areas of your work are most often criticized?
14. How do you think your last boss would describe you?
15. How do you think a colleague would describe you?
16. How do you think a subordinate would describe you?
17. Walk me through the important points on your resume.
18. Explain to me how your work experience is relevant to this position.
19. Why did you leave your last job?
20. What other companies are you considering?
21. Tell me about your work style.
22. Tell me what your ideal job would be like.
23. What criteria do you use for evaluating success?
24. Do you consider yourself a leader? What qualities make a good leader?
25. Tell me about a problem you've encountered on the job and how you dealt with it.
26. Tell me about a situation in which you failed to resolve a conflict.
27. Tell me about an occasion when you acted on someone's suggestion.
28. Are you willing to travel for this job?
29. Are you willing to relocate for this job?
30. Describe a project that you're especially proud of. What was your role in this project?
31. Why did you choose your college major?
32. How do you spend your spare time?
33. How do you stay current or up-to-date in this industry?
34. Tell me about a time when you used your creativity to overcome a problem.
35. Which of your skills-technical or otherwise-has most helped you on the job?
36. What new skills have you learned or developed recently?
37. Have you made an oral or written presentation recently? Please describe it.
38. What else should I know about you?
39. What questions do you have for me?
40. Why should we hire you?

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Simone Piette is a freelance writer of Career Training Articles.

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