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Common Interview Questions

Prepare ahead of your interview by rehearing answers to common interview questions


One of the most effective ways to prepare for an interview is to anticipate the questions employers might ask and to have questions of your own ready. Below are a set of professional and personal characteristics that employers often try to assess; questions they may ask you during the interview; and some suggested questions you can ask during the interview to show your interest in the position.

Characteristics that interest employers

Consider being able to describe yourself with regard to the following traits. You should have examples to illustrate your answers. "Tell us about your — ."

  • Adaptability
  • Ambition and drive
  • Analytical ability
  • Assertiveness
  • Business philosophy and work ethic
  • Characteristics and traits
  • Communication skills
  • Creativity
  • Education
  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Job performance
  • Judgment
  • Learning ability
  • Organizational skills
  • Persistence
  • Persuasiveness
  • Planning skills
  • Preferred style and type of work
  • Risk taking
  • Self assessment
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses

Questions for you

Here are some specific, but common questions you might be asked:

  • Can you tell us a little about yourself?
  • What is the most difficult adjustment you have ever had to make?
  • How would you describe your work style?
  • If you had a dispute with a co-worker, how would you handle it?
  • What are your career goals for the next three to five years?
  • What factors most influence your willingness to take a risk?
  • What examples can you give me that reflect your ability to apply good judgment in a challenging situation?
  • What has been your experience in working as a part of a team?
  • In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of working as a part of a team? Why?
  • Give me an example of something you had to learn that was difficult.
  • On a scale from 1-5 (one being the lowest) how do you rate your communication skills?
  • If you found out that one of your co-workers was doing something dishonest, what would you do?
  • What is your personal definition of success?
  • What are your plans for self-improvement and personal development?
  • How would you go about organizing yourself to accomplish goals?
  • What is your process for establishing priorities?
  • What is one thing about yourself that you would most like to change?
  • Which of your personal characteristics do you feel enhances your effectiveness in communicating with others?
  • Why do you think you are a good fit for this position?
  • If you had an opportunity to develop a basic set of values and beliefs which would serve as a company's foundation for success, what would those be?
  • If I had three people in here that you consider to know you best, how would they describe you?
  • What are one or two areas in which you think you could improve your performance?
  • Of what accomplishments in your life are you most proud?

Questions you might ask

During the interview, the interviewer might ask if you have any questions, or you might want to ask some questions on your own. Here are some ideas:

  • What is your timeframe for filling this position?
  • What is the career growth potential for this position?
  • What does a regular day look like for this department/business?
  • How many people are on staff in this department/business?
  • Does this department work closely with any other internal departments?
  • What is the customer service philosophy of your company?
  • What is your favorite thing about working here?


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