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Effective Interview Questions

Employer Resource Guide

Effective Interview Questions

Traditional questions: samples
  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
  2. What is your greatest accomplishment?
  3. What are five adjectives or short phrases that best describe you?
  4. What is your greatest weakness?
  5. What is the most significant challenge you have faced in the past year?
  6. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization.
  7. What would you like to be doing five years from now?
  8. Why do you want this position?
  9. What do you do best in your present position?
  10. What motivates and inspires you?
  11. What do you like to do outside of work in your spare time? What are your outside interests/hobbies?
  12. What have you learned recently?
  13. How do you react when you are in stressful situations?
  14. How much of your time are you willing to commit to the company?
  15. What common denominators are you looking for in a prospective employer?
  16. What are you looking for in a position?
  17. Have you ever had to discipline an employee?
  18. Are you more suited to be a leader or a contributing team member?
  19. Describe values that are most important to you.
  20. How do you organize your time?

Challenging questions: samples

  1. Tell me about the worst manager you’ve ever had.
  2. Why did you leave your last position?
  3. Why were you laid off?
  4. What are your salary expectations?
  5. Can you share an example of a time when your work was criticized?
  6. Why haven’t you found a position before now?
  7. If you have you ever been fired or terminated from a position, why did this occur?
  8. What part of your last job did you like least?
  9. What motivates you more, money or job satisfaction?
  10. What would your former employer say about you?
  11. How good are you at solving conflicts?
  12. What role do you take on while working within a team?
  13. Do you prefer working alone or in a team?
  14. Would you have done anything differently in your life until now?
  15. What makes you angry?
  16. How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our organization?
  17. Are you good at handling several responsibilities simultaneously?
  18. What would you like to improve professionally about yourself?
  19. What could you have done better in your previous job?
  20. Unique/different questions- What is your most prized possession? If you could have dinner with 3 famous people, dead or alive, who would you pick? If you were a tree, what kind would you be? What was the best purchase you ever made?

Behavioral Questions :samples

  1. Give a specific example of a time you sold someone on an idea or concept.
  2. Describe the best/worst team of which you have been a member.
  3. Tell about a time when you made the wrong decision.
  4. Tell about a time when you were creative in solving a problem.
  5. Give an example of a time when you had to be quick in coming to a decision.
  6. Give an example of a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty.
  7. Describe a situation in which you were able to have a positive influence on the actions of others.
  8. Tell about a situation when you had to be assertive in order to get a point across that was important to you.
  9. Describe a recent unpopular decision you made and what the result was.
  10. Tell me about something you’ve done recently to improve your knowledge of the job.
  11. How do you decide what gets top priority when scheduling your time?
  12. What do you do when your schedule is suddenly interrupted? Give an example.
  13. Give an example of a policy you conformed to with which you did not agree.
  14. Give an example of an important goal that you had set in the past and tell about your success reaching it.
  15. Tell about a time in your career where you had to overcome stress.
  16. Tell about a crisis in your life or job and how you responded or recovered from it.
  17. Please discuss an important written document /report that you were required to complete.
  18. Give me an example of a time when you had to make a split second decision.
  19. Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.
  20. Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.


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