The following list of interview questions applies to any interview regardless of what field you are working in. It is strongly recommended that you prepare for these questions.
Sample Interview Questions and Answers
Tell me about yourself?
- Talk about your hobbies, interest, and education. Keep your explanation brief and to the point. The interview may ask this question just to break the ice or see if you are a well-rounded individual.
Tell us about your previous work experience?
- If possible, relate your previous work experience to the position you are applying for.
- If this is your first job state you have been focusing on school and are now ready to prove yourself in the workforce.
What do you know about this company?
- This question is testing you to see if you did your homework. Simply research the company you are applying for on the Internet and state what the company does and some of their accomplishments.
Why did you or want to leave your current/last job?
This question basically tries to find any issues you had with your previous employer. Don’t talk about any horror stories in your previous position and try and sound positive about your previous/current employer. State something like
- I am looking for new challenges in the workplace. I feel that I have reached my potential with company XYZ and that further advancement will not be possible in the current environment.
- Distance is always good to mention. If the job you are applying to is closer to your than your current/last job then that is always a positive. You can mention you want to achieve work-life balance.
What is your greatest strength?
There are many skills that you can list but think about what the interviewer wants to hear. For example, if the position requires you will be talking to customers, then your greatest strength should be your listening or communication skills. If you are applying for a position where you are in a restaurant perhaps teamwork, or your ability to work under pressure should be your greatest strength. Remember it all depends on what position you are applying for so pick your greatest strength wisely.
What is your greatest weakness?
This is a difficult question to answer because everyone has weaknesses and you have to list something. The best approach is to answer this question in a way your greatest weakness does not cost you the job. Try something like:
- When I get caught up in my work I don’t take enough personal time for myself to explore my interests and hobbies.
- I am a workaholic and I neglect my friends and family.
You can always use this question to your advantage. Suppose you are worried the interviewer will think you are unqualified for the position because you don’t have a particular skill. For example, say you don’t have experience using excel spreadsheets. You can tell the interviewer that you have been taking online classes, or researching online to help you learn excel.
Do you have any questions about the job?
Think of a question you want to ask your potential employer. Make sure you have at least one question to ask or you will look unprepared. I think a great question is
- If I were to start tomorrow what would be my top priority
- What are some of the characteristics of your top performing employees?
What salary are you looking for?
- I would flip the question and ask what is the range? You never want to ask for too much as you will never get the job if you do! You also might ask for too little.
- You should always review salary information so you are prepared to answer this question.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Take the role you are applying for and state you want to be the manager or director for that role — this answer makes you sound ambitious and goal oriented.
- Why not take a look at the company website and find a job you can see yourself doing in five years. It will make you sound like you are going to stay with the company and they will not lose money training you.
Why should I hire you?
- Employers want a great answer for this. Don’t simply state I am a hard worker because everyone will state they are a hard worker. My advice is to reread the job description and look at the job requirements. Go through the job requirements and state why you are able to fulfill all those requirements.
When can you start?
- If you are working I would recommend saying you need to give your current employer 2 weeks notice otherwise make it as early as possible.