Sample Interview Questions

The following are some typical questions that often get asked in interviews. Read through each question and take some time to think about what your most appropriate response would be. Determine the overall impression you want to convey and what the employer is trying to find out by asking you this question.

Standard Interview Questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you applying for this job?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • How much do you know about this organisation/company?
  • What contributions do you see yourself making to this job/company?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Why have you held so many jobs?
  • Describe your personality?
  • How would a friend (colleague, professor, supervisor) describe you?
  • What is your greatest strength/weakness?
  • What have you achieved that has given you the most satisfaction?
  • Under what circumstances do you work best?
  • Do you prefer to work alone or with others?
  • What have you done in the past that demonstrates your ability to work in a team?
  • Describe your style as a team player.
  • What kind of people do you prefer to work with?
  • Describe your ideal job.
  • What have you learned from each of your past jobs?
  • Which of your jobs was the least interesting/most interesting and why?
  • Describe the qualities that you like most in a supervisor.
  • How do you normally handle criticism?
  • How do you normally handle stress?
  • When you are supervising others, how do you motivate them?
  • What motivates you?
  • What would you look for in an employee?
  • What are you long range career goals/objectives?
  • Based on your resume and what you’ve told me, I think you’re overqualified/underqualified for this position – what do you think?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • How long do you plan to stay?

Behaviour Based Interview Questions

The assumption behind a behavioural interview question is that the past behaviour predicts future behaviour. When answering a behaviour based interview question remember to

  • describe the situation
  • describe how you react to the situation and
  • describe the end result of your action

Tell me (us) about a time when you….

  • delegated a project or job effectively.
  • had to adapt to a new and difficult situation.
  • had to make an unpopular decision.
  • handled a difficult situation with a co-worker.
  • won (or lost) an important contract.
  • made a bad decision.
  • overcame what seemed to be an insurmountable obstacle.
  • persuaded others to follow your suggestions.
  • showed creativity in solving a problem.
  • were disappointed with the way you handled a situation.
  • worked effectively under pressure.
  • anticipated potential problems and developed preventative measures.
  • had to deal with an irate customer.
  • prioritised the elements of a complicated project.

Questions to Ask the Interviewer

  • What are the major responsibilities for this position?
  • Are there any changes expected in the responsibilities of this job?
  • What personal qualities would you expect the successful candidate to possess?
  • What are the greatest challenges facing the person in this position?
  • What are the prospects for future growth and expansion of the company/organisation?
  • What new products/services is your organisation thinking of implementing?
  • What organisational changes do you anticipate?
  • Why is this position open?
  • Who would I be interacting with the most in this position?
  • How does this position fit in with the structure of this organisation?
  • Are there opportunities for advancement within the organisation?
  • Do you have an employee training programme?
  • When can I expect to know your decision?