25 Interview Questions to Be Prepared For

Below are sample interview questions that you might want  to prepare for …just in case.  Some of the questions are straight-forward, challenging you to accurately tell the interviewer who you are and what you do.   Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised the number of times I’ve met with candidates who can’t put two sentences together, no matter tell me what it is they do every day of their lives.  

Many questions are designed to have you think about your jobs in terms of your accomplishments.  Make sure to use examples as often as you can to support what you have to say.  

There are a few questions that could trip you up and make the ugly come out. The ugly I am referring to is “negativity.” There is no bigger turn-off in an interview than sitting with someone who bashes their job or their boss.  If someone asks you to tell them what you dislike about your job, be prepared to answer in a positive manner.  Here’s an example of how two people could answer the same question:  “What is one thing you dislike about your job?”  Job applicant #1 could say:  “There has been a ton of turn-over and restructuring, which has caused my job to continuously shift focus.  I find that I’m unable to really make an impact while the company keeps transitioning and although I really want to move projects forward, new hires and processes make it difficult to do so effectively.”  Now take a look at applicant #2 and his response:  “The company is really screwed up and they can’t keep anyone on staff for more than 3 months.  I just can’t stand another week of working there!”  The same point is made, because we can all read between the lines, but applicant #1 sure is more likable in his approach.

I also included some esoteric questions that hiring managers sometimes use to get a handle on your personality/intelligence.  Remember when Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin what newspapers she read?   Do I need to say more in terms of the importance of these kinds of questions?           …Carpe diem

1)    Why are you currently interviewing with me today and looking for a job?

2)    Describe a typical work day at your current (or most recent) job.

3)    Break down your job responsibilities and tell me the percentage of time you spend on each responsibility.

4)    What do you like most about your job?

5)    Tell me what you dislike about your job.

6)    How would you say you have grown in your most recent position?

7)    How did you contribute to the company’s bottom line and can you quantify this with numbers?

8 )   How did you contribute positively to your department?

9)    Describe an area in which you think you need to grow.

10)  What are your greatest strengths?

11)  What is your biggest weakness?

12)  How would you describe your management style (if you are a manager)?

13)  What kind of manager do you work best with?

14)  If you’ve hired and managed staff, have you ever had anyone leave your dept.?  If so, why did they leave?

15) Have you fired staff?  If so, why and how did you handle terminations?

16) Please give me some examples of new ideas/programs you’ve come up with and developed?  What were the results?

17) What have you learned from past mistakes?  Describe some of them.

18) What magazines/Web sites do you personally read?

19) What qualities do you most admire in people?

20) What are your most admirable qualities?

21) What type of work environment are you looking for?

22) How have you handled working with people that you don’t get along with?

23) What are you looking for as a next step?

24) Describe a crisis situation you were charged with handling and how you resolved the issue.

25) What makes you stand out over the competition in a way that I should hire you?


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