Got a big interview coming up?
Has it been a while since you have had to use your interview skills? Here are 24 questions and answers for interview practice.
First off, be sure to practice for your interview several times. Practice:
- Wearing your interview clothes
- Seated at a table with a notepad and pen, along with a couple of copies of your resume
- Sit straight, hands on table or la
- Shoulders back, chin up, slight smi
I know this is not the actual interview, but it will help your body know what to do in the real thing!
Here are 24 common interview questions along with tips for answering them
Tell me about yourself.
Tell a story about a job or experience you had, why you chose what you chose.
What is your greatest weakness.
Pick something honest and how you have learned to overcome it.
What is your greatest strength.
Tell a story as an example, especially if you can find one that pertains to the organization you are interested in.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Tell about your dreams and things you are interested in and people you like to work with.
Why should we hire you?
Think of this as a way to mention something that was not addressed before. Have an extra story.
How did you hear about this job?
Answer in a way that shows you want to work for this organization.
What is your biggest professional achievement?
Choose a story that is relevant to the job you are interviewing for.
Tell about a time where there was conflict with a colleague. How did you handle it?
Tell a story that shows problem solving skills. (Do not blame-shift.)
Why do you want to leave your current job?
Try not to talk ugly about your current job, instead, focus on what you would like to see happen next.
What kind of work environment do you prefer?
Find out what you can about the organization’s values and culture. Bring that into your answer.
How do you deal with pressure?
Share a story where you had a stressful situation at work and how you handled it.
How do you stay organized when you are working on several projects at once?
If you have your own system, describe it. It might be a good time now to learn some organizing tools and strategies if you don’t already have them down.
How would you describe your work style?
Concisely describe your work-style strengths and the way you manage priorities.
How do you handle stress?
Give an example of a stressful work situation where you managed the stress well, include some specific tips on how you do stress management.
What kind of personality do you work best with?
Give and example from where you have worked before about the variety of personalities you have enjoyed working with. You do not need to describe specific personalities. Rather, you are letting the interviewer know you have flexibility to handle different kinds of people.
What attracted you to this company?
Make sure you have done your research, discuss something from the organization’s mission and values that you like.
What do you know about this industry?
Again, do your research. Be able to discuss the basic goals, strategies and challenges that the industry holds.
What do you know about our company?
Be sure that you have read the “about us” and “history” from the company’s website. Also, do an internet search to see if they have been in the news lately.
What salary are you seeking?
Check job title and description and find salary ranges on several of these websites:
- LinkedIn Salary
If selected for this position, what would be your strategy for the first 90 days?
Put in your own words these points. You will:
- Start by reviewing the position and the organization’s goals and mission
- Work diligently on any training you need
- Learn the organization’s culture
- Get to know your team and other colleagues
- Develop strategies for accomplishing the goals for your position
What is your salary history?
Some states or cities do not allow questions about salary history. However, many states allow this question. You may answer this question in several ways:
- Give a history of your salary at your current job: “I started my last position in the $50,000s and am now earning $65,000, plus bonuses.”
- Only share general information: “My salary right now is in the $60s.”
- Or you can simply share exactly what you are earning now: “I earn $65,000, plus bonuses.”
Do you have any questions for me?
Take some time and ask a question or two that show you have interest in the organization and/or specific job. For instance:
- Will this position be hybrid or solely at the office?
- Are there opportunities for growth in the organization?
- What other departments or organizations will this position be working with?
- How is success measured in this position?
- What attracted you (the interviewer) to this organization?
- What do you (the interviewer) like about working here?
How do you handle the goofy/creative questions some interviewers ask, such as:
“How do you bake a cake?” “How do you measure an office desk if you have no ruler?”
Do not get rattled at these questions. The interviewer is not looking for the actual answer to their question. Rather, they are watching you handle stress creatively so have fun with it. They want to see that you can stay calm, do teamwork and can communicate.
You can plan ahead for these questions in one of these ways:
- Say something like, “Hmmm. That reminds me of the time my team had to plan for the____. I sent a Slack message to everyone, then got them together. We developed a strategy and pulled the ___off. We all got accolades!”
- Or use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result): “The situation is that I was asked to bake a cake. The task is to pull it off asap. For the action, I will assemble my most creative colleagues and we will divvy up the supplies and creation process. The result will be a cake you could take to the CEO.”
End with a thanks for the interview and ask about next steps.
Remember, it may feel cheesy but practicing answers will help boost your confidence. Not only that, but practicing will make it easy to adapt your memorized answers to unexpected questions. You can get help with your job hunting skills. Schedule a coaching appointment.