It’s go time. You’re face to face with your potential future boss at the job interview and you are here to ace their questions with what you’ve got to say. Some of what they ask, you expect. Other times their questions are rather unpredictable.
For instance, have you ever been asked what your opinion is on garden gnomes? Because apparently Trade Joe’s cares to know what you think of the lawn ornament if you’re interviewing with them. Yeah, me neither. But now I'm thinking seriously about what my opinion of lawn gnomes helps a potential employer distinguish about my capabilities.
Unfortunately, those are questions you can’t really see coming. But, I’ve rounded up some of the most common questions you can expect to hear when you find yourself in the hot seat.
Background Interview Questions
When an interviewer asks these questions they want to learn more about your experience up until this point. They may want to understand your resume more thoroughly or are wondering how you’ve progressed in your career so far.
- Can you tell me a little about yourself?
- What interested you about this position?
- Why did you have a gap in employment between [date] and [date]?
- Can you walk me through your resume?
- Can you discuss your educational background?
- Have you ever been let go or fired from a job? If so, why?
- Explain how your previous experience relates to the needs of this role.
Informational Interview Questions
Informational questions are usually need-to-know answers to make sure the that the role is the right fit for you and what they’re looking for.
Some are mainly logistical, like are you willing to travel? Yes, great! No, good to know as the person in this role might need to work at our Europe location at some point. Other questions like, where do you see yourself in five years? They’re hoping your answer will allude to the fact that you’ll still be working for them.
- How did you hear about this position?
- Are you willing to relocate?
- Are you willing to travel?
- Would you work 40+ hours a week?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What other companies are you interviewing with?
- Why do you want to leave your current job?
- What kind of work environment do you like?
- Where do you see yourself in five years from now? Ten?
- What is your dream job?
- What are your career goals?
- What's your availability?
- What questions do you have for me?
- What do you know about our company?
- What questions haven't I asked you?
- What do you like to do outside of work?
- What is the last book you read for fun?
- What is the name of our CEO?
- Who are our competitors?
Skill Set Interview Questions
Questions about your skills are a deeper look into what experience and assets you can bring to the position. Connect your answers directly to what the job description and previous conversations indicating they're in need for this person in this role to do. These questions evaluate if you have the necessary qualifications.
- What are your greatest strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What can you offer us that another candidate can't?
- What would you want to accomplish in your first 30/60/90 days in the role?
- What would your boss say your greatest strengths/opportunities to improve are?
- What are some of your leadership experiences?
- What would your coworkers say about you?
- Why should we hire you?
- What do you think our company could do better or differently?
Behavioral Interview Questions
Behavioral questions are often a means to determine how well you approach challenges, work with people, or champion your leadership skills. The interviewer is listening closely to your answers.
- Can you tell me about a time you went above and beyond?
- Tell me about your leadership style.
- Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
- Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
- How would you deal with an angry customer?
- What motivates you?
- What gets you up in the morning
- How do you handle pressure or stressful situations?
- Are you a leader or a follower?
- What's your management style?
- If you won the lottery would you keep working?
- What was your biggest failure?
- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
- What pushes you out of your comfort zone?